Here is a yin yoga pose that affects the liver and gallbladder meridian. An imbalance in the liver creates stress, anger, irritability, and depression. This pose helps balance and promotes health within this area. This pose is effective by itself or as part of a longer sequence of yin yoga. I recommend having a flexible two-inch soft yoga foam block (shown below) that provides padding for knee exercises. Keep a timer nearby as well because we will hold this yin pose for a couple of minutes on each side.
How to do this pose:
Start seated on the knees with the hips on the heels. From here you are going to shift the weight over to the left. Bring the right leg around crossing over the left bent leg. Your knees should be stacked on top of each other.
- Modification: If the knees don’t stack you will want to raise your buttocks to keep the back from curving forward. And/ or you can add a block or blanket between the knees for more support.
Place your left hand on the floor. Keep your right knee stacked on top of the left knee.
- Modification: Keep the bottom leg straight if it is uncomfortable to bend the bottom leg.
Walk the left hand away from the body. Curve and reach the back to the left. In opposition to the back, keep the right sit bone weighted down to the ground. You can even push on the ground with the left hand as you push the right hip down. Let your head drop to the left.
Stay here for two minutes. Set a timer. Find your breath. Establish the length of your breath. Count your breath in for five seconds and out for five seconds. Also, aim to breathe deeper into the belly instead of only chest breathing.
Remain present. Feel the stretch through the right side of the neck and shoulder, which is where the gall bladder meridian runs. The liver runs closer to the inside of the legs in the groin area. The fold in the legs here compresses this liver meridian and stimulates the liver.
After two minutes, use your abdominals to walk back in and sit up straight.
To come away from this pose, lean away from the knees. Uncross the right leg by bringing it back next to the left leg. Sit on the knees and heels.
Take a breath here.
Repeat on the other side. Hold for two minutes.
Once you return to sitting on your heels after the pose, straighten your legs in front of you by crossing the ankles under you and then extending the legs out in front of you.
Feel the body and notice any sensations in the legs. Observe how you feel.
Hopefully, this exercise will help you feel balanced. By balancing the liver energy your emotions are effected and also balanced. The emotion that is associated with a healthy liver chi is harmony.