Stimulate your gallbladder, liver and kidney meridians with Butterfly Pose.
Thank You to Everyone who came along to my New Year Detox Yin Yoga Workshop where we practised yin poses to stimulate the liver and gallbladder meridians.
If you weren’t able to be there, here is a pose you can try at home.
According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) the meridians are the channels through which our Qi (energy) flows throughout the body. The gallbladder, liver and kidneys are all important organs in the body’s detoxification process. At this time of year when our minds often turn to detoxing, poses like Butterfly may be of some assistance.
In this pose the gallbladder meridian (running along the outer legs) is stimulated. If you bring the feet closer to the groin, then the liver and kidney meridians (running along the insides of the legs and groin) can be stimulated too.
As well as opening the hips and activating the thighs without straining the hamstrings, Butterfly provides a lovely stretch of the whole back.
To get into the pose:
– Sit with your back straight and legs in front of you
– Bring the soles of your feet together and allow both knees to fall out to the side (your legs should be in a diamond shape, so there is a significant space between your heels and hips)
– From here you can stay upright or begin to fold the upper body forward (allowing the back to round). Come forward as far as your body will allow without forcing or straining.
– If you are folding further forward, you may find some support under the forehead would be more comfortable. In this instance, you could use a block or bolster for support, or you may wish to rest your forehead on your hands.
Remain here for three to five minutes. To exit the pose, on an inhale gently uncurl back up to sitting.
If practising this pose seated is troublesome for your lower back or knees you can try sitting on a cushion or block and placing support under the knees. Another option is to try this pose against a wall (as I’m demonstrating in the picture below). I find this wall version can be very soothing for my lower back.
Enjoy practising this pose!
NB – If you are in London, I am teaching ‘Open Your Heart: A Yin & Restorative Yoga Workshop’ on Saturday 27th February 1.45-3.45pm at Embody Wellness. For details and booking please click here.