Updated: Jun 10, 2021
Emotions are mental stimuli that influence our everyday lives. Under normal circumstances, they are not a cause of an illness but if they go ‘wrong’ they’re considered as one of the major internal causes of disease in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Yes, we are talking about how your emotions can influence your health and most of the time, our fears are learned and they are always aimed at the future, the thing which is not yet happening or not sure if it will ever happen.
If you look at a one year old baby, when they start learning how to walk, they constantly fall or even hit their head or bump into something. Many times as an adult, we are very often warning them what they cannot touch or where they cannot go. However, nothing can stop them, they fall and they stand up again. There is no such thing called “fear” in their mind. Indeed it is our responsibility to inform them about the danger, and create a relative safety environment at home for them. However, communicating with them in fear will only discourage them or create their subconscious mind when they are still very young. Due to this stage, we are their subconscious. Our emotions will become theirs, and they are like a sponge learning all the emotions unconsciously.
That’s why we have to know that there is a difference between danger and fear - “danger is reality, fear is emotion.”
The example above may also imply to adult's life, do we understand the danger and following the right procedure to prevent the danger? Or we are guiding our every day with the emotion - fear (or more than fear) ? It is a question worth exploring inward.
Yin Yoga for letting go your fear
So when we talk about fear, the first step is to observe, where does it come from? Let’s check in with our body first, is it from your stomach? or from your heart? or your head? Then let’s check in with your breath? How’s your breath right now? Then ask yourself why I am fear about “this” - no matter what “this” represente for!
Mindfulness checking is always very important for yin yoga practice. Especially we need to hold the pose for 2-5 mins. There is no better time or better way to observe and explore inward.
Today I would like to share a few Yin yoga poses to let go of your fear, however, it doesn’t mean your fear will disappear immediately. It means you are trying to understand and face this fear instead of avoiding it. Once we have a better understanding, we would have a chance to conquer it.
Reclining Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
Bend your knee to your chest.
One arm in letter T with palm facing down.
The other arm hold on to your knee and twist.
Turn your gaze to the opposite side of your knee direction.
Extend your lower leg and hold the pose for 2-3 mins.
If the bended knee is far away from the floor, place a yoga block or pillow under for support.
Benefit of this pose
Restores spine neutrality
Restores balance in the nervous system
Massages the organs of digestions
Benefit from TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)
Stimulate the Spleen, Stomach, Kidney, Urinary Bladder and Gallbladder meridians.
Knee to chest pose (Apanasana)
Bend one of your knee to your chest.
Hold on the knee with your both hands.
Try to make sure your lower spine is on the ground.
If the extended leg is off the ground, help to put a pillow under the knee for support.
Or try the variation pose below (with one leg bend and step on the floor, then your lower back is for sure on the ground).
Please make sure your chin tuck in instead facing the ceiling.
Please hold for 2-3 mins.
Knee to chest pose variation (Apanasana)
Benefits of Knees-to-Chest Pose
Relieves digestive problems, including constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and gas.
Eases menstrual pain.
Stretches the lower spine and back muscles,
Opens the hips.
Massages the pelvic organs.
Eases anxiety, anger and high blood pressure.
Benefit from TCM
Stimulate the heart, small and large intestines
Urinary (Bladder) Meridian
Since we are talking about fear, then we have to address Urinary (Bladder) meridians. The Bladder meridian is a Yang meridian. The first point of the Urinary meridian is found on the inside corner of the eye. This point is BL 1. From here, the external pathway runs up and over the head and down the entire back side of the body, ending at the acupoint BL 67 at the tip of the small toe.
An imbalance in the Bladder can cause psychological symptoms as habitual fear, lack of decision making capability and a diminished moral character. If the imbalance becomes chronic, it results in such emotional responses as jealousy, suspicion, and holding on to long-standing grudges.
In TCM, excessive emotions act as stimuli, which disturb the mind and soul, alter the imbalance of the internal organs and the harmony of Qi (energy) and blood, which can lead to illness.
“The Bladder is where the water converges and where, after being catalyzed by the qi, it is eliminated.” – Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine
Nourishing the Urinary meridians through food
Drink plenty of quality water every day instead of soft drinks.
Reduce the amount of salt intake.
Below are the best foods for the bladder:
Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Mushrooms, Peas, Radishes, Squash, Zucchini, Sweet potatoes, Yams, Garlic, Onions, Seaweed, lobster, crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, oysters, black sesame seeds, goji berries, seeds & nuts, nut oils, pine nuts. All beans. Bone marrow, bone broth. Lamb, Venison, Pork. Chicken, Eggs, Turkey, Salmon. Bananas, Blueberries, Honeydew melon, Pears, Raisins, Watermelon. Vegetable juice, Vegetable soups and broths.
Every day try to spend some time on those poses and really checking in with your body and understanding your fear. Hopefully, it can bring you some new perspective toward to your emotions.