Yin Yoga and Patting

Mountains and rivers have a Yin side and a Yang side.

Our body also has Yin and Yang sides, and the inside of our legs is considered Yin. There are three Yin meridians of the foot that go from the foot to the torso. These three Yin meridians of the foot are:

  • Kidney meridian 
  • Spleen meridian 
  • Liver meridian

Stimulating meridians helps to improve overall health, and Yin yoga and patting are two ways to stimulate meridians. By holding the pose for a long time, Yin yoga stretches the tendons and ligaments, and enhances Qi flow in meridians. By using hands to follow the course of meridians, patting releases the blockage that can cause pain, and leads to the stagnant Qi and blood flowing smoothly.

I like to do some patting before or after Yin yoga practice to promote the flow of Qi and accelerate blood circulation. Dragonfly pose in Yin yoga is performed with legs apart; it stretches the inner thighs, and the three Yin meridians of the foot running up the inner thighs. We can start the Dragonfly pose in a seated position with our soles of feet together. Pat the inside of legs using cupped palms or loose fists, from the ankles all the way up to the groins. Repeat 3-5 times or until we feel slightly warm. After patting, extend legs to the sides then stay in the pose for three minutes in stillness. Inwardly, practice mindfulness breathing or loving-kindness.

Patting guidelines:
1. Follow the course of the meridians.
2. Relax the whole body while applying smooth and rhythmic patting.
3. Patting force should be able to penetrate deep into the skin but should not be painful.
4. Patting is for illness prevention and maintaining health. Consult a doctor before patting if you already have a disease.
5. If pores appear red on the skin, it is recommended to wait until the redness in that area has receded before continuing to pat.

Clear the pathway towards well-being with Yin yoga and patting. Feel good inside and look good outside. Be well!

Notes:

  1. The Wall Map of Standard Meridians and Points of Acupuncture and Tuina (The Jiangsu Science & Technology Press, 1997).
  2. GuangDong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine, Chinese medicine experts reminder: Patting meridians correctly for health-care.

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