Balancing the Spleen Meridian through Mindfulness and Yoga Poses - By Micaela Madeddu
Reading time: 4 minutes
The ancient practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) recognizes the importance of meridians, energy pathways that run throughout the body, in maintaining overall health and well-being. One such meridian is the spleen meridian, which plays a vital role in shaping both the body and thoughts. Running from the big toe along the medial side of the foot and leg, it reaches into the groin, progresses along the side of the abdomen, and extends to the ribcage and collarbone. As a yin meridian, the spleen meridian is associated with the element of earth and is responsible for the transformation, transport, and distribution of food throughout the body.
When the spleen meridian is out of balance, it can manifest as excessive worry, making mindfulness an excellent practice for nurturing and harmonizing this meridian. Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment and non-judgmentally aware of one's thoughts, emotions, and sensations. By cultivating mindfulness, individuals can develop a greater sense of peace, calmness, and mental clarity.
When the spleen meridian is full, individuals may experience an overwhelming tendency to brood over things that would not normally cause excessive worry. This fullness can also lead to obsessive-compulsive tendencies, extreme tidiness, and a fixation on perfection. To address this imbalance, specific yoga poses can aid in dispersion and relaxation. Here are two poses to try:
Baddha Konasana (Reclined Cobbler Pose): Begin by lying on your back. Straighten one leg while bending the other, aligning the foot with the inside of the straight leg's calf. Keep the foot in place and join it with the straight leg, allowing the soles of the feet to come together and the knees to fall outwards. If there is discomfort in the hip, use a prop, such as a folded blanket or bolster, under the thigh. Relax into this pose for 10-12 breaths, surrendering your body to it. Afterward, take a moment to pause and listen to the sensations in your body.
Wide-Legged Child's Pose: Kneel back, keeping your big toes close together while allowing the knees to open wider than the shoulders. Slowly lower your body forward, extending your arms in front of you. If there is discomfort, use a bolster to straddle over and alleviate pressure from your feet, hips, and knees. Remain in this pose, breathing deeply, and focusing on releasing any tension. After completing the pose, take a moment to pause and observe your inner state.
Conversely, if the spleen meridian is depleted, an active practice is more effective in re-energizing it. The following yoga poses can help restore vitality to the meridian:
Garudasana Legs (Eagle Pose): Begin in a small squat position. Inhale to prepare, then exhale as you cross one leg over the other. Inhale again as you squeeze your inner thighs together, and exhale as you return to the squat position. Repeat this sequence, alternating sides 5-6 times per side. After completing the poses, pause and listen to the revitalizing sensations in your body.
Supine Wide-Legged Angle Pose: Lie on your back and raise your legs above your hips, keeping them straight or bent according to your comfort level. Inhale to prepare, then exhale as you open your legs wide. Hold this position as you inhale, and exhale as you bring your legs back together. Repeat this sequence 5-6 times, focusing on the rejuvenating energy flowing through your body. Take a moment to pause and listen after finishing the practice.
By engaging in these yoga poses, individuals can actively contribute to rebalancing their spleen meridian and harmonizing their overall well-being. Remember to approach each practice with mindfulness and deep awareness of your body, thoughts, and emotions.
Wishing you a fulfilling and transformative practice.