Kundalini Yoga and the May Full Moon

Thu, 03 May 2012

As we have explained in previous articles, Kundalini Yoga works with the energetic events of Full Moon and New Moon. While the March Full Moon affected the small intestine meridian and the April Full Moon affected the bladder meridian, the Full Moon of Sunday May 6 will affect the kidney meridian and is related to the Scorpio sign of the Zodiac. Just like in April, the Full Moon in May works on the water element or water tattva and is related to the second chakra, and there are some similarities in symptoms and remedies.

A good description for the kidney energy would be that it can either be used to soar like an eagle or to crawl like a scorpion. The ability to uplift oneself and others is an expression of our creative spirit, which is precisely linked to the second chakra and the water tattva. The second chakra is the energy centre of creativity, sexuality and passion. A blockage in this creative energy is reflected in self-gratification and destruction. The May Full Moon might cause one to feel fear (the same emotion on which the April Full Moon worked) but also anxiety, confusion, frustration (again just as with the April Full Moon) and the need for perfection, and it might even lead to a vengeful attitude. All these are emotional symptoms of an imbalance or blockage in the kidney meridian.

The kidney energy is responsible for how we age and it determines the quality of our bones. It is also responsible for our hearing, for our motivation and for pulling prana (life force) from the lungs. The kidneys are quite fragile, and they are easily damaged, for example by too many thrills, by stress, drugs and taking too many stimulants. So try and be mindful not to overstress your kidneys in the coming days.

Physical symptoms of an imbalance or blockage in this meridian come in many forms. They include: dizziness upon standing; sweaty hands and feet, or cold hands and feet; bloating; a puffy face; bone and ear problems, such as tinnitus; muscle tightness in the lower and mid back, the diaphragm and the upper shoulders; and lastly, problems with the urinary or reproductive system.

There are a number of ways of restoring the balance to the kidney meridian. Firstly, you can pay attention to your diet. To work on your kidney meridian, you can eat any black foods (eggplant, seaweed, beans, licorice). Black coffee does not count as a black food, try to avoid it. You can drink cucumber juice, and it is also very beneficial to add turmeric to meals or make Golden Milk. Eating naturally salted foods will also help (olives, seaweed, ginger, cinnamon).

Next, you can work on this meridian by holding and massaging the index finger of each hand. Do so for 2 minutes on either side. Wearing a silk or cotton cummerbund will also help. And then there are of course yoga postures and exercises that specifically target this meridian.

The most beneficial postures for the kidney meridian are: Camel Pose, Baby Pose, Butterfly Pose (exhaling head down, inhaling head up), and Life Nerve Stretch. To go into Camel Pose, start by sitting on the heels, and then rise up onto the knees. Root yourself with the knees, pressing them firmly into the earth. Then bring the pelvis forward, tilt the tailbone under, lift the heart centre up, and exhale as you lean back. Lift the hips as high as you can. Grab the heels or ankles behind you (or put the hands on the lower back if you cannot open up that much yet), and drop the head back. Make sure the knees are not too far apart. To come out of Camel Pose, keep your neck in neck lock.

To come into Baby Pose, you also start by sitting on the heels. You then bend forward and place the forehead on the ground, putting pressure on the Third Eye. If you cannot bend all the way forward, you can use some props (a blanket, a pillow) and put your forehead on the prop. Keep the arms at the sides with the palms facing up.

For Butterfly Pose you start sitting in Easy Pose. You then put the soles of the feet together and with interlaced hands you grab underneath the feet. Pull the spine up and apply neck lock. Now inhale straight, and exhale as you bend forward as much as you can.

For the Life Nerve Stretch you can choose whether you want to do a Front Stretch or Left and Right sideway Stretches. Important for Life Nerve Stretches is to keep the back of the knees pressed into the floor, so the hamstrings are stretched, and to move with a straight spine from the pelvis, leading with the Navel Point and bringing the heart towards the knees. The head will just follow the movement. Always inhale up, exhale down.

Chanting the mantra Chatr Chakra Varti (the last four lines of Jaap Sahib, the composition of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh) also works on the kidney energy and helps one deal with fear. These are the lines to this mantra: chaathr chaakr varathee chaathr chaakr bhugathae | In four directions of the cosmos (throughout the universe). Thou art the absolute ruler. Thou indulges in pleasures throughout the universe. suyanbhav subhan sarabadhaa sarab jugathae | Thou art self-existent and auspicious. Thou art always yoked to all. dhukaalan pranaasee dhiaalan saroopae | Thou eradicates the agonies of (two times) birth and death as thy form is full of mercy. sadhaa ang sangae abhangan bibhoothae | 199| Thou art always present with us. Thy splendour is imperishable. (199)

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