Kundalini Yoga and the April Full Moon

Wed, 04 Apr 2012

As we explained in our article last month on " and the March Full Moon", Kundalini works with the energetic events of Full Moon and New Moon. The March Full Moon affected the small intestine meridian. The upcoming Full Moon of April 6 will affect the bladder meridian and is related to the Libra sign of the Zodiac.

Because the bladder meridian has more pressure points than any other meridian, it can affect many areas in the body (the enumeration of possible physical symptoms below will illustrate this). This meridian is related to the organ of the bladder, but also the kidneys. On an energetic level, it is related to the second chakra, the chakra of sexuality and creativity. On a tattvic level (see "Kundalini Yoga and the March Full Moon" for more explanation) the meridian is related to the water element.

The most crucial advice for the days leading up to and following this month's Full Moon is: stay in the flow of life, don't try and resist. Don't try and swim upstream, give yourself over to the flow. Water has the capacity to reshape the earth if it is given enough time. Fear, the emotion that is related to the second chakra and that is stored in the bladder and kidneys, causes people to tighten up, and if we tighten up, we can't flow anymore - we become frozen and cold.

Symptoms of an imbalance or blockage in your bladder meridian can manifest on both an emotional and a physical level. Emotional symptoms are: feelings of fear, timidity, frustration and tearfulness. Physical symptoms come in many forms. A bladder infection is an obvious symptom, but other symptoms are: aching ankles and knee caps; lower back pain, neck pain and headaches; leg cramps and sciatica; nose bleeds.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, or if you just want to make an extra effort in balancing your bladder meridian, there are a number of ways to go about it. Firstly, you can work on the meridians through your diet. To work on your bladder meridian, you can eat any black foods, melons, or cucumbers. Drink lots of water, alongside cranberry juice and the fresh juice of 2 parts spinach and 1 part carrot. Avoid coffee (even though it is black) and salt, as salt dries out the body and causes great imbalances in the water tattva. Next, you can work on this meridian by holding and massaging the little finger of each hand. Do so for 2 minutes on either side. Thirdly, colours play an important role, and just as you can eat black foods, it is a good idea to wear black clothes and stones on this Full Moon. Listening to calming music will help you stay balanced in your water element. Also avoid excess emotional frustration. And try to contract the muscles when urinating in order to strengthen them. If you make this into a daily habit, you can prevent the formation of stones.

Of course, certain yoga postures and exercises can aid in working on the bladder meridian too. The most beneficial postures for this meridian are: Shoulder Stand followed by Plough Pose. To come into Shoulder Stand (or Candle Pose as it is sometimes called), first lie on the back and breathe in and out, tightening all the muscles. Then place the hands on the hips, just below the waist. Now bring the hips and legs up in a vertical position, making the spine and legs perpendicular to the floor. Make sure the elbows are not too far apart, and make sure that the weight is supported by the shoulders, not by the neck: you should still be able to comfortably turn your head from side to side when you are in the posture. Stay in Shoulder Stand for as long as it feels comfortable (try 1 to 3 minutes) and then from Shoulder Stand come into Plough Pose. To do so, drop the legs down and touch the pointed toes on the ground behind the head. Ideally the back is straight and perpendicular to the floor. Interlace the fingers with the arms on the floor, pointing the arms away from the body. Breath long and deep. Keep in this posture for as long as it feels comfortable(again 1 to 3 minutes is a good time). If you suffer for lower back problems, you might want to try a variation on Plough Pose or refrain from doing the exercise. Variations include the following: your hands may point toward the toes if that is easier; you can support the sides and lower back using your arms; you can drop the knees down toward the ears instead of keeping the legs straight; or you can spread the legs out.

Another beneficial exercise is the following: stand with the hands in Venus Lock (this is with the fingers interlaced) on the head and then start swinging loosely from side to side, followed by a bending motion from the waist, inhaling backward and exhaling forward.

Lastly there are some very good breathing exercises (pranayam) and meditations for this meridian: Alternate Nostril Breathing, inhaling Sat, exhaling Nam, for 10 minutes; any calming and quieting meditation; and finally a meditation called Calming the Mind. To do this, bring the left hand on the heart centre and let the right hand rest on the right knee in gyan mudra (thumb touching the index finger). Then start whistling both on the inhale and the exhale through a rounded mouth, breathing long and deep (Whistle Breath). Do this for 3 to 11 minutes.

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