Lately, most of my female students approach me with countless questions on women’s health. Why do I have such excruciating period cramps? Why can’t I get pregnant? How do I reset my hormones during menopause? How can I boost my libido? Why do I have so much unresolved anger? One of them came over the other day for a chakra test due to server abdominal pain.
When I run the pendulum on her, I detected very low vital force in the first and second chakra, which resulted in low levels of Yang energy, or masculine force. The treatment involved boosting her “creative powers” through yoga, breathing, Qi-Gong, minerals and sun-ripe fruits. Why? Mostly, because she had excess of “Ying” or receptive powers, and very little proactive frequency. Simply put – too much Moon, too little Sun energy. Her Ying-yang flow was impeded and every aspect of her life – career, relationships and personal growth was impaired.
In order balance the Ying and Yang flow we committed to semi-weekly Yoga and Qi-Gong practice. We started with simple standing meditation and incorporated natural movements symbolic of all five elements. To bring more water energy through her pelvis we practiced “breathing ripples” – an exercise that sets the body into undulating movement fueled by the breath. The idea is to create more space in the hollow indents of the body and regulate the exchange of fluids. The water elements brings Ying flow into the reproductive organs and boosts the health of the first two chakras, eliminating subconscious patterns that block the fertile energy there.
The wood and Earth elements were personified by a technique known as “branching roots”. It is a simple exercise that allows you to root the energy through the Earth and shoot it up from the arms, reaching in all directions. It brings an element of “earthing” in the body and releases the downward flow – alleviating painful menstrual or premenstrual cramps and cooling the body’s temperature in instances of hot flashes during menopause. A good way to begin to understand the Wood element is through the plant metaphor. When a plant gets the nutrients it needs, it can flourish, upward and outward, and root itself solidly to the earth. When deprived of resources, the plant may be thwarted, brittle or unbending, wither and uproot.
When in balance, the person with a strong Wood constitution displays character traits of planning and vision, qualities of leadership. Ailments rooted in a disharmony of the Wood element are frustration, anger and overall tightness. This person may see problems in the liver and gall bladder, and complain of headaches, high blood pressure, PMS, digestive problems, gallstones or ulcers.
Balancing the Earth meridians (Stomach and Spleen) provides nourishment and stability, transforming and moving nutrients efficiently, so that we get the most out of our food, keeping the body-as-machine running optimally; that is, digesting the food we take in, and creating the energy we need to move through daily life.
To ignite the creative fire we added a practice known as “qi well” which employs brisk tapping three fingers below navel in order to activate the latent creative potential. To amplify its effect we augmented this with another qi-enhancing and releasing practice, known as “thunder feet” – a simple lift and drop of the heels while the lighting strikes the whole body, reverberating through every cell. It is an incredible way to unblock stale energy in the pelvis, to relieve menstrual cramps or heal any ailments related to vaginal flora. In balance, the Fire element motivates us to connect with others in the world, inspires us and encourages us to take risks for goals we consider important. Out of balance, an excess of Fire can make you prone to heart problems, anxiety and insomnia.
The element “metal” was invoked by “razor whips” – an ancient Chinese Martial Arts practice that replicates the slicing energy of two blades of grass, crisscrossing in front of the chest while the arms complete infinity loops. This exercise brings luster to the aura and malleability to the body. When practice regularly this technique balances the meridians of the lung and the large intestine and promote healthy digestion and respiration.
The last element that is not included in the pentagram of the Chinese system is air. This is because Ether pervades all. Once all the systems in the body were intact we elicited the etheric flow through an exercise known as “harnessing the wind”, where the body and arms resemble the movements of clouds shifting across the sky. Balancing the wind element brought more space in the joints and created a permeable and resonant body. The focus was on learning how to move and receive energy in order to unblock all junctions and valves.
This type of Qigong is actually considered Ying Yoga or Meridian Therapy. The focus is on allowing the ligaments, tendons connective tissues, and joints time to slowly expand which allows energy to open and flow where it’s been blocked. Yin is an energy nourishing practice because the postures are passive without force or exertion, where energy has been blocked in the body when it opens because no energy is being expended the Qi nourishes the vital organs and glands.
Once the flow of qi-throughout the body is restored it is best to incorporate Yang- enhancing asana. While Qi-Gong teaches how to heal the body by opening the etheric channels or meridians through giving and receiving energy asana practice has a muscular, structural, endocrine focus. It gives a Yang charge to the body and a creationist slant to the mind.
Within the ultimate Women’s Health routine, Yoga and Qigong practices both help to reduce stress, release tension and create awareness of the places in the body energy feels stuck. Both practices help us to quiet our minds and listen to our hearts. Yoga, is part of Ayurveda, Qigong is an aspect of Traditional Chinese medicine stemming from the lineage of the Taoist healing systems.
Ultimately, the Universal energy that flows through you, whether you call it “prana” or “qi” has information and messages for your internal systems, organs and glands. When Qi is flowing freely throughout, the body understands the messages and knows what to do to maintain balance and create wellbeing and inner peace.
The two systems coupled together help women find physical and emotional balance, as well as self-acceptance – working every body part, offering movement in every direction along with stimulation of the organs, muscles and bones. Women at every age can appreciate the beauty in their bodies that allows them to move, breathe and live. Both paths help you appreciate the miracle of the human body, shed negative habits and truly love yourself.
Both help you connect with your intuition and inner radiance. So next time you look in the mirror you’ll be “glow-Ying”.
Women’s Health Yoga Routine: Glow-Ying (open level)
This routine balances the Ying and Yang flow in the body, restoring women’s hormonal balance and stimulating the first and second chakras to zest out female procreative and nurturing juices. A series of Qi-enhancing standing breathing and asana opens up the spine and brings buoyancy to the hips. Infinity loop pelvic swirls, twine the arms in a glowing serpent around the spinal column and activates DNA codes by balancing the flow of receptive and creative forces. The flow resembles a shimmering string of light pulled from the center of the Earth and the Zenith of the Sun, snaking through forward and back bends; Shakti charged standing poses; mild inversions and seated twists, semi-kneeling and reclining hips and shoulder openers – all augmented with ritual mudra to reset the hormones and even out the downward and upward flow. A back-bending cascade of poses refuels the heart, followed by a devotional hip-opening inversion to signal the divine feminine call through the ages and dimensions. An inspiring relaxation guides you into tuning to the procreative forces and leaves you happy and “glow-Ying”.