The pericardium meridian line
This week we explored the principle of SATYA from the eight limbs of yoga, feeling and expressing our truth. Within a single word or principle within the philosophy of yoga a whole new world can open up fairly quickly and we find ourselves in a rabbit hole! Without getting to overwhelmed by the information, over time your body and mind take it in naturally, and sometimes within a class setting some things the tutor might say has no significance at that very moment in time, a month or a year down the line its the thing you really needed to hear, or, you just 'get it'.
Honouring the elements of self truth I combined the Throat Chakra and the Pericardium Meridian line within the physical practice, bringing together so many different aspects of philosophy and knowledge, but making it instantly accessible.
Within the principle of Satya we begin to explore our truth, how we express ourselves to the world but also honouring and owning the true self. Who we are, down to the finest details. I loved marrying this with the Throat Chakra as our truth can be expressed through communication, open and honest words and the ability to listen without judgement. The Pericardium Meridian line can be greatly explored in this sense, moving away from the dynamic fast paced yoga practice and even our daily routines.
To find our self truth and be comfortable with it we have to offer the body and mind introspection. Through meditation and Yin yoga we can create a conscious and nurturing practice, giving the body time to release and relax but also quietening the mind. By finding the softness and quiet time we can truly listen to ourselves, almost as if we give the body the chance to have a conversation with itself. How many times have you ignored an injury hoping it would go away? If we don't listen to our bodies intelligence it wont heal.
Through self expression the Pericardium Meridian line helps us to create balance within our hearts. Also known as the 'Guardian of the heart' or 'Circulation-Sex' Meridian. It is a yin meridian and is paired with the Triple Warmer Meridian. (We will work through this in the coming weeks!). The pericardium provides the heart with physical protection, its energy also protects the heart from damage and disruption by excessive emotional energies generated by the other organs, such as anger from the liver, fear from the kidneys, and grief from the lungs.
Extreme or long-lasting outbursts of emotions can disrupt the energy balance and can be causes of disease. Without the pericardium to protect it, the heart would be subject to damage from the strong fluctuations in energy caused by emotional ups and downs each day.
The Pericardium meridian can be explored to support clear communication of the Heart’s desires and to soothe and soften emotional defence's that are no longer useful to us. It also manifests “Shen”, or spirit, where it works to manifest the inclinations and desires of our true self. When, however, the spirit is weak, especially from pain and hurt in our lives, our true desires are hidden from ourselves or we turn away from the instinctive knowledge the heart has to offer us. Instead, we crave excitement and novelty. When no satisfaction is experienced from these behaviours, we become irritable and depressed. Another function of the pericardium meridian is to open and close the heart, where it protects us emotionally and can help us be resilient to the stresses of daily life. If affected the resulting trauma can be likened to scar tissue that forms on a wound. It can become tough, and inflexible making it hard for us to open it and allow positive emotions to flow into the heart and heart meridian. This can impact our ability to experience intimacy, warmth and love, thus affecting the emotional aspects of our sexuality.
Where is the meridian line within the body?
This channel begins in the middle of the chest at the pericardium. A branch descends internally through the diaphragm to the upper, middle, and lower burners. From the starting point a branch of the main channel crosses the chest to emerge just outside the nipple, PC1. It then ascends on the surface around the front of the armpit and flows down the arm, through the biceps muscle PC2. At the elbow crease it passes just to the inside of the biceps tendon, then down the middle of the front of the forearm, between the heart and lung channels to the wrist. It crosses the middle of the palm to PC-8 where it divides. The main channel continues to the outer corner of the middle fingernail, PC9 and a connecting branch goes to the fourth finger to join the triple burner channel at TB-1. (The triple burner is another meridian line).
PC1 – Tianchi - Laryngitis, mastitis, breast feeding problems, cough, chest congestion, asthma
PC2 - Tianquan - Distention of the hypochondriac region, cough,
PC3 - Quze - Angina pectoris, palpitation, stomach ache, vomiting, diarrhoea
PC4 - Ximen - Angina pectoris, palpitation, epilepsy, chest pain
PC5 - Jianshi - Angina pectoris, palpitation, stomach ache, mania, malaria
PC6 - Neiguan - Angina pectoris, palpitation, stomach ache, vomiting, hiccup, insomnia, dizziness, epilepsy, migraine
PC7 - Daling - Angina pectoris, palpitation, stomach ache, vomiting, mania
PC8 - Laogong - Angina pectoris, palpitation, vomiting, foul breath, oral ulcer, sunstroke, mania, epilepsy, toothache
PC9 - Zhongchong - Angina pectoris, coma, sunstroke, infantile convulsion, stiffness and swelling of the tongue
Signs of Imbalance in the Pericardium Meridian:
Pericardium imbalance can manifest as chronic damaging relationship patterns, chest discomfort due to inflammation, or liquid around the heart. Other signs of imbalance include Guarded behaviour, Relationship Fears, Excessive vulnerability, Too much joy, Incessant laughter, Giggling out of control, Mental Disturbance, Phobias, Sexual perversion, inappropriate intimacy or fear of intimacy, Depression, Stiff Neck, Nausea, Vomiting, Vertigo. A pericardium excess can give rise to uncontrollable laughter, while deficiency can manifest as profound sadness.
How can we work with this meridian line?
Acupuncture and acupressure : Chinese medicine is full of powerful and wise tools to support the ever-wise and loving heart via the pericardium, deep healing on a constitutional level, and optimal health in the present moment. You can practice pressing lightly on PC6, which is located on your inner arm, about 1.5-2" up from the crease of your wrist, in the middle of the most prominent tendons. This point opens the chest through its embryologic fascial connections to the pericardium, diaphragm, and liver; PC6 makes space for easier, deeper breathing, and relaxes the diaphragm/liver fascial connection, which is why it also alleviates nausea and stomach pain.
Yin yoga postures : These postures are not in any particular order and youre welcome to explore them at your own time and pace, one of the benefits of practicing yin yoga is that you can let your body determine what it needs at that very moment. All of these poses are heart openers, gather your blocks and pillows and support yourself as needed. As I mentioned above, this practice is about introspection, where we can rest and restore without time restrictions. Let the body and mind open from the trust you give it.
Quarter dog (half puppy pose/Anahatasana)
Supported Bridge pose (Setu Bandhasana)
Happy baby pose
Affirmations : Write them down and place them around the house, set them with your morning alarm. Practice them within your meditation, besides your body being an incredible gift your mind has the power to change your life. Everything you say our think to yourself will manifest, whether its good or bad!
I speak easily. I use my voice to connect. My words almost always bring positive things into my life.
I have a strong, clear voice. I use my words to bring my true self into the world and to show all people that I like them. My words are my honesty.
The things I most wish to say, I say them gently and easily today.
I know what it feels like to cover up the true me, and it never really felt very good, so I hold a space for my own self-expression and that of others. We all step into full self-expression., whenever we feel like it.
I'm a very verbal person, and I speak from my emotions -- easily, naturally and effortlessly.
I create a happy world of Love, Laughter, Harmony and FUN! I do this by fully being with people, fully listening and fully loving ... and, by being fully Self-Expressed.
There are so many things that we can manifest within our lives if we connect to self belief and self expression. That little thing called intuition can guide you on your path, take time to create some space and quietness within your life and ... listen.
Thank you for reading,
All my love,
Exploring the Yama of Satya is a beautiful one, you can find a full blog post on it here.