Within Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Kidney Meridian is probably one of the most powerful and important meridians.
Of course, all of them are working together and are intertwined with each other. If one is out of balance, chances are that others will get out of balance too (even though slightly).
Luckily, with yoga, we can bring balance in our body and mind. And also in our different meridians.
By doing our yoga poses, we stimulate certain points in our body that correspond with the different meridians in our body. By stimulating these, you’ll be making them free to flow.
For now, we’ll be focusing on the kidney meridian. I won’t be talking too much about this one here, but we’ll go straight into some asanas that will stimulate this meridian.
I’d also like to add that there are a lot of websites where you’ll be able to find some more information about the meridians. I’m not schooled in Traditional Chinese Medicine, so I’m also not going to talk about it too much.
I do like to mention though, that having an imbalance in your kidney meridian, doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with your kidneys.
Energetically the kidney meridian has a lot of influence in your body, also the kidney, but it doesn’t have to mean that you’ll be suffering from kidney disease.
And then again, a small disclaimer. I’m not a physician, so I can’t give you any medical advice. When you are doing these exercises, make sure that you consult your physician first.
Alright, that was it, let’s have a look at five different yoga poses that stimulate the kidney meridian.
#1 Ankle Stretch
This first position is already an amazing one. And even though it is seen as a yin yoga pose, technically you don’t stay that long in this position.
It’s quite often seen as a counter pose for Fire Toes.
That said, I’m going to see it as a yin pose anyway and I’m going to give you a couple of options to make sure that you can stay in this position for about 2 minutes.
If you’d like to do the full version, here are the instructions:
- Sit in a kneeling position on your mat.
- Put your buttocks on your Heels.
- Place your hands next to your hips onto the mat.
- Now, slowly lift your knees off from the mat.
- You balance on your buttocks.
- If you can, place the hands on top of your knees.
- Bring the knees as high up as you can.
- After 2 minutes come back out of the position.
- On an exhale release the knees back into the mat.
Alright, that sounds easy, right?
Well, it’s not that easy for everyone. This position is considered to be an intermediate asana. If you are just starting out, it might be best to do a different option for this one.
This advice also counts for those who are having some issues with their knee. People who have a knee or ankle injury, better refrain from practicing this position.
Luckily there is also something called the One-Legged Ankle Stretch! This one is better for all of you that aren’t able to practice the full version.
And to be really honest. If you are looking to stay in the position for 2 minutes, it’s better to do an easier option anyway.
Ankle Stretch Option: One-Legged Ankle Stretch
In this asana, you’re actually going to do the exact same thing as you did above here. The only difference is that you’ll be just lifting one leg, instead of both of them!
Of course, don’t forget to switch sides as well!
You can also use this asana as a prep to go into full ankle stretch. But in general, I wouldn’t stay in the full asana for more than a minute.
The one-legged ankle stretch can be done for about two minutes on each side.
#2 Camel Pose
From here on, we can go into the next position, which is camel pose.
Here too, we’ll be having a look as well at a softer version of this backbend.
Even though Camel Pose isn’t seen as an intermediate pose, it can be quite challenging. Therefore, there is also a different option for those who don’t want to go into a deep backbend just yet.
But first, lets have a look at the instructions of full Camel Pose first:
- Come onto your knees, if you want you can put your hips next to a wall.
- Make sure that your hips are aligned with your knees and that your legs and knees are at a 90-degree angle.
- On an inhale you can gently bring your head backward.
- As well as your upper body.
- Make sure that the rest of your body stays in position.
- Bring your hands towards your feet.
- You can decide to take your ankles or keep your arms just relaxed.
- To come out, be careful and gently bring your arms into your kidney area.
- While you support your lower back, come back up.
- Do a counterpose as childs pose.
You can stay in this position for 3 minutes. If that feels like it’s a bit too much, then you can go for 2 minutes. You do have to realize though that you are doing yin, and yin yoga asks for a bit of determination.
If there is a physical reason you have difficulties doing this position, you can go right into the next section:
Camel Pose Option: Half Camel Pose
Yet again, we are going to do the same as the instructions above here.
However, when you are ready to go down, make sure that you put one of your hands into your kidney area. Then bring your other arm up and bend backward.
You’ll notice that you won’t be getting too far into the asana, but that’s alright. You don’t want to go too deep anyway.
On another side note, if you have issues with your back, it’s best not to do this asana after all.
#3 Happy Baby
For this last position, there will be no adjustments!
No worry though, this one isn’t that hard to do anyway. Although, if you have issues with your lower back, you might want to put a blanket underneath your buttocks.
Let’s have a quick look at how you can get into this position:
- lie on your back and bring your legs towards your belly.
- Take your feet with your knees.
- Two options here: you can take the outside of your feet or your two big toes. Remember to take your big toes with your index and middle finger.
- From here, you bring your feet outwards, away from you.
- Your knees are more or less at a 90-degree angle, it can be a bit wider, but not less than 90 degrees.
- Stay here for about 3-5 minutes.
- On an exhale you bring your legs back together towards your belly.
- If you’d like you can stay here for a little while, hugging your knees.
- And then you can lower your legs again.
As I mentioned, no options here. So, these were the three yin yoga poses that are good for your kidney meridian.