Have you ever noticed you’re prone to certain health issues at certain times of the year?
Spring hay fever is the perfect example of this.
For those of us now in summer, you may be noticing you’re experiencing some or all of the following challenges:
-Shoulder tension (including frozen shoulder)
-Low immunity (hello summer colds and flu)
The good news is summer’s also the BEST time of year to support your body to move beyond these issues with seasonal, Japanese yoga.
Not in summer right now but still feeling those symptoms?
No worries – you can remedy these health challenges any time of year with the tools I’m about to share.
Japanese yoga is a seasonal, meridian based yoga style which draws on Zen shiatsu, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Macrobiotic approaches.
According to this wisdom, each season has different meridians that come to the fore.
And summer is the season belonging to small intestine, heart, heart constrictor (also called pericardium) and triple heater meridians.
Each meridian has its own properties, qualities and idiosyncrasies when out of balance.
Today we’ll spotlight the small intestine meridian, where neck and shoulder issues tend to manifest.
You can see in the picture below the small intestine meridian runs along all the big muscles of the body and around the neck and shoulders in the unbroken line (the broken line is the heart meridian).
Symptoms your small intestine meridian might be blocked or a little out of whack include:
(KYO*) lack of thinking/dull thoughts, lack of strength /no sense of power within, neck and shoulder pain/weakness, inability to digest, anaemia, candida, allergies
(JITSU**) mad/crazy, over-thinking, obsessive (eg hobbies taking over your life), stiff neck, superhuman strength, frozen shoulder.
Signs of small intestine meridian imbalance tend to first appear around the neck and shoulders – if you’ve got issues here this could be a meridian for you to explore and make friends with:-)
Japanese yoga takes a holistic approach to supporting any physical or emotional imbalances, including combining seasonal wholefood choices with specific yoga movements.
For example, the small intestine meridian is particularly sensitive to cold.
Therefore eating lots of cold, raw foods can actually lead to problems in the small intestine.
In Japanese yoga classes, summer is when we do the most poses to support these imbalances.
This pose works mostly into the small intestine meridian – the ‘big and grunty’ muscles of the body (buttocks, backs, thighs).
(Usually the eyes would be facing downwards and the back of the neck long so there’s no strain)
Although not specifically targeting the neck and shoulders, you can expect some relief throughout the whole body.
It’s also common to feel more creative, joyful, communicative and powerful after this pose:-)
To find out Japanese yoga class details, check out the schedule here (your first class is always free)
*KYO + **JITSU: Meridians are like a river of energy- they begin at a specific point in the body and flow down or up (depending on the meridian) to another point .
When the ‘river’ (ie meridian) is dammed and blocked, two things can happen:
Whether KYO or JITSU, it represents an imbalance/ blockage in the body and can lead to pain and illness if left untreated.