Look for the signs of an energy rising upwards. Sometimes it is triggered by anger, the unstoppable force for action. Whatever the reason, you feel that it is time to make new projects, live those New Year Resolutions. Such is the power of our wood element.
Wood Element Characteristics
The Season: Spring
Meridians: Liver (Yin)/Gall Bladder (Yang)
The Wood Element looks after our sinews, tendons and ligaments. It makes us decisive and clear when we need to take action.
When we cannot seem to take action, our wood element is congested, which causes our ethereal soul (Hu) to wander, leaving us bereft of clarity, vision and purpose. When we are lost, it shows in our eyes.
Depending upon our constitutional element, our anger response will vary. We can be on the anger spectrum from frustrated to white hot angry. For the earth type, the main source of anger comes from feeling she is not supported or gets no empathy. For Wood types, anger is the primary emotion of his life and lies at the heart of his suffering. They smoulder, embers staying on long after the initial issue that caused the temper.
We have two choices when we feel anger – we can turn the anger outwards towards others, or turn it inward on ourselves. Learning how to civilize these responses is the job of the gall bladder.
Psycho-energetic attributes of Wood
The liver meridian is responsible for sending chi to support all the organs and other meridians. The liver houses our ethereal soul – the soul that is responsible for our dreams and visions. The closest translation is our western concept of a soul. It enters our body after birth and at death leaves through the top of the head. When our body is unhealthy or uncaring, its nature is to wander like a cloud, leaving us bereft of clarity vision and purpose. It resides in our eyes during the day, and rests in the liver at night. Great poses for the liver meridian – butterfly and dragonfly poses.
Learning to manage our anger, as it is inevitable like gas in a bottle of soda, is one of the great gifts of the gall bladder meridian. Got something you can’t seem to move on? Practice yoga poses like shoelace or double pigeon.
Wood Meridian Points for WanderingYogi Yin for Yang Practice
Supreme Rushing – Liver 3
Top of the foot in a large hollow between first and second toes. The master point for treating tendons and ligaments. Any of yoga’s forward folds towards the feet will give you access to this pose.
Qimen Gate of hope
The alarm point for the Liver Meridian and the Sun and Moon, and just below it, the alarm point for the Gall Bladder Meridian. Alarm or Mu points signal to us when our chi is congested or blocked. Always apply gentle massage to Mu points, no strong pressing.
Located in the ribs on the nipple line in the sixth intercostal space and the seventh intercostal space. Access this area in frog pose, and swaying tree pose.
WANDERINGYOGI YIN FOR YANG PRACTICE – WOOD
The WanderingYogi Approach
No yoga practice is complete without using all five elements. Remember to balance your focus with its yielding element. Always start your yoga practice with mother earth poses. Do poses at least twice. If in flow, you don’t have to do both right and left – unless you want to. Smile and enjoy!
- The Zink Yin Starter Kit – exploration of the sensations of the 5 elements
- Heaven and Earth – Left and Right foot, look to the outer ankle bone – gently massage Supreme Rushing.
- Toe pose with Garudasana arms, left and right arms
- Tree Series – Sitting Stump, twisted stump (aka shoelace – hold for 2 minutes), move to standing stump. Switch sides in twisted stump. Up to tree arms moving from side to side (twisting standing tree) Move arms up to sky and move left to right (swaying standing tree) Back down to twisted stump
- Caterpillar series – caterpillar, rolling caterpillar left and right
- Wood Rabbit pose and scratching rabbit
- Warrior 1 and 2 – wood pose
- Deer pose, Snake down a tree, and snake, reverse and repeat.
- Lizard pose, through to monkey king – hold in both poses for at least 2 minutes
- Frog/Toad series – Forward Frog (hold for 2 minutes) to sideways frog (hold for less time), Sleeping toad – legs bent, head forward arms flat on the ground
- Wood Pigeon series – Pigeon, Rolling pigeon, Water Pigeon – active access to Qimen Gate of Hope
- Bear Series- Bear to Pawing Bear, move to cat, reverse and repeat, move to Rolling Panda
- Melting Heart pose (hold for 2 minutes) – gentle expansive passive pressure on Qimen Gate of Hope
- Shrimp or snail Pose – (hold for 3 minutes) – compression of Qimen Gate of Hope
- Heaven and Earth– Chinese 5 star savasana.