Liver & Gall Bladder – How to Work this Energy in Yin (and why you’d want to)

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Today on the blog, we’re having a chat about our Liver & Gall Bladder energy lines.

But first, a recap on our MERIDIANS (or: energy lines) in general:

Our meridians are energetic rivers that run through our body. They carry blood, QI & other information through our entire body and link up with each of our organs. These meridians transmit & transport energy to the organs they are directly connected to and well, everywhere else, because everything is connected.

Want to know more about meridians? Click here.

Our liver and gall bladder meridians are a yin/yang pair. The liver is the YIN organ and the gall bladder is the YANG organ. The energy line associated with the liver is more hidden away, running through the deep front line of fascia and the gall bladder is more ‘visible’ running through the lateral lines of fascia. This means that these meridians are unique as a pair, because they are the only pair where each can be stretched independently of the other. We associate the word ‘spreading’ with this pair because you literally need to spread the body in some way to get to the liver line. Plus, being associated with the wood element, spreading seems an appropriate term.

Alright, let’s look at the Liver and what it does first:

Our liver is located on the right side of our body and kind of wraps around front to back just beneath the rib cage. The liver is associated with detox and it filters all of our blood, storing it to be released when we need it. It stores vitamins A, D, K, B12, plus minerals & glycogen – which is a stored form of glucose that we haven’t needed (yet) for energy. Our liver produces bile (does the word ‘bile’ gross anyone else out, or is that just me?), which is used for fat absorption.

Next, the Gall Bladder:

Our gall bladder is just under the liver and is a small sac that holds the bile that is created in our liver. Bile, as I mentioned a moment ago, is used in digestion and for fat absorption. Fun.

Together, our liver & gall bladder share the same energetic & mental qualities relating to balance & imbalance, so we’ll discuss them together from here.

Energetically, or practically, our liver handles flexibility, change and adaptation. When balanced, here and in the gall bladder, we are also quicker to return to some kind of ‘centre’ after a shock or change. The liver makes the plans and the gall bladder is the decision-maker for the entire body.

An imbalance within the energy of our liver & gall bladder can lead to:

· Anger, rage, irregular emotions

· Awkward social behaviour

· Annoyance, irritation, feeling stuck, making rash decisions

· Hesitancy, timidness, depression

Balance here can feel like:

· An easy-going inner environment – that can easily co-ordinate & distribute QI

· Balanced emotion

· Healthy muscles, tendons, nails, feet & eyes

· Peaceful feelings

· Easy to forgive

· Kindness to self & others

Basically, when we’re feeling an imbalance in these energy lines we are more likely to feel anger, and we are more likely to repress that anger which will then lock down our throat more than any other emotion. When we are balanced, we are able to handle responsibility and we are kinder to ourselves and our experiences.

Now, how do we access this energy and get it flowing in a yin yoga practice?

As I mentioned earlier, in order to access the liver line we must spread the body. So poses like dragonfly, deer, butterfly, frog and outrigger are AMAZING because they allow us to access the inner line of the legs. For the gall bladder line, it’s like looking at the exact opposite – the outer line of our body. I LOVE poses like shoelace, mermaid & banana pose. If you’re not sure what these are, it’s all good. Just head to my yin yoga pose library here.

I love practicing liver/gall bladder classes. They are associated with spring, wood and growth and so I often find a feeling of hope when I work with this energy. It’s a delight.

Happy practicing, happy learning! See you here again real soon 🌿❤

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