MERIDIAN: Heart & Small Intestine
SENSE: Speech & Touch
EMOTION: Balancing = Inspiration, Joy. Challenging = Anxiety, panic, overwhelm
It’s a joy to come into the summer months and have such a prolonged spell of warm sunny days and the long days giving us chance to take in all that light and warmth! It’s also not really the time to be sitting at a computer, but luckily, my desk overlooks my beautiful front garden with greenhouse, pond and small paddock for my hens to free range – they are happy hens right now. We have an automatic door opener on their hen house – so as soon as its light – it opens – and they are free to roam – more time out in the paddock – more time to forage and that translates into more eggs! So, need to stop watching the hens and get down to this blog to give you a flavour of the energies of summer.
So, June-July-August is when we engage in the Summer practices, the quality of which is FIRE. The archetypal image of this element is the hearth fire, from prehistoric times, the human discovery of fire provided a central source of warmth, light, a place for cooking and a means of protection. The tribe gathered around the fire which engendered community and social contact. Even as humans began to settle into villages and live in houses, the hearth fire became the central focus of the home. Maybe few of us have indoor fires, but there is always an irresistible drawn to campfires and bonfires. Ultimately, all fires originate from the sun, the biggest, brightest and hottest fire in our world. All fuel for earthly fires originates from the energy of the sun, trapped and stored in the trees.
Fire is the most Yang of the elements exhibiting qualities of heat, bright, expansive, active.
The two main meridians related to fire is HEART & SMALL INTESTINE. However, there are 4 organs and meridians associated with it instead of the usual two: The Heart Protector (Pericardium) which takes the shocks, hurts, and betrayals of life; and Triple Heater which regulates the body’s internal environment = homeostasis.
Qualities of the HEART Meridian
*has its own nervous system
* has strong decision-making capacity - makes decision before the brain
*has its own intelligence – constantly deciding what nutrients are good for us and what to discard
*electromagnetic field generated by the heart is biggest in body – radiates as much as 15’ out
*its radiance spreads out into every cell and expresses itself in creativity, interactions and capacity for communications
*supreme manager, overseeing all the workings of body mind
*its energy inextricably linked with the life principle, as its rhythm is our life giver
The qualities of the SMALL INTESTINE Meridian
*most extensive part of digestion takes place
*where we sort out what’s important and what’s not
ENERGETIC QUALITIES for H+SI
Rules the blood
Blood is the YIN aspect of CHI
CHI gives up capacity to respond; blood gives us ability to be comfortable and be still
Out of balance = poor circulation, cold hands/feet, hot flashes, heartburn, digestive problems, varicose veins, hemorrhoids or heart disease
Connected to our sense of TASTE and corresponds to the tongue
The fire element is the one we make the call on a million situations day after day. This element is also home to the trickiest energy system in the body, the Triple Warmer (sometimes called the triple heater).
TRIPLE WARMER ENERGY SYSTEM
The Triple Warmer is a complex and dynamic energy system, just one of the 9 energy systems that functions in our bodies. In addition to feeding the ADRENALS and THYROID, it governs 3 cavities of the torso called the Three Burners which help them function in a web like harmony:
***Low burner at the reproductive organs;
***middle is digestive organs;
***upper is heart/lungs.
It governs many immune activities along with the Fight-Flight-Freeze response, therefore an enormous amount of control over body, releasing power chemicals & hormones. If they aren’t fully used up for the FFF response, they cause a continual breakdown in the body’s ability to return to a neutral relaxation response, the required state for the body to heal & repair & thrive.
The Psychology of Fire
Fire is the element that makes us feel the most exalted in our lives, it is where the element of love, joy and inspiration live. We do need fire in our lives but as always, a balance, a slow burn, so we don’t burn out. So, practices that balance us away from ANXIETY-PANIC towards INSPIRATION-JOY, felt from the heart centre.
The Physiology of Fire
In this summer series of classes, we choose Fire poses (Asanas) that stimulate the fire energies such as extensions, inversions, heart openers & core work. The Heart & Small Intestine meridians influences the choice of practices. In addition, the digestive fire (Agni) is extremely important. According to Ayurveda (Science of Life & sister science to Yoga), is the key to overall health when it is balanced and contained in the belly. We also temper this with some cooling, calming Yin practices – especially if the heat is on!
A fire in a fireplace, or a candle, offers heat, light and warmth, while a wildfire ripping through forest is destructive. They key for handling wildfires is to bring it into a controlled burning. This is our personal goal with our inner fire, to increase its strength/power so we have ‘fire in our belly’ contained. Then our digestive fire is ignited, our solar energy is increased, and our personal power strengthened.
When this solar centre is strong, we can then ignite the next energy centre of the heart – fire bridges the two. When the fire energies have ignited the heart, we are open to love. The strength and love we build helps us to withstand the challenges and difficulties in daily life, including loss. To love and to lose and to maintain your equanimity and resilience requires an open and strong heart.
I hope you can join us for the expansive, loving, heart-oriented elements of fire.
Be Kind to Yourself