#28daysofyin Day 12: Here Comes Your Conception Vessel
#28daysofyin and we meet the Conception Vessel meridian (see yesterday’s post for more on its friend the Governor Vessel). If the Governor Vessel is the Yang, the Conception Vessel is the Yin. The Chinese name for this meridian is Ren Mai, Ren meaning ‘direction’ or ‘responsibility,’ Mai meaning ‘vessel’. This meridian has a major role in Qi circulation, keeping an eye on how the Yin channels are running (throw in the Yang Stomach meridian in there too, cos its responsible for it too) and directing their energy. It has a strong relationship with the brain and the heart, and when out of balance can leave us feeling overwhelmed, struggling to find self respect, feeling shyness and shame. The Conception Vessel in balance relates to responsibility for, or fostering of, the process of birth, whether it be that of a child, a creative idea, or a new endeavour. This vessel can increase the Yin energy of the body, harmonising and energising the body. It nourishes the uterus in women - one of the Five Ancestral Organs - and the whole genital system. The Conception Vessel contains both blood and essence (Jing) [to make the babies!] and with the Thrusting Vessel, flows up to the face and around the mouth - in men, there’s more blood than essence so that’s why dudes have beards!! Women lose their blood, thus have less hair. Women lose their Jing through menstruation and birth; men through ejaculation. According to the Chinese the Conception Vessel with the Thrusting Vessel put us in cycles that create major alterations in our lives - every 7 years for women and 8 years for men. Maybe that explains the whole Saturn returns thing - did everyone else find 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 etc big years. And for men? The Conception vessel also controls the distribution of Guardian Qi (see yesterday's post) and fluids all over the abdomen. Our yoga and pranayama practices increases the amount of Qi we are able to store, which also increases our ability to regulate the Yin channels. Win!
Today we are practicing opening up our front body in Camel. I know, I know, it’s a pose many of us struggle with. If it’s really out of the question for you, try repeating #28daysofyin Day 1 (Supported Fish) in order to open the front body. Easy! For those of you intrepid yogis willing to give this one a go, start by coming into Seiza (sitting on your calves and feet, shins on the ground), then stand up on to your knees and either tuck your toes under or keep the tops of the feet on the ground. Take a nice deep breath in, and as you exhale take the hands to the low back, then slide them down the backs of the thighs as you start to bend back. Think about how you’d bend over a high jump bar - reaching up and out, rather than sinking down into your low back. You might just want to stop there, perhaps taking the head back if you feel OK in the neck, and breathe for 2-3 mins and then take a Child’s Pose. If you feel the call to go deeper, try taking a hold of the heels, and keep that upward lift through the front body. A bit of compression is OK. But be mindful, and use your breath to explore your lower back and any tension in the front body and abdomen. Take your head back if it feels good; if it doesn’t, keep facing forward. I used to get really nauseated + emotional in this pose…I can promise it’s worth sticking it out and learning to be with the experience, because it just means you have lots of feelings and that’s a good thing! Acknowledging your heart’s capacity to feel is really powerful medicine. HOWEVER, if you’re not breathing deep and you are really tight in the upper back, that may be causing the nausea, so focus on breathing behind the heart and between the shoulder blades and breathe deep! Stay for 2-3 mins and counterpose with Child’s Pose if you feel it. Maybe even repeat, if you feel the call.
#conceptionvessel #yinyoga #tcm #meridians #yogaforall #yoga #yogaeveryday #yogapose #yogi #camelpose #camel