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Nourish Your Liver, Spleen and Self Esteem with Yoga - A Step by Step Guide
Your liver, the largest internal organ in your body, is shaped like a football and located under the right side of your rib cage. This amazing gland detoxifies impurities, synthesizes proteins, and produces the biochemicals necessary for digestion. Deep breathing and twisting massage the liver, encouraging self cleansing. In his book "The Path to Holistic Health" world renowned yoga guru BKS Iyengar claims that seated twist pose or Matsyendrasana tones the liver, spleen, pancreas, and kidneys.
Solar Plexus Chakra
The third chakra or solar plexus chakra is located an inch or two above your navel. Physically this chakra is the gateway to our liver, pancreas, and intestines. Emotionally this chakra can strengthen or weaken our sense of personal power. The sanskrit name is Manipura, which means lustrous gem and its associated color is yellow. According to yogajournal.com the manipura chakra is key to our self esteem and empowers self transformation, as well as governs our metabolism and digestive system.
You Will Need
1) Mat or beach towel
2) Pillow or rolled towel (optional)
2) Quiet place
Sit comfortably on your towel or mat. If you have tight hamstrings, place another folded towel or a pillow underneath your tailbone. Inhale and lengthen your spine, exhale and draw your belly in. As you inhale, lengthen your spine and fill your rib cage with air. As you exhale, draw your bellybutton in, tightening your abdominal muscles. Become aware of your breath. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your nose or mouth. It may help to make the breath loud, like wind going through a tunnel.
Extend your left leg out in front of you and bring your right foot to the outside of your left thigh. Inhale and lift your left arm up then exhale and bring your left arm to the outside of your right thigh. Inhale and lengthen your spine then exhale and twist a little more to the left using the left arm on the right thigh as a lever. Stay in Matsyendrasana pose for as long as it feels good. Imagine a yellow light over your belly as you inhale and lengthen, exhale and twist.
Extend your right leg out and bring your left foot to the outside of your right side to repeat Matsyendrasana pose twisting to the right. Your right arm will extend to the outside of your left thigh. Use the same breathing and imagery as in step two and stay in the pose for as long as you like.
Practice Matsyendrasana pose on a regular basis. Expand your practice to include more poses. Head to knee pose and bound angle pose are easy additions for a nice flow. As you become more comfortable with the pose you may want to extend your practice by taking a yoga class supervised by a certified instructor. Always exercise with the approval of your doctor and never stay in a pose that causes you discomfort.