In his book, “Meridian Exercises for Self-Healing,” Ilchi Lee comments “Meridian exercise is one of the most effective self-health management skills.” He adds, “Meridian exercise is basic Dahn Yoga training as well as a comprehensive health regimen that enriches the spirit while bringing health to body and mind.”
So, what is Meridian Exercise?
You will encounter Meridian Exercises as part of almost any Dahn Yoga class. Many of these exercises resemble other kinds of stretches, and without an explanation as to what you are trying to achieve with a particular stretch or move, you might not even realize that you are doing Meridian Exercises!
Dahn Yoga exercise combines tapping for stimulating and opening meridian points, rotating motions to loosen joints, shaking and vibration to release stagnant energy along with twisting and squeezing to move energy within the body. Stagnant energy is that which has accumulated along the meridian paths and may be contributing to stiffness, achiness and other symptoms.
Similar to the way blood flows through our vessels and lymph fluid flows through our lymph system, meridian pathways allow “Ki” energy to circulate through our body. It is points along these pathways that acupuncturists use to facilitate healing.
When stagnant energy accumulates in meridian points, pain is felt. Often, the locations of areas of muscle or skin where pain is experienced are consistent with meridians and meridian points and can be associated with tissues or internal organs that are experiencing disorders.
In short, Meridian Exercises help activate and circulate the body’s energy.
How can understanding Meridian Exercise improve your practice and your results?
Meridian Exercises combine movement, breath, and consciousness for maximum effectiveness. The movements help center your mind and your body, enhancing your awareness and making it easier to feel “Ki” energy, an essential component of Dahn Yoga training.
“Dahn Yoga” means “energy yoga,” and Meridian Exercises are just one part of this energy practice. Through classes you will also become familiar with energy breathing and energy meditation and begin to experience and understand the human energy system more deeply.
For example, Meridian Exercises enable you to stay centered, grounded and energized by promoting a key principle known as “Water Up, Fire Down.” In this state, hot “fire” energy moves down the front of your body into your lower belly, gathering in the energy center known as the Dahnjon. At the same time, cool “water” energy travels up your back and cools your head.
The understanding of energy and meridians is a very important part of Dahn Yoga practice. Meridian Exercises warm the body and release tension, increase flexibility and strength and stimulate the circulation of blood and energy and the release of toxins. Meridian Exercises are performed with ever-growing understanding of energy flow in the human body together with movement, focusing on the breath, and consciousness. Together, this leads to improved results and a more calm and centered way of being in the world.