Deep fatigue is a strange creature: It can manifest as wired overstimulation, in that the body seemingly forgets how to relax; conversely, you may feel as if you can barely speak or think, much less move. In either case, the pranic pendulum in the body has swung too far to one side, and a re-centering and -balancing is required.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the organs primarily responsible for the supply of energy are the Kidney and Spleen. The Kidney holds our energy stores—the qi essence; when imbalanced or deficient, tiredness or weakness overwhelm us. And an imbalanced Spleen will result in the body’s inability to gather and distribute qi evenly throughout the system. 

In order to bounce back from exhaustion, you need to reawaken and stimulate Kidney and Spleen energy. To begin, come into Baby Pose (sitting on your heels, forehead on the floor, hands by your feet, palms up). This simple posture eases open the low back, thus paving the way for Kidney energy to move; additionally, the Bladder meridian—Kidney’s partner, and which travels through the back body—receives a good stretch, thus facilitating the flow of qi (energy or prana) throughout the body.

Breathe deeply, in and out through your nose, for 1-3 minutes in Baby Pose. Then, make cups of your hands, and begin lightly thumping your low back for another minute or so.

Now, sit up and slide forward onto your forearms, elbows beneath the shoulders; your bottom will lift off of the feet, so that your hips are aligned above your knees. Begin a smooth rocking motion back and forth; allow your shoulders to rock forward of the elbows, and then rock back so that the hips move behind the knees. Inhale as you rock forward, exhale back. Be aware of your head and neck; aim to keep them aligned with the spine, as the head will want to droop. Gently, rhythmically continue this fluid rocking for 1-3 minutes, further stimulating the Kidneys.

 Next, slide all the way onto your belly, legs on the floor behind you. Place the back of your right hand on your low back, palm up, fingers in Gyan Mudra (index finger touching thumb tip). Bend your right leg at the knee, and with your left hand, reach back and hold the right ankle; you can grab your pant leg if you have trouble reaching as far as the ankle. Lift the right leg off the floor as best you can, and breathe deeply for 1-3 minutes; allow your head to remain on the floor. Then switch to the other side for another 1-3 minutes: left hand on lower back with the mudra; right hand holding and raising the left leg.

After you have awakened and stimulated the Kidney in this way, come into a cross-legged position. (If you can manage Full or Half Lotus, enter that posture.) Next, hold your elbows with their opposite hand; with your arms across your torso in this way, lean back about 30 degrees. Breathe deeply for 1-3 minutes. This pose puts pressure on the abdominal region, which sparks Spleen’s partner, Stomach: The awakened belly acts like an alarm clock for Spleen, reminding it of the need for more activity.

Finally, sit in your most comfortable aligned position. Place your palms on your side waist, just under your rib cage on each side. Inhale deeply and suspend the breath for about 10 seconds; exhale quickly and powerfully with Cannon Breath through an O-shaped mouth. Repeat 2 more times, then allow yourself to lie on your back in svasana; feel the shift of energy as qi begins to move more steadily through your system. 

Happy Sunday…

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