Who needs a Doctor?
Well, maybe after a car crash or a tumble down a mountain or when your partner poisons your porridge you might want some Modern Medical assistance. Most of the time though, the great healing powers of Yoga can deal with all the aches and pains and the bumps and lumps of your life. Those terrible Symptoms of illness like coughs and colds and sore throats are quite easy to shift with a twist and a turn. Aches, pains, nausea and anxiety can be stretched out of existence. Stiffness, bloating, panic or depression can change to flexibility, litheness, calm and reassurance. And lead you into a better life.
Symptoms aren’t your enemy. Symptoms are your ‘guides’ to better living. They tell you when you’ve gone off track, lost your Way, when you’re not quite on your life’s Path. Why else would you get sick? When you read your symptoms correctly you can turn all your weaknesses into strengths. The only difficulty is reading them. But there is a system. And it’s very simple: The Meridian system.
An old teacher of mine once said, … all illness comes from habit. I thought about that a lot, like some koan or puzzle to solve. It sounded like that old adage, “we are what we eat”, but much, much bigger: “We are what we eat as well as what we do”. Yes, and that means that we can change how we are by changing what we eat and what we do. So, don’t just ignore symptoms or cover them up with an analgesic or paracetamol, read them well and explore them through the deep wisdom of Yoga and your body.
Good health and the Theory of Everything!
The simple system of health in Eastern Medicine is this: There are 12 Meridians or channels that carry Ki (qi, chi or prana) throughout your body to make everything function the way it was designed. When the Ki flows evenly it all works well. When the flow is weak or blocked however, things start to malfunction and the ‘symptoms’ of illness tell you there’s something wrong.
Fixing Sore Throats and Colds with Yoga
Yes, let’s start with something simple. Sore throats and Colds come from your bad habits – mostly what you eat – that affect your Stomach meridian and your Large Intestine and Lung meridians. Your symptoms and poor health can be fixed by not eating those bad things and following a few simple variations on traditional asanas:
Always warm up your lower back (because it is the foundation of your whole life and your confidence) by this variation on Bow Pose:
Lie on your belly without arms outstretched.
Lift one arm and the opposite leg as you arch up.
Breathe out as you lift and make an effort
Repeat the other side and repeat x 12
The Stomach Meridian deals with sore throats because it runs down your face and through your throat and then through your nipple, your belly and the front of your legs all the way down to your 2nd biggest toe. It governs the whole front of your body. So, stretch it!
Up Dog Pose (opens the line of flow)
Place your hands by your chest, feet together
Push slowly up at the front as you exhale and stretch the throat like a howling dog
Stay here and breath out as you look to one side to then the other
Feel where the sore throat is on the turn and stay there and belly breathe x8 breaths
Return to the centre
Arch your back into Angry Cat pose (for healing time)
Breathe here to let your back rest for x8 breaths
Then kneel back
Rooster pose (stretches the Stomach line further)
Kneeling, place your hands behind your feet facing forwards
Push your hips up several times
Stay up and breathe in
Exhale as you lean your head back and breathe there x 4
Turn your head to look at your hands side to side x 4
Return to centre as you breathe in, then push your chest higher and head back to the end of the breath and hold for 2 counts
Release into Child’s Pose for rest (and more healing)
These above poses release the blockage in the throat. Now you need to strengthen the line of stretch with the opposite pose:
Hairpin pose (builds Ki in the meridian):
Lie on your back and bend your knees up
Straighten your legs into the vertical and lift your arms up parallel
Breathe in and tighten the mulabunda, the area between the sitting bones
Exhale to the end of the breath and reach up past your toes and as you push your toes higher
Repeat this step, up/down, several times until it burns in the belly
Rest is Pose of the Dead (savasana)
The rest is important to the healing and you should breathe evenly until the body feels settled.
Your throat will feel better and will continue to improve throughout the day. This sequence takes less than 10 minutes. If you repeat it each day (or every 2nd day) for 2 weeks the Stomach line will strengthen and many things will improve in your life: more awareness, better absorption, healthier breasts and menses and a better rhythm in your day.
And the Yoga of Good Food?
If you eat well for a few days, you will feel much improved and if you eat well for 2 weeks you will feel superhuman!
The problem foods for the Stomach Meridian are:
Very cold foods from the fridge
Very sweet foods like chocolate and mangoes and bananas
Eating late in the day and eating on the run is terrible
The good healing foods for the Stomach Meridian are:
Vegetable and beans Soups and Stews
Sweet vegetables – pumpkin, carrot, corn, cooked onion, etc.
Grated apple and let it go brown to form pectin – very soothing
Over-boiled rice with a pinch of sea salt to make a mushy cream – invalid food
Well, bugger me! We’ve run out of time. We’ve covered sore throat well and truly but haven’t got to colds yet. We’ll have to relieve your ‘Common Cold’ symptoms (and any heaviness, bowel problems, difficulty making decisions and other things) in the next issue of Sportsocratic as we ‘stretch the truth’.
Note from Socrates: Sportsocratic.com and Socrates don’t have any medical expertise or training and cannot speak with authority on the matters raised in this article nor make any recommendations to readers in relation to them. That being said, we have enormous respect for Jack’s training and knowledge and suggest that his life and lifestyle present a wonderful role-model for healthy lives. We wouldn’t publish his work if we didn’t think he was a seriously brilliant dude!