The Dahn Yoga Water Up, Fire Down principle is comprised of two elements: fire and water. Through specific poses and breathing exercises, you can balance both elements for optimal health.
In Part 1, Fire Management
, we discussed how this series of poses pulls heat downward from the head to the abdomen, or lower Dahn jon, where it accumulates and fuels circulation. Here we will explain the second aspect, sending cooling water energy upward, to the head, or upper Dahn jon.
While each pose disperses or accumulates heat, they also draw water energy from the kidneys and circulate its cooling energy to your upper body and head.
While all the poses in the Water Up, Fire Down sequence act synergistically to stimulate the circulation of and regulate fire and water elements, relaxation poses specifically cool down the body. Relaxation and Accumulation postures that open the hips and release the lower back, for example, also put natural pressure on the meridian points behind the kidneys, releasing cooling water energy.
Combined with Jung Choong breathing, relaxation and modified accumulation poses are an effective, restorative way to get in balance with yourself, the elements and even the Earth.
Water energy generates from the kidneys which correlate to the Second Chakra. The Second Chakra corresponds to all things watery—circulation, urination, tears, orgasm and emotions—and also corresponds to the bladder, uterus, sacrum, hips and lower back.
Here are some poses to keep you in the flow of life and circulating healthy water energy.
3 Poses to Balance Your Water Energy
‘Shrimp’ Posture Sequence
This pose, which in its set up stage resembles a shrimp, is a leg lift and a variation on the heat generating Sleeping Tiger. It stimulates the points behind the kidneys that generates cool water energy, going up the Governor meridian to the head, then flowing down the front of the body to the Conception meridian.
Lie on your back and raise both legs straight into the air, placing your hands on your lower belly (lower Dahn jon) and flexing your feet. Hold this pose for several breaths with your eyes gently closed.
Exhaling, lower your legs to the floor. Then, on the inhale, while still keeping your hands placed on your belly, bring your legs up to a 90-degree angle, hold for one second, then repeat the cycle 10-20 times. For a core-strengthening variation, on the exhale bring your heels to within one inch off the floor, hold for one second before raising your legs again.
*Caution: To avoid injury, do not let your legs drop to the floor too fast or strike the floor too hard.
Similar to Sivasana, you can lay on the floor with legs straight out, or you can cross your legs into lotus or half lotus position to keep accumulated energy from draining away.
The benefits of balanced water energy and a ‘cool’ head can include fewer headaches, clearer thinking, better concentration, a lighthearted attitude and even a brighter outlook on life.