Spring is a wonderful time for cleansing and balancing body, mind and soul: for shedding the winter heaviness and accessing the dormant energies we kept within over the colder months. The liver – a major detoxifying organ and one of the most complex and indispensable organs of the body – is dominant in this season. It plays a crucial role in the digestive process, keeping the blood clean and the hormones balanced. Yet, it is as much involved in digesting food as it is in processing emotions. Energetically speaking, undigested, stagnant emotions are stored in the liver and in Chinese Medicine it is therefore also referred to “the sea of emotions”. Most notably, it stores anger. When it functions at its optimum, on the other hand, we feel calm, balanced, patient, light, serene and energetic.
Yoga is an efficient tool to achieve this state – especially any pose that compresses the right side of the body has a cleansing effect on the liver, resulting in healthier blood, well-functioning glands and balanced emotions.
From a yogic anatomy perspective, the liver is part of the third chakra: the energy centre associated with willpower, commitment, self-esteem and identity. When our third chakra is unbalanced, anger can rule our life, we refuse our own wishes and emotions and problems with digestion occur. When nurtured and balanced, however, the energy stored in this centre can turn into just the right amount of courage and self-reliance to change what we need to change in order to grow. A strong third chakra makes us live by the maxim “Yes, I can and I will!” Just the kind of drive we need at this time of year.