Lying on my mat after a particularly spectacular yoga class, I found myself feeling like one thing was missing. I felt open, euphoric, and peaceful all at the same time. What was missing was a lack of direction for all this new found energy. I needed a killer acupuncture treatment. Then it dawned on me…
Yoga and acupuncture are like almond butter and jelly on gluten-free bread.
They belong together. Almond butter alone is great but jelly makes it fantastic. And the gluten free bread is just a vessel to hold all of this greatness.
Then it got me thinking…I know its common to see yoga and acupuncture positioned together as they both get grouped into “alternative therapy” but why do they work so well together?
First the Almond Butter
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory (TCM), there are 14 meridians, (I like to think of them as internal freeways) which run through the body, transporting energy which is essential for our bodies to function. These meridians have hundreds of acupuncture points located along the meridians. By stimulating these acupuncture points with acupuncture needles, an acupuncturist can direct this flow of energy back to the body’s core. This essential energy rushes to the body’s core, nourishing the organs, glands and spinal nerves. The more energy flowing in the meridians, the greater our body’s capacity to heal itself.
Then the Jelly
Yoga is a series of poses which prepare your body for Shavasana: the final resting meditation pose. Yoga increases the flexibility of muscles and connective tissue while also stretching and widening the meridians. By stretching and opening these energy passageways, you are increasing the meridian’s energetic volume and speed at which it flows.
At the end of a yoga class, do you notice an increased openness in your body, a feeling of overall calm or even euphoria? This is the feeling of unobstructed energy flowing through your meridians.
I like to think of yoga like the widening of a river and acupuncture as removing a dam in the river. While widening the river will increase the force and volume of the water, the damn is the gate-keeper, which will direct this new found energy where to go. Combining these two therapies maximizes your body’s natural ability to heal itself.
And Here’s the Gluten Free Bread
If you would like to experience this almond butter and jelly goodness for yourself (and I highly recommend you do!) check out one of my workshops or retreats where I combine these two awesome modalities. Yoga + Acupuncture workshops are currently offered on a monthly basis in different yoga studios in the community. The Well Woman Acupuncture + Yoga Retreat is happening this January in Santa Margarita, CA.
Michelle Hamilton L.Ac.