Overindulged at Christmas? A nourishing yin yoga practice for stomach and spleen

In Eastern medicine (think Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine), health is maintained by keeping the energy channels (or meridians) in the body free from blockages or problems. There are twelve ‘meridians’ in the body, with each of these meridians associated with a particular organ.

One way of unblocking these channels can be things such as acupuncture or sound healing, but another can be the long holds associated with yin yoga. The stretches into the deep connective tissues within the body can be linked to various of the meridian channels and their associated organs.

This practice is an abbreviated version of a practice taught by Yin Yoga teacher Amanda Wright and focuses on the meridians linked to the stomach and spleen. Working on the stomach meridian is thought to help with digestion and can be invigorating for the body. The work on the spleen meridian can be energising and rejuvenating – just what we need after Christmas and New Year!

The below sequence will take about 60 minutes plus 10 minutes at the end for final relaxation in savasana. You can shorten it by reducing some of the 5 minute holds to 3 minutes.

Wide knee childs' pose

Wide knee childs’ pose (5 minutes)

Nourishing the spleen meridian along the inner legs

Dragon pose (5 minutes each side)

Affecting the Stomach and spleen meridians through the thighs


Sleeping Swan (5 minutes each side)

Inner and upper thigh area stretch, creating nourishment for stomach and spleen meridians

Sleeping swan

Pulling the Cat’s Tail (5 minutes each side)

Thigh stretch to continue nourishment of stomach and spleen

Frog (5 minutes)

Stimulates the spleen meridian through the inner knee area

Dragonfly (5 minutes)

A final stretch into the thighs for nourishing the spleen and stomach meridians that pass through this area

Revolved belly twist (5 minutes each side)

Twisting helps nourish the spleen and compresses the stomach, massaging the inner organs through the breath and twisting effects.

Revolved Belly Twist

Savasana – final relaxation (10 minutes)

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