I love the Makka Ho sequence of stretches, they have become an integral part of my day to day living.
The Makka Ho is a series of stretches based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, they are specifically used to both strengthen and tonify organ function. Whist opening, clearing and strengthening the Meridians; the energy pathways throughout the body.
Each meridian is connected to a particular organ, element, season, colour and emotion. They are paired to bring balance through the Yin and Yang, Masculine and Feminine energies, to bring about optimal health and longevity. For example the Stomach Meridian is a yang meridian and is paired with the Spleen yin meridian. It functions with the Spleen Meridian in the assimilation of Qi from food through digestion and absorption.
By practicing this simple sequence daily, for 5 to 10 minutes, we begin to bring our body in a greater sense of balance and harmony, and therefore health and vitality.
As we practise regularly we can learn so much about our vital life force, through the degree of ease, and flexibility we experience in our body and we begin to become more attuned to our emotional landscape, our physical structures and our psychological states, we also begin to notice a subtle flow if energy; as the states of balance, flow, flexibility and strength are revealed to us, helping us to understand our energetic strengths and weaknesses.
I like to think of this series of postures as beneficial to unkinking our energetic hoses. To support us in opening up our energetic channels by placing the physical body in the optimum position to allow the unkinking, or the opening and clearing of these lines of energy within.
If, for example, someone has been suffering from grief, they may find some release through the lung and large intestine meridian to bring nurturing support. The energy of the Liver meridian can often become stagnant if there is anger or frustration present.
I recommend practicing each posture for 10 breaths each ina manner that feels comfortable, so as not to strain.
Please use folded blankets, cushions or blocks if you prefer to support yourself within eaach pose.
You will find as you engage more with this practice that things will become easier, physically, mentally and emotionally.
I do hope you enjoy this simple, effective series of stretches.
Please work within your own comfortable range of movement.
Metal Phase (or Element)
Lung and large Intestine meridians
1. Hook up thumbs and extend index fingers.
3. Exhale as you bend forward from the hip.
4. Extend your arms up, pointing to the sky with your index fingers.
5. In this position, breathe deeply into the abdomen for 10 breaths.
Stomach and Spleen meridians
1. Inhale, relaxing your head back.
2. Exhale as you lift your hips to the sky. Hold this position for 10 full breaths into the abdomen.
3. If you want more of a stretch, you lean on your elbows for another 10 full breaths.
4. To come out of this position: roll your neck and head towards your chest and come up gently on to your extended arms.
5. Sit on your heels and gently fold forward into childs pose for 5 breaths.
Heart and Small Intestine meridians
1. Place the soles of your feet together, relax your knees and hips open. Wrap your hands around your feet or ankles if easier.
3. Exhale and bend forward to a comfortable stretch, hold the position for 10 full breaths.
Kidney and Bladder meridians
Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you.
Exhale and bend forward, lengthening the spine, placing your hands on your shins, ankles or feet.
Hold that position for 10 full breaths.
Secondary Fire Phase
Pericardium and Triple Heater meridians
1. Cross your legs
2. Cross your arms to catch hold of the opposite knee or shoulder.
4. Exhale gently bend forward from the hips, to a comfortable stretch, hold the position for 10 full breaths.
Repeat whole exercise from the beginning, crossing arms and legs in the opposite way.
Liver and Gall Bladder meridians
1. Coming to a wide leg seated position.
2. Exhale and bend sideways to the right, right hand on the ground, bringing the left arm up and over, for 10 breaths.
3. Inhale gently back up.
4. Switch sides as you gently bend sideways to the left, left hand on the ground, right arm sweeping up and over, for 10 breaths.
5. Inhale gently back up.
1. From seated wide leg position, gently inhale.
2. Exhale and bend forward from the hips as you extend arms forward, 10 breaths.
3. Gently inhale back up to the starting position.
To comer out of it, place your hands under your knees to ease your legs together again.
Relax back and enjoy a soothing relaxation, for as long as you like, to integrate your practice.
I'd love to know how you get on with this practice!
Love All Ways,