You Only Liver Once
You Only Liver Once
BY : LYDIA NEUBAUER
so liver you best life...
Finally, the long winter is over and spring is upon us. For many in colder regions, it’s the end of hibernation and return to the wild world. Moving into a more extraversive season, it is important to feel confident. This season allows us to watch the seeds we’ve planted over the winter, begin to sprout. More specifically, personal projects, work projects, and/or any overarching goals you have for yourself. It’s a time for creating and developing. To be successful, we must feel strong and healthy in our bodies. When our bodily systems run smoothly, so does everyday life.
In Chinese medicine, the liver is the organ associated with springtime. It’s our biggest internal organ. Playing a crucial role in our overall health, the liver’s primary purpose is to filter. The good stuff is distributed throughout the rest of the body and the bad stuff is broken down in the liver to be eliminated. Being considerate of what you’re putting into your body is crucial for liver health because it’s a key component to our digestive system. Like all circumstances, staying hydrated is key to the liver.
As the weather warms up, a myriad of fresh green vegetables become available that aid in liver function, like broccoli, artichokes, and peas. Cold pressed organic olive oil, oatmeal, and avocados are also very helpful in maintaining liver health. Even though rosé season is upon us, limiting your intake of alcohol helps maintain liver health greatly. Herbal teas like milk thistle, dandelion and licorice are incredibly supportive for liver function.
This crucial organ is well protected by the ribs, diaphragm and stomach. The bodily tissue associated with the liver are the tendons, muscles and ligaments. Practicing some light yoga to stretch and strengthen your body is very beneficial during this time of the year.
Lay on your back, bend your knees and plant your feet on the ground far enough so your finger tips touch your heels. Grounding down through your feet, inhale your hips up bringing your back into the air. On the exhale, slowly release your spine to the ground feeling each vertebrae set back down your hips releasing last. Continue moving on the inhale and exhale for ten breaths.
A bit more of a dynamic stretch, come onto your right knee placing your calf and foot long behind you. Place your left leg out perpendicular to you with your foot grounding down on the outer edge to help with stability. Inhale your right arm up into the air and fold toward the extended leg feeling the stretch all along your right side. Then on the exhale release your right hand down the ground and left arm over your left ear for the counter stretch. Move on one side for ten breathes, release and switch to the other side.
Twists naturally wring out our organs. Any variation of a twist is very effective and cleansing for the liver. Sit on your seat comfortably with both sit bones rooted down. Bring the sole of your right foot outside your left thigh. Hug your right leg with your right arm as you twist to the left gazing over your left shoulder. Hold for ten breaths then switch sides.
Laying on your stomach, place your hands firmly underneath your shoulders. Inhale your head, chest, torso and legs up into the air pressing down onto the tops of your feet. As you reach your chest forward you will begin to move into a backbend. On the exhale, slowly release your legs, torso, chest releasing your neck and head to the ground last. Like a wave, move with your breath up and down for five breaths. Pause for a moment and repeat four more times. Classic downward facing dog is also very effective.