This past month I have been teaching and exploring the endocrine system. One thing I appreciate very much is that each system highlights a completely different quality of my being. I observe differences in my movement and breath options, as well as my state of mind. I can see these differences reflected in my student’s bodies from week to week as we dive into various systems.
Sometimes a particular part of the body needs or wants attention, and that was very true for me as I explored my kidneys and adrenal glands this past week.
I was feeling really tired and could feel the weight of inertia sinking in. So, I filled up a water balloon with warm water and started to hold it and live with this warm, weighted, cozy, and highly responsive object close to my body. I walked around the house with the warm balloon held in my hands or tucked in my shirt or pants when I needed my hands, just kept it near me as I went about my morning. And, surprisingly, the balloon did not create a stronger sense of weight and inertia in my body which is why I was drawn to it in the first place, but it began to nourish me with the opposite quality. My body began to feel light, buoyant and resilient. I began to feel the conversation with the downward pull of gravity and the upward force of levity. I became a conduit between heaven and earth, and my tissues began to feel their own sense of choice and agency. Now, this response doesn’t always happen to me which was why I was surprised by the effect. Often, the balloon helps me remember to slow down, rest and yield more deeply, which I also need to remember. This past week, I could feel my kidneys and adrenal glands, that sit like a cap on top of the kidneys, being this wonderful gateway between the flow of energy moving up and down through my body, as opposed to a place that often holds or is congested.
You never know what you will feel until you start inquiring.
If you have ever wondered what your kidneys might want to teach you, keep reading on and let’s explore a little further.
Take a moment and place your attention on your kidneys…
Here is a brief description of where the paired organs of your kidneys generally live in the body. About the size of a large fist, 4-5 inches, shaped like a bean, the right kidney is a little higher than the left kidney because of the fatty liver taking up more space on the right. They live on either side of the spine, in front of the 11thand 12thribs in the back of the body (the last two ribs at the bottom of your rib cage), and behind the level of the pancreas, stomach, and liver intersection in the front.
Sit comfortably on a chair or on the floor. Take your hands and rub them together until you have created some warmth and sensitivity in the skin and cells of your hands.
Place your hands on the back of your body, about the level of the 11thand 12thrib, and just let your hands meet the skin over your kidneys. Begin to breathe into your hands, into your kidneys and also begin to breathe from your kidneys. How do your kidneys respond to this recognition of their existence?
Give a thoughtful jiggle to the place in which you are touching as if you are jiggling a water balloon gently. Do your kidneys want to move? Organs can slide, glide, give weight, roll and pour, and so much more.
Try sliding one kidney up while the other glides down, initiating this movement from the kidneys, allowing subsequent subtle shifting of the spine and ribs according to the desire of the kidneys. Try moving one kidney forward and the other back, so a different rotation in your spine is being initiated by your kidneys. Is there any other movement that your kidneys want to express or explore? What movement in your body wants to be initiated when the movement stems from this attention to your kidneys?
To further awaken this relationship to your kidneys, try humming or sounding from and into your kidneys. Is there anything else your kidneys want to express to you or reveal to you? Follow the impulses that arise as you tap into your kidneys.
And, then release your hands and sit quietly for a moment. What do you notice? Can you still feel the warmth and impression of your hands on your back? What is the quality of your mind? Any change in your breath or awareness after spending a little time with your kidneys and adrenal caps?