What Are Meridians??
Meridians are energy pathways within the body that carry the flow of vital, life-force energy, otherwise known as Chi. Meridians and Chi are terms taken from Chinese medicine but in ancient India these invisible pathways were know as nadis and the energy as Prana.
In modern terms these lines of energy can be thought of as fascia & connective tissues. There is a huge network of these energy lines which are invisible to the naked eye, full of tiny energy centres which send signals to the brain, and to the other connecting organs. They also flow through our muscles, tissues and bones. Fascia surrounds, & protects our organs like big netted bags and connects different organ pairs in big lines of interconnected webbing.
Another way to visualise these lines is to picture them like a road map inside the body. There are tiny little country roads, secondary roads, main roads and then big motorways. The meridians connecting the organ pairs (above in the diagram) are the big motorways. Along the way are villages and towns (chakras, energy centres) all connected with chi energy (light) but sometimes there can be traffic jams, obstacles or damaged roads (scar tissue, inflammation, tension etc) which prevents the chi (light) from flowing and getting through. During our Yin Yoga practice we gently stress these lines, creating space and re-energising them, clearing the blockages and letting the energy flow freely. Once energy is flowing it clears any stagnant, toxic and negative energies that have been stuck and re-energises the body with fresh cleansing, re-vitalising energy.
So on a physical level you could think of Chi or Prana as the fluids that supply the body with nutrients and lubrication but it is so much more than that. It is the invisible energy that drives us and all living things. It is the energy the gives the us the will to survive, the strength to keep striving forward. It is the energy that allows us to keep fighting when we are sick, to not give up when we are faced with difficult situations. It's the energy that causes the planets to rotate, our hearts to beat, our bodies to breathe, plants to grow, animals to keep searching for food to survive even in the most incredibly difficult situations. If there is vital energy flowing then there is willingness to heal, to recover, to rebuild and to survive. It is the universal energy that is present in all living things and it is essential for all living things in order to survive and to thrive.