Meridian of the Month | Kidney

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Nancy Nelson

The meridian lines of the body are energetic highways that provide a path for Qi and other substances to flow. This year, we will learn details about one of the meridians each month as they coordinate with the time of year / season that we are currently in. Up first, the kidney channels!

But first, check out the meridian art series!

The Journey of the Kidney Lines

This meridian line begins under the small toe circling the inside of the heel and rises up along the medial (closest to the midline) side of the lower leg and thigh. It then enters the body into the tailbone and the lower back. It moves up and then wraps back downward toward the pubic bone.

From there, it lifts over the abdomen and splits into two branches. The first branch penetrates the Kidneys, as the other continues to ascend within the spine before entering the cerebral cortex.

From the Kidney organs, two additional pairs of channel emerge internally. One pair goes down along the ureters before spirally wrapping the Urinary Bladder. The other set goes up into the Liver, Diaphragm, and the Lungs. The line then spirals around the Heart and travels up through the throat, stopping at the root of the tongue.

The Kidney Meridian | The Root of Life

The Kidney meridians specifically help with the transport of prenatal energy, called “Jing”. This is the most essential energy that we have only a limited supply of in our lifetime. We are born with it and it naturally declines as we grow older. If our kidneys are depleted, our stores of this life force energy are quickly drained as well. Think of your Jing as your back up generator to your body’s more primary energy source (our personal electricity) called Qi. Whenever we are not eating well or dealing with intense stress our Qi runs on low supply and our energy body naturally utilizes the Jing to keep us going. So it’s absolutely critical that we care for our kidneys and Kidney meridians through diet, acupressure and lifestyle.

The kidneys themselves help to filter waste metabolites from blood and send them to the bladder for excretion. They help to balance the bodily fluids, regulate pH by releasing or taking in minerals. Other organs that the kidney function impacts include the adrenal glands and sexual organs. You can tell if kidney function is optimal through the condition of the head and body hair as well as the aperture and health of the ears. The Kidney in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is believed to govern additional bodily fluid like tears, saliva, sweat and synovial fluid. The Kidney’s health directly impacts the health of all other organs and tissues.

There are 27 points along this meridian line and the element of the kidney channel is water. Every meridian has a yin or yang counterpart or complimentary meridian. The kidney lines are yin and the urinary bladder is the yang counterpart that also shares the water element. The active season for the kidney meridian is winter and the time of day the meridian is most active is between 5 and 7pm. This channel is most supported through rest, repair and reflection. The status of our Kidney will directly impact how we transition through life’s various stages.

Fear / AnxietyFaith / Trust / Courage
ProcrastinationTakes Action
Overwhelm / ParanoiaClarity / Willpower
Yin Postures for the Kidney Meridian

Sequences for the Kidney Meridian

More Resources…


These one hour webinars focus on the meridians in a bit more detail if you want to learn more.

Get the whole collection of meridian art!

available in 5×7 or 8×10

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Nancy Nelson
Nancy Nelson
Nancy is the fearless leader here at Nancy Nelson Yoga! She has been instructing yoga since 2012 and is certified as a Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500, YACEP) with Yoga Alliance. She loves guiding yoga classes in all forms – from sweaty vinyasa flows, to slow mindful movement - but her favorite style to practice and teach is yin yoga. She attended a formal 50-hour Yin Yoga training with Bernie Clark and Diana Batts in the fall of 2018 and it truly propelled her into developing her yin focused website, webinars and trainings.

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