The circulatory system is made up of two parts: the cardiovascular, (the heart pumps blood to the cells throughout the body delivering nutrients), and the lymphatic, (the detoxification system which carries and purifies waste fluid from between the cells).
Okay, so now we know what the circulatory system is by definition, but what does it really do and why is it important on more than just a physical level?
The physical circulatory system is like an intricate web of channels which run through the body, delivering nutrients and expelling waste fluid through the lymphatic pathways. Energetically, it corresponds to the subtle network of energy pathways called Nadis in yoga and Ayurveda, and meridians, in traditional Chinese medicine.
The beauty of these energetic pathways is that in both the Chinese and Vedic systems, it is the carrier not for blood, but for our energetic blood: the intangible life force, chi, or prana, which keeps us alive and healthy. Good health is created through cultivating this life force energy, and removing the blockages in the pathways.
Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian mystic and philosopher, alluded to the energetic circulatory system when he said that it was not the heart which pumped the blood and gave cause of life in the body, but that it was the blood itself which held a special force, a special quality which moved itself through the body. According to Steiner, the heart was simply a vortex or meeting point which regulated this flow.
When the physical and energetic circulatory systems are strong, not only are healthy blood and nutrients are delivered to every cell of the body, your body becomes nourished on the most subtle of levels.
You cultivate the ability to tune into the most delicate of healing mechanisms of your body, and to know and sense when you are truly aligned with the flow of life or not. You develop an almost psychic relationship with your body, and any unwanted or negative energy is quickly processed and released from your system.
Below are two exercises to strengthen the physical and energetic circulatory systems:
This technique is used to increase circulation and help the lymphatic system flush out toxins. It should be practiced for 15 minutes every day.
1. Before a bath or shower, take off your clothes, and use a hard bristled bath brush to brush the skin of your body.
2. Begin at your extremities, brushing your feet, lower legs, then hands and arms. Brush with a firm pressure which is comfortable to you. Use long straight strokes, moving from your extremities inward. Your skin should become pink, and you should feel a sense of heat and movement in the outer layer of your body.
3. Once you reach your abdomen, brush firm circles around your chest and breasts, moving inwards towards your heart.
4. Once you are complete, you may apply a non hydrogentated oil to the brushed skin. I recommend virgin coconut oil, or almond oil.
Meditation to connect with the energetic circulatory system:
1. Tune in by chanting Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo three times, to connect with the lineage of kundalini yoga teachings.
2. Sit in a chair or in a comfortable cross legged position with a straight spine. Close your eyes so that your lids are 1/10th open, and concentrate your awareness at your 3rd eye, the space in between your eyebrows
3. Bring your right hand up to your face, and close off your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale for one count through your left nostril, suspend your breath in for four counts, and then exhale for two counts from your right nostril, as you block your left with your index finger. Then repeat this pattern of inhaling 1 count, holding 4 counts, exhaling 2 counts, from the other nostril.
4. Start with five minutes of this practice, and slowly build up to fifteen.
I encourage you to try these practices, and notice how your health improves, and your relationships to the healing mechanism of your body.
As always, if these words hit home for you, share them with somebody who will also benefit from them.
All my Love,