Sinew channels

This is the place to discuss the energetic aspects of Yin Yoga and its Daoist heritage
Post Reply
ann-britt@sternfeldt.se
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:01 am

Sinew channels

Post by ann-britt@sternfeldt.se »

Hi,
there has been a discussion in a yinyoga forum on sinew channels, that it is not really "meridians" that we target doing yinyoga but actually sinew channels. I find this a bit confusing. Any input on the subject is welcome!
Cheers Anna
Bernie
Posts: 1268
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Re: Sinew channels

Post by Bernie »

Well, this does seem to be a new bone of contention in the yin world, so I will share my two cents worth of opinion.

The Sinew channels are superficial, broad channels that follow the muscles, tendons and ligaments (fascia!) They are very similar to Thom Myers myofascial meridians. They are conduits for wei chi (which strengthens the immune system). A few Yin Yoga teachers with a TCM background say that Yin Yoga does NOT affect the acupuncture meridians, but it has similar benefits to Qi Kong and Tai Chi, because It affects the sinew channels, not the acupuncture meridians. I agree with the 2nd point, but not with the 1st point.

It is possible to target the sinew channels (i.e.: Qi Kong) and it is possible to target the acupuncture meridians (acupuncture and acupressure), but it is not possible to isolate any part of the body. The body is a whole. So, to say that something "doesn't affect part X" is flawed reasoning. How do you know? There is no proof that yin yoga does not affect the acupuncture meridians! In fact, I would suggest quite the opposite is true.

While you can target a particular muscle through some intervention (for example, if you say, "I am targeting my triceps by doing pushups"), more than just that muscle is affected: you are working your deltoids, pectoralis, stressing the superficial fascia, deep fascia, the bones or the arms, etc. In the same way, I know of no way to isolate the sinew channels from the acupuncture meridians. To say that Qi Kong does not affect the meridians is clearly wrong. The work of Helene Langevin and others have shown some of the ways acupuncture affects the fascia which in turn affects the whole system of the body.

If the TCM informed yin yoga teachers want to broaden our knowledge and talk about the existence of sinew channels, that is great! Teach us! But to insist that yin yoga doesn't do something (like saying it doesn't affect the acupuncture meridians), more than a bold assertion is required. Cite your sources and prove your case. I suspect they can't prove their assertion because so much evidence exists that points to the opposite finding. (Plus, it is really hard to prove a negative! Can you prove there isn't a god? How would you prove that yin yoga does not affect the meridians?)

Cheers!
Bernie
ann-britt@sternfeldt.se
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:01 am

Re: Sinew channels

Post by ann-britt@sternfeldt.se »

Such an interesting reply! Just excellent.
Warm regards Anna
REyogi
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:10 am
Location: Atlantic Beach, FL

Re: Sinew channels

Post by REyogi »

I love your logic. Thank you for clarifying this. Although we have not had to deal with the issue in any of our teachings or workshops, it is just a matter of time. We always default to the forum for input on such subjects.
Dennis and Kathy Lang, E RYT 500, YACEP
Teachers of Yin, Vinyasa and Kundalini Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness, Ethereal Musicians and Authors of "Everything Matters"
904-571-3154
https://yogawithdennisandkathy.com
SolakiYoga
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue May 03, 2022 3:54 am

Re: Sinew channels

Post by SolakiYoga »

I am one of those TCM informed Yin teachers ;-) and I would say that Yin definitely stimulates the sinew channels, Myofascial Meridians (=muscle and fascia) as described by Tom Myers, as well as the meridians as we know them from TCM, for the same reason as Bernie mentions : all is connected. The superficial as well as the deep fascia is part of the sinew channels and Myofascial Meridians and the meridians pathways are inside the fascia.
ann-britt@sternfeldt.se
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:01 am

Re: Sinew channels

Post by ann-britt@sternfeldt.se »

Thanks!
Post Reply