The contents of this article is not to be considered as medical advice. This information is based on yogic and energy healing viewpoints. If you have a serious medical condition, you should consult with a doctor.
The colon is also referred to as the large intestine or bowel system. Not to be confused with the small intestine (Third Chakra), which digests food and distributes nutrients to the body, the colon functions to eliminate waste.
The colon begins at the ileocecal valve of the small intestine, runs up the right side of the abdomen, across the abdomen to the left side and down to the rectum. The bowel system is made up by the ascending, traverse, descending, sigmoid colons and the rectum. You can sense it especially on the far left and right sides of the abdomen below the rib cage and down to the pelvis area.
In Chinese Medicine, the colon is the part of the first meridian which begins with the lung and ends with the colon. The two are interlinked as the lungs are what one brings into their selves and the colon is what one releases. Issues in the colon can manifest in the lungs and vice versa. It is said that is why people can get lung cancer who never smoked or people can get colon cancer who lived healthy lives.
From an emotional viewpoint, the colon has to do with having trouble letting go. These issues aren’t typically current life events, but usually stem from the past. It is human nature to hold on to events because there is a belief that by never forgetting, we will not let it happen again. It is be helpful to learn from the past, but there is a point in which what we hold onto will hold us back from moving on. Resentment is an example of holding onto the past and the emotion can literally jam up the entire body.
Additionally, the colon, especially with sigmoid colon, has to with secrets that we bury from ourselves. It is like hiding something in the deepest darkest corner we can find in the body so that we cannot even find it.
Unresolved emotional issues in the colon can manifest as anal retentiveness, rigidity, lack of generosity, possessiveness, stubbornness and contraction. All issues that have to do with holding on. Physically, issues within the colon can manifest as skin conditions and pimples.
The colon is associated with the root chakra and Earth element. Here are a couple of mantras that help ground the colon, connect with the Earth element and balance the root chakra:
When chanting Sat Nam, imagine yourself touching the Earth.
Sat Nam- Various Artists on Wheel of Sound
If you feel called to work with the colon, here are a few great kriyas to practice. One thing to keep in mind is that working with kriyas for the lung can benefit the colon and vice versa.
Colon Cleanser- Owner’s Manual for the Human Body
Apana Kriya & Kriya for Lower Spine and Elimination- Sadhana Guidelines
Balance of Prana and Apana- Physical Wisdom
Digestion and Elimination- Art, Science and Application of Kundalini Yoga
Liver, Colon and Stomach- Kundalini Yoga for Youth & Joy
It is important to be mindful of your foods when working with the colon. You want to avoid hard cheeses and sugar. Foods that can aid the colon are organic yogurt and bananas. Cleanses are also helpful. To learn more about supportive diets for the colon, check out Chapter 8: Colon Therapy & Fasting in Dharma Singh Khalsa’s book Food as Medicine.