Winter represents the “yinest” of Yin months. What’s on your agenda? ‘Tis the season for reflection and rest because Nature has slowed down. Are you in sync with that? You can attain winter health by taking cues from Nature. How has the energy changed outdoors? We have passed through the Fall season with a sense that it was time to let go and without letting go, there can be no pure rest during Winter.
What has to go is the first step. Next, digest this energy so that it can naturally transform elsewhere. Keep whatever is nurturing you, like relationships, nutrition, events. Nature promises us that if we follow the Winter cycle then we can be ready to sprout next Spring so remember this wisdom.
The organ of the season is Kidney/Bladder, color is deep blue/black and the taste is salty. Kidney stores Jing essence, the first of the Three Treasures and secures Qi at the core of the body. While the Kidneys are the most Yin organ, they also contain Kidney Yang energy that is the prime motivating source for growth and movement.
Here are some helpful tips for winter health:
Practice meditation in the evening and go to bed earlier. After Qi Gong practice or meditation then allow your exhale to travel to K1’s at bottom of feet into the earth and root yourself. Dress in layers and keep extra in the car so you don’t get caught exposed to the seasonal chill. Wrap a scarf around to protect the back of your neck. Your body has to use extra energy from the Kidneys when you need more warmth. Kidney energy relates to joints and bones so warm your bones to enjoy the Winter outdoors.
Returning to your roots is Nature’s message. Enjoy the element of Water with shower salt scrubs and Epsom salt soaks. Warm your Kidneys while in the shower. What is it that you can add to your comfort zone? The Water phase conveys stillness and storage. Water is in a state of quietude.
Nourish with warming foods. Methods of preparation affect the healing power of food. Baked, roasted and broiled give more heat to the body than steamed, sautéed or raw. Some suggestions are: millet, barley, seaweed, chestnuts, basil, chives, cinnamon, cloves, rosemary, parsley, black beans, duck and lamb.
“Health and Well-being can only be achieved by remaining centered in one’s Spirit, Guarding against squandering one’s energy, maintaining the constant flow of Qi and Blood, Adapting to the changing seasonal influences, and nourishing oneself by cultivating a tranquil Heart and Mind.” (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine).