Winter- Time to restore energy and live in peace

Autumn has passed by and the nature is moving towards total peace; winter is coming. The Yin-energy is at its highest point; the nature has slowed down and it’s quiet everywhere. There may be some snow, the waters have frozen and the ground is in frost.

 

 

Animals have gone to their nests to stay warm and some of them are sleeping through the winter. Many of the birds have fled to warmer countries. Stillness and peace are all around. We have said the goodbyes already in autumn to summer that had past, and the time of giving away is now over. It´s time to relax and be still, turn inwards and enjoy the quietness.

According to the Chinese Medicine, the winter is a time of the kidneys and the urinary bladder. The kidneys are the root of the yin and yang energies of the body. They store our essence, called ”Jing”, which is a gift from our parents at the moment of conception and contain the seat of our vitality. We should cherish and take care of that energy. The virtue of the kidneys is wisdom and the emotion associated is fear. The kidneys are filling us with the desire to grow, flourish and age gracefully. When the kidney, Chi, is strong and well, we have courage, will power and will for life. Our will, courage and instincts are helping us to determine our life purpose.

The element of the kidneys and winter is water. It’s important to all living. The water in our bodies delivers and takes care of all the nutrients. It lubricates our joints and bones, nourishes all the tissues and brings fluidity and flexibility to our movements. If the kidney-chi is unbalanced or weak, we become more fearful and forgetful, have stiffness and aches in the joints, have cold feet and we are unable to move forward in our lives.

In order to take care of our kidneys and making them stay strong, we should cherish and restore the energy in wintertime for the next spring and summer. We should live along with the flow of the nature and accept that during this time of the year it’s okay to have less energy than in the summertime. It´s okay to go to bed earlier and sleep more because the days are shorter and there is less light. We need more sleep and rest now. We should slow down our working habits and hobbies, find balance and grounding. When there is light and even sunny during the daytime, we should enjoy a brisk walk and breathe the fresh air. In the evenings, it`s nice to have a cup of warm drink on the sofa underneath a blanket with woollen stockings on.

 

 

 Yin Asana for winter: Sphinx

Benefits: Stimulates the kidneys and brings pressure to the lower back area. Stretches the stomach, stimulates the abdominal organs, helps relieve stress. 

Contraindications and cautions: back injury, tightness in sacrum, pregnancy, headache or migraine

Coming to the pose: Lie on your stomach. Raise your upper body up and bring your forearms against the floor so that your elbows are under your shoulders. Let your legs be relaxed and heavy against the floor. Let your head hang heavy or you can also have a block underneath your forehead. Let your whole body be still and relaxed.

Contraindications and cautions: back injury, tightness in sacrum, pregnancy, headache or migraine

Coming out of the pose: Release your hands by your sides and slowly go down lying to the floor. 

Counter poses: Child´s pose, Cat-Cow

Meridians: Urinary Bladder, Kidneys, Stomach and Spleen Meridians.

 

 

Acupressure point: Kidney 1 (Yongquan)

The lowest and most grounding point of the body. It helps to strongly descend excess energy. It is an excellent point for experiencing agitation, anxiety, insomnia and depression. It is also helpful for excess heat rising such as hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause.

You can do a massage for those acupressure points by your thumbs. Put a gentle pressure on the points and you can create a circular motion or you can remain still. Points can be held from 30 seconds to 1-2 minutes. 

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