Winter is the most YIN time of year with the focus on REST, RENEWAL and REJUVENATION as we go deeper into our practice so that we can replenish & preserve our energy for the renewal and rebirth of Spring. The season of winter relates to the water element, which governs the Kidney and Bladder meridians according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Their function is to store, balance, and distribute our bodies’ fluids and maintain our energy reserves. They are the storehouse of vital energy and need to remain balanced for all the other organs to function well (Sarah Powers, 2008).When the water element is depleted we may experience anxiety, fear, exhaustion or overwhelm as we struggle to cope physically and emotionally without healthy energy reserves to fuel us.
Your Yoga Practice in Winter
A winter practice concentrating on the fluidityand movement of the spine, as well as theflexibility of the hips working on our inner strength is perfect for this time of year.Going into deeper forward and back bends, spinal twists and hip openers such as pigeon pose and lizard pose will help to move any stagnant energy.
Try the above poses to bring your body & mind back into balance this winter…
Seated Forward Bend
Seated Wide Leg Forward Bend
Happy Baby Pose
Reclined Hero Pose
Reclined Hand to Big Toe Pose
Ujjayi Breathing will help to ground you particularly, if you are feeling anxious or worried.You want to focus on bringing your awareness inwards so try visualising your awareness grounding deep within you as you breathe.
Make sure you avoid to much cold food & drinks and stick to good hearty, earthy and warming foods like soups, stews, whole grains, beans, and steamed winter greens that will provide you with lots of nourishment & support the optimum functioning of your kidneys. Try this nutritious Minestrone soup recipe which is perfect for winter. Click here.