When seasons change, our Qi (life force energy) should naturally adjust to match nature’s new frequency. In our modern life this does not always happen smoothly or naturally. Without a smooth transition we are more vulnerable to imbalance and illness. Water is the element that represents and resonates with winter, so we will use it to help during this special and important time of transition—winter solstice. The yin organ for winter is the kidneys. The healing sound is “Choo,” and the energy colour is a deep blue and/or black.
Winter brings us to the time and place of moving inward. It is a very yin, slow, quiet, still, and meditative time. Just as nature draws inward and slows while growth takes a pause, it is our time for deep resting, regeneration, building and conserving energy, and filling up our reserves. Winter is also a time to tend to and transform fear, stress, and loneliness. I’ve wondered lately if the busy and bright Christmas season, with all of its spending, socializing, drinking, and overeating, has become an acceptable way to escape our intuitive need and natural drive to sit down with the darkness—to embrace it and feel it and learn from it. Spring, our time of growth and busyness will be here soon enough, and we will need the true energy, calm, and wisdom from our winter work to be strong and healthy when life speeds up again and new adventures enter our lives.
The balancing emotions and virtues of the water element, which reside in the spirit of the kidneys, include deep calm and peace, deep wisdom and self-understanding, stillness, determination, will power, and the ability to go with the flow—like water—and adapt to the constant and inevitable changes in our lives. With qigong we can gently work to transform fear and stress.
The kidney meridians (energy pathways) have a connection to not only all the fluid and bones in the body, but also to the limbic system in the brain, which decides whether to panic or relax in any given situation or life experience. Qigong can, therefore, strongly influence body-mind connection.
Blocks, stagnation, imbalance, deficiency or excess in the kidney energy, may show up as brittle bones, low back pain, knee pain, loss of will or personal power, lack of sex drive, and urinary or reproductive issues. The kidneys is also where held or frozen shock or trauma may cause imbalance. An imbalanced lifestyle, such as overworking and anything else that drains life force, will deplete the precious store of Jing (original essence) in the kidneys, which means we will have to cultivate even more Qi from other sources to recharge and bring balance to live a healthy life into old age.
Flowing and balanced kidney Qi helps us to stand in our power and have healthy ambition, and increases our ability to adapt to situations including stress. Kidney Qi can also clear confusing thoughts, improve memory, and give us the energy to pull ourselves out of heaviness. With strong kidney Qi we produce the hormones necessary to transition through life’s stresses and changes and to age and live with grace.
Through the inner smile meditation to the heart and kidneys, Qi self-massage to stimulate the kidney meridian and acupressure points, and simple yet powerful energy work through qigong flow, we will invite winter and the deeply restorative, strengthening, and peaceful Qi it cultivates.
For details about the upcoming Winter Solstice qigong class click here.
I’m looking forward to practicing with you.
© Sandra Tonn