As we near the end of our Winter Qigong series, and the end of the winter itself, we can use the silence and stillness we’ve cultivated over the winter to look inward and notice how we are responding—physically, emotionally, and energetically—to the shift in seasons. Are we resisting in any way? Perhaps wishing to stay in a hibernating state? Are we feeling reluctant to give up the nourishing darkness and depth of the winter practice? Or are we perhaps feeling an urgency to rush into the future, into action and get busy?

Hopefully, with some awareness, we are able to relax into and experience the shifts, both subtle and obvious, that the transition from winter to spring offers. Just as the weather can be variable and unpredictable this time of year, so too can our energy and our body’s needs.

We’ve spent a great deal of time filling ourselves up with nourishing yin energy, with peace, calm, and wisdom. We’ve actively worked to transform stress, fear and energy that was frozen, hard, or held. Slowly we are beginning to trust and feel the strength and power we’ve restored in our energy battery. Our practice is still offering nourishment, but we’re also showing our strength in movements such as the Golden Turtle and, this week, with its companion, the Water Buffalo.

In the Water Buffalo we use qigong’s fire breathing, bringing warmth and energy to the kidneys. The deep-breathing Water Buffalo, charges from the water (winter’s element) with natural self-confidence and energy. This movement is also very tonifying for the entire digestive area, helping us to digest both our nourishment and our life experience.

It’s good that spring is coming. It’s been a long winter. But let’s not forget the authentic peace and calm we’ve cultivated over the quiet, dark months. Let’s also remember the work it took to restore our energy battery so we make wise choices, as the earth springs to life, about when and how to express our energy.

Let’s ride a calm wave of winter, and flow gently into spring. Feeling so nourished and powerful, we can slowly, naturally, like the buds slowly appearing as if by magic all around us, open to the new energy of spring. With spring we welcome the wood element and all the new growth in our lives that come with it. Opening to spring means opening to the energies of the liver and to the kindness, creativity, and freshness of life.


© Sandra Tonn