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December 21 – March 20
We are working with the Bladder and Kidney meridians in our practice. These run down the back of the body, (starting from the inner eye, running over the head, at two and four finger widths either side of the spine, down the back of the legs to the outside of the little toes) and up the front of the body, (starting at the base of the big toe pad, up the inner legs, a finger width either side of the navel and up to the inner edges of the collar bone).
In Winter, it’s all about refilling our energy banks (filling the well). To do so, we need to allow the body to settle, then work with the front and back of the body to safely stretch into tightness, helping release stress and tiring anxiety. It is in this way of slow practice that we can rebuild and rejuvenate. Winter is a natural time of year to recharge and rest, lead a slower, calmer, quieter life. Take time to be in or around water, through swimming, spas, bathing. It is an excellent time to review the year that has been and the year to come, setting intentions and plans.
FOOD: Eating salty cooked warm food is excellent for winter. Replenish energy with casseroles, soups and roasts. Salty is not foods with added salt but food such as seaweeds, olives, celery. Other good foods include kidney and aduki beans, roasted seasonal root veg, roasted lamb, pheasant, whole grains, ginger and garlic. Beetroot and seaweeds are excellent for cleaning the blood and supporting the kidneys.
Avoid cold and iced food and drinks, keeping hydrated with warm or hot water throughout the day to flush the kidneys. Warm herbal teas are excellent, especially those with ginger, lemon, nettle. Aim to drink 1.5-2 litres of warm water and herbal teas daily to keep your digestive system healthy. Avoid drinking a lot at mealtimes, instead sipping throughout the day. Take time to cook well and eat slowly.
PHYSICAL: Restore and renew are the key elements to any physical exercise, keeping warm and generating energy, breathing deeply to keep the digestive system healthy. Keep 50-60% in your energy bank account when exercising to refill your energy levels. Walks are a wonderful way to refresh body and mind, keep wrapped up and walk briskly. Restorative former such as Yin yoga, Tai Chi and Qigoing are excellent. Avoid being outside in cold wet weather for too long. Avoid stiffening up, have regular massage.
MENTAL: Winter is the time for evaluating your past year, looking at your accomplishments, disappointments, and learnings. What could you do differently? Acknowledge your roles and responsibilities and free yourself up to set supportive goals for the year ahead. An excellent book to help with this is Your Best Year Yet! by Jinny Ditzler.
It is time to be fully responsible for how you feel. Admit it is ok to have fears and anxieties, but find a little courage to face them using reassuring techniques such as visualisations of future positive outcomes, beyond the situation causing upset.
Be a little courageous, don’t waste your energy. Discriminate.