Rest, renewal, regeneration – the Season of Winter
As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, we move toward the season of Winter. Nature has gone to ground, and the Earth’s energy is buried deep into the very heart of itself.
The quality and length of daylight invites withdrawal and turning inward and we too as “human animals” feel this pull to hibernate. The need for rest and deep reflection feels natural and any attempt to fight and resist often leads to feelings of exhaustion and frustration.
This is a perfect time for us to centre ourselves, take stock of the previous year and assess where we are. For some of us this this may mean facing unmet emotions and past events that have been stored inside ourselves, buried deep like Earth’s energy.
This journey within can be a dark and scary one, but it can also be a revelation as we begin to re-connect with ourselves – accepting what has happened in the past, good or bad, and using the ability to forgive ourselves and others, to wipe the slate clean.
As we enter the New Year, we make a choice to consciously step into it with a renewed sense of inspiration, motivation and energy.
In the practice of Seasonal Yin Yoga, we not only focus on mental and emotional well-being, but also on bringing balance to specific energy centres of the body – the element of the season and the 2 organs linked to that element and the related chakra; combining two philosophies, Indian and Chinese.
What is the Water Element?
The element for Winter is water, and the organs related to the water element are the bladder and kidneys – and the Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana).
Each element has characteristics. If your element is water, you are philosophical, introspective. You love to contemplate the mysteries and meanings of life. Intellectual and visionary, you like to know how things work from politics to quantum physics.
Excess energy – anti social, irritable, depressed, suspicious of others, unforgiving, intolerant, opinionated
Deficient energy – lack of energy, absentmindedness, procrastination, lack of motivation, paranoia, hopelessness
The Organs – Yin & Yang
Each organ has a physical job, as we know in the western world, and an energic purpose that comes from eastern philosophy.
The bladder is a yang organ and is associated with the autonomic nervous system, pituitary gland and hypothalamus.
The kidneys are “the controller of water” and a yin organ with a number of qualities:
• Stores the essence that governs birth, growth, reproduction and development
• Kidney essence nourishes the brain and spinal cord, affecting memory, concentration and vigour
• Kidney is “Zhi”, the house of willpower, drive and ambition
• Assesses risks and protects appropriately
• The capacity to feel fear and respond appropriately
Svadhsthana – the water chakra
Svadhstana is associated with the water element, it’s characterised by movement and flow in our emotions and thoughts. It is the driving force for the enjoyment of life through the senses, whether it’s auditory, through taste, touch, or sight. Opening the sacral chakra in winter is important as it allows us to “feel” the world around and in us. We can often feel a bit emotionally unstable as we delve deeper into ourselves, balancing the energy in this centre helps balance our emotions.
Tamara Melvin is a 500 hour qualified Advanced Seasonal Yoga Teacher. Join her on a journey through the seasons starting this January with her Seasonal Yin Yoga Course: Winter. The focus will be on poses that massage and stimulate the meridian lines for the bladder and kidney. Discover how to steer your mental energy into an equilibrium state, and settle emotions – bring a sense of peace to the mind and the confidence to start the New Year from a positive open place. Places are limited, click here to find out more and to book.
© Tamara Melvin