Winter, Water And Life

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live”. ~ Jim Rohn

Water is the feminine element. It represents cohesiveness, harmony, nurturing , balance and free flow. For the yogis, it is associated with the second chakra. In Sanskrit the word “chakra” signifies spinning wheels of light. It is energy. Of the many chakras within the human body, seven have been identified as major. In the fall we explored the root chakra and its connection to the gut, where over 80% of our immune system resides (to read more, refer to my Oct blog). In the winter, we are connecting with the water element which is associated with the kidneys, adrenal gland, bladder, bones. In traditional Chinese medicine, kidneys are thought of as a the root of the body’s energy. The emotion related to the kidneys and to the adrenals is fear. When unbalanced, we may experience emotional instability, fear of change, anxiety, depression etc.. When we live with ongoing stress, we get into survival mode, thereby exhausting our adrenal glands and making it more demanding for our body to heal. This is why it is so important to replenish these organs during the winter months, where the nights are longer, by welcoming nature’s invitation to rest in a meditative state.

Lifestyle support:

  1. Nurture good feelings.
  2. Reduce or eliminate time spending with whom or what drains your energy.
  3. Be kind to yourself and to others.
  4. Spend at least one hour each day doing something that you love.
  5. Laughter is the best medicine.
  6. Slow down, go to bed early, sleep in a completely dark room to recharge your adrenals.
  7. Practice deep breathing.
  8. Drink water in profusion. As a guiding tool, drink in ounces half your weight in pounds. Ex: 80 oz for a 160 lbs person. If the urine is yellow, it is time to drink.
  9. Discipline yourself to exercise at least 20 minutes five days a week. Do it outside when possible. Walking briskly with walking sticks to get the arms involved, bicycling, dancing, skipping, trampoline etc.. The ongoing remodelling of our bone structure needs us to be physically active to stimulate the electrical charges within the bone matrix .
  10. Address healthy gut, healthy diet (read more in my Oct blog).
  11. Best to avoid gluten.
  12. Best to avoid sugar and all commercial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, chlorinated water, plastic bottles, GMOs, microwaves. and all chemicals as much as possible.
  13. Best in medicinal doses: caffeine, and alcohol.

Suggestions of warming, building and strengthening foods for the adrenal, kidneys and bones:

  • Roasted root vegetables : yam, squash, beets, turnips, etc..garlic, onions, leeks.
  • Cruciferous: kale, broccoli, cabbages, cauliflowers, Brussels sprouts.
  • Greens: asparagus, celery, dandelion greens, spinach, collards, parsley, rosemary.
  • Soups: miso, vegetables, beans, bone broths.
  • Seeds and nuts: sesame, pumpkin, chia, flax and hemp, almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts.
  • Gluten-free plants and grains such as quinoa, millet, amaranth, wild rice, oatmeal, coco flour.
  • Healthy fats from avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, organic butter or ghee.
  • All beans plus black-eyed peas, mung beans sprouts.
  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, figs, dates, pomegranates, berries from the fall.
  • Others: kelp, seaweed, garlic, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, black pepper, cayenne, Himalaya and sea salts.
  • Warm beverages of yogi tea (refer to my Recipes), nettle, rose hips, raspberry, fennel seeds, licorice root.

“Health can be practiced as an art, to be in harmony with the law of nature, with the self, others and the surrounding world.” ~ Denise

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