Winter Balance – Dive into Winter

The energy in season is at it’s most profound, slow + precious in winter time. Can you feel that natural inclination to slow down + rest too?

This season has a wise, soothing + still quality of energy that we can dive into to prepare us for the year ahead. The natural world has retreated + depleted in order to restore deeply at root level + it pays well for us to mirror nature + do the same to stay balanced in winter. Think of ways + means to manage your energy, to invest your reserves + spend energy wisely because, despite this natural urge to withdraw + nourish our potential for the livelier seasons to come, for most of us, a less natural pace of life bustles on regardless.

Failure to SLOW DOWN, take more REST + more SLEEP can lead to WINTER BURNOUT. This can impact kidney health + can lead to conditions associated with kidney energy imbalance + adrenal fatigue (according to TCM + Ayurvedic principals).

Symptoms of WINTER BURNOUT include:

  • Insomnia, panic attacks, fear + anxiety
  • Craving salty foods
  • Ear infections, inner ear conditions, tinnitus
  • Problems with bone health or teeth

Winter is the season of the greatest Yin (‘Tai Yin’) + is likened to the Yin-Yin element – the Water element (in TCM). Of the 5 elements, water is the clear, liquid, reflective, fluid element that adapts with ease, flows powerfully around or through obstacles + always finds its level no-matter how it’s contained or what resistance it meets. There remains some mystery + reverence around the origins + value of water on this blue planet + a synchronicity to the amount of water held by seas + oceans (60-70% of the earths surface) + the similar proportion held in our bodies (60-70% water content). It exists + transforms between states readily from liquid, to solid to crystals + vapour +, like energy, is never destroyed or lost but exists as a constant compound as it transforms through the global water cycle.

I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking. Swim in silence and the truth comes to me…

Albert Einstein

To feel balanced + nurtured by winter it helps to mirror the qualities of water in our attitude, actions + disciplines by simplifying our commitments, reframing our obligations + managing our responsibilities through the paths of least resistance. We cannot grasp or hold-on when immersed in water – we must spread out release + let go to float. We will expend all our energy to move against the current, we will recharge + move efficiently to move with the flow.

Look for approaches that allow you to feel levelled no-matter the external forces in your life. Here’s some guidance as to how you can put these themes into practice to stay balanced through the Winter season.

Winter Glow

If you’re a little frazzled, or your obligations disconnect you from experiencing your natural slow-down to the winter rhythm, you can re-balance simply by connecting to the WATER ELEMENT + its ebb + flow. Be near water, oceans, streams, lakes, or waterfalls. Walk, play or slide in SNOW (clearly my favorite) Or simply take a bath (with mineral salts and bubbles to lux it up)

HYDRATE through the winter months.  Drink water any way you can. When it’s cold outside we are less inclined to drink a cold glass of water, so reach for a warmer beverage (without sugar or caffeine). Such as room temperature water or warm Herbal teas, Infusions or Miso soup.

Where the focus goes ~ energy flows. This is a great positive mantra to remind us to direct our attention on the good + what we want more of in our our lives, rather than focussing on the negatives.

Explore + accept the mysteries, unexplainable, subtle undercurrents of life with an open mind + heart. We all have access to + a responsibility to manage our energetic health. Winter is a good time to learn + experience this practical magic, intuitive wisdom + energy practices such as reiki, tarot, astro, craniosacral, quantum breath, qigong, chakra therapies, sound therapies or polarity therapies to help shift, adapt + transform our energy flow.

Winter Attitude

At this time of year LESS IS definitely MORE! Aim for EFFICIENT + POSITIVE Rest, Movement, Breath + Mind-set with MAXIMUM EASE + MINIMUM EFFORT.

That doesn’t mean we should do or achieve less in the depths of winter – it means simplifying the process by steering away from our energy zapping, time wasting ways + going more with the flow.

In winter we become aware of the relevance of daily mindfulness + our attitude to work + play by managing the time + energy that’s depleted by procrastination, fear, frustration, stress + worry with practices of PRESENT MOMENT awareness.

So in winter we practice more STILLNESS + MINDFULNESS for clarity + strength of mind. We observe patterns of thoughts + emotions to gather insights into our subconscious behaviours, reactions + tendencies so as to enable shifts in these patterns.

We LET GO more of the need to be in control of our movements + goals. We practice going with the flow ~ Trusting the unfolding process ~ Resisting less ~ Judging less.

CLICK HERE to read about WINTER MINDFULNESS ~ Reflections + Self Inquiry in support of a purposeful winter attitude. Read on for more on winter yoga + meditation.

Winter Yoga ASANA Practice

Asana practice (postural movement) in winter should invite us to slow down + deepen our awareness to movement + breath.

Move through GENTLE REPETITIVE FLOWS WITH the support of DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATH ~ such as Qigong, moving meditations, mandala flows.

Deepen the practice with LONGER HELD PASSIVE STRETCHES using gravity, props + supports to aid stillness + relaxation in poses for deep release such as yin yoga, restorative yoga + Myofascial release (MFR)

Target the KIDNEY + BLADDER MERDIANS to nourish + recharge these energy channels + encourage free-flow of qi, blood + fluid to + from these water regulating organs + their related energy lines which need the most attention at this time of year.

Practice the following poses to support SPINE HEALTH, THE NERVOUS SYSTEM + ENDOCRINE SYSTEM to induce better hormone regulation, metabolism, immunity + manage stress + tension. Add these poses + themes to your at home practice or if you’re a yoga teacher add these themes to your class planning.

Calming Inversions
  • Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand/Legs up the wall),
  • Sirsasana (Headstand)
  • Halasana (plough),
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward dog)

to calm, nourish + support the nervous system + the upper energy centres (5th, 6th +7th chakras) + their related endocrine glands (thyroid, pituitary + pineal glands)

gentle forward bends
  • Balasana (childs pose)
  • Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend)
  • Parsvottanasana (pyramid pose)
  • Sasangasana (baby rabbit)

to stretch + release the back of the body + target points along the bladder meridian.

Combine with the following poses to stretch the groin + inner hamstrings + target points along the kidney meridian:

  • Janu Sirsasana (seated forward bend – one leg straight, one leg bent in 1/2 butterfly)
  • Upavista konasana (widelegged forward fold)
  • Baddokonasana (seated butterfly)
  • Tarasana (star pose)
  • Malasana (Squat)
  • Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby)
therapeutic backbends
  • Salamba Bhujangasana (sphinx pose)
  • Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
  • Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward dog)
  • Setu Bandasana (bridge pose)
  • Ardha Dhanurasana (half bow pose)

to stretch + release the front of the body + nourish + balance the lower energy centres (4th, 3rd, + 2nd chakras) + their closely linked endocrine gland (Thymus, Pancreas + Reproductive glands).

Join in our Snowga classes to learn more + practice these poses in support of your winter balance.

CLICK HERE for the class schedule

Winter Meditation

Practice STILLNESS daily. Pause + tune-in to our simplest inner nature, just as Nature does at this time of year.

Meditate, visualise + check-in daily with how you feel in your body + mind + being.  

There’s a replenishing quality to being in that space ~ For as little as 5 or 10 minutes a day ~ Like floating on water between sets ~ Like sitting on chairlifts between runs.

When settling into still time, it can help to think of the surface of the mind being like the surface of a lake. As you steady your breath + the wind eases, the lake becomes still + clear. In that mental state we are investing our energy which will pay dividends up ahead as we become better able to see things for what they are, discern our truths, vision for our future, + make meaningful intentions for the month + year ahead

Take 5 minutes to center yourself. If you don’t have 5 minutes then you don’t deserve the life of your dreams…

Oprah Winfrey

If you’d like more guidance on restoring Winter Balance feel free to contact Bec Black or read more about Winter Mindfulness, Meditation, Energy in seasons, Yoga for skiers and snowboarders  + more on Winter Balance in the Blog

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *