“The only journey is the one within”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
As we are enveloped into the yin field of winter, our focus bends inward toward introspection and nourishing the deeper parts of ourselves. This season is the most yin, the darkest feminine time, conducive to inner listening, quiet reflection, reading, writing, sitting with friends and enjoying meals together. It’s a quiet season where stillness beckons, inviting us to move slower, talk quietly, listen with more presence.
As I experience my first real winter in years here in Santa Fe, I’m enjoying the womblike energy of the old adobe that I live in. It’s dark like a cave which calls me to go within. In fact, I’ve never slept so well in my life.
After teaching a class on insomnia this summer, I read all of the requirements for a good night’s sleep, but here I finally experienced them. I realized that to sleep deeply at night, I need pure darkness ( there are no street lights in my neighborhood), there’s total silence after the coyotes settle down in the early evening, and the adobe is like being held in an earthen womb. It’s so comforting: I feel held, safe and quiet.
If you have insomnia, I would work with these 3 elements in your bedroom: dark, quiet, earthiness. Be dedicated to no technology a couple of hours before bed and eliminate technology in the bedroom. Find out what keeps you awake and make the changes. Shifting the fengshui of the room can be very important. I will be creating a free handout available on my website soon on insomnia, herbs, qigong and fengshui.
Qigong For Winter
During the winter months, it’s important to tonify the kidney energy. Keep your low back and neck warm. In Chinese medicine, when the wind enters the back of your neck, it can instigate colds and flu so keep the neck wrapped in a scarf. Create a qigong and meditation practice that is slow and simple. Eat comforting foods, stews with warming herbs like garlic and ginger along with kidney tonifying black beans, beef broths and congees. This is a good time to practice internal alchemy to nourish the organs and calm the nervous system. I have taught this in a few workshops but will focus on this profound practice in my spring workshop at Breitenbush in Oregon. This energetic meditation has been the secret of longevity and sexuality in Asia for a couple thousand years and is the main qigong that I did to heal myself of lyme disease. Not only is it renowned for awakening your sexual energy and kidney jing (primordial essence), it also is great for chronic disease, adrenal fatigue and connects the organs with the energy systems in the body.
Kidney Qigong For Women/Men
I recommend doing any kidney qigong that you resonate with during the winter. It’s the best time to heal adrenal fatigue, congenital imbalances, reproductive/sexual issues and nourish the kidney essence. Here are some qigong exercises in my book and DVD’s appropriate for this season:
Women’s Qigong for Health & Longevity (p. 52) The Six Healing sound for the Kidneys: “chur oo ee” or “chuay” from my book.
The Spirit of Qi Gong DVD: Water element qigong.
Any Stance builds the kidney Qi
Qigong for Menopause: Nourishing the Kidney Essence in this clip below: Everyone can do this–it’s not just for menopause
May this year be filled with Creativity, Heart, Joy and of course Health!