Its Winter! (in case you haven’t noticed)The season of the kidneys!

One of the magical aspects of Chinese medicine is it views humans as part of the natural rythyms of the earth rather than two entitity existing separately. Each season is associated with an organ (as in body part not musical instrument) and each organ is associated with an element, colour , emotion, sound and flavour. To allow the seasons to lead the dance of life, where we follow rather than force new dance moves, makes for a more graceful and harmoneous life and we look a lot less clunky on the dance floor.

What does winter teach us?

Winter is the most yin season. It calls us to be more receptive, introspective and reflective. It’s a time of deeper meditation. It can be a difficult time especially for those of us who prefer the more outward yang energies of summer. It can be like dragging a small child kicking and screaming in from outside as the sun goes down and putting them in the bath -Their little hands clinging desperately to the monkey bar while mama is pulling them by the legs. For others who are more yin in nature, it can be a blessed relief to finally have the season that gives full permission to sit in front of a fire under a blanket and read a book and see a few people as possible.

The organ that is awarded the season of winter goes to the Kidney! The Kidneys emotion of expertise is fear. It likes to express this through the sound of groaning. With Chinese medicine each organ opens through one of the 5 senses. Kidney opens in the ears, which works well with winter. With stillness comes deep listening. Listening to others, their stories, songs around the fire or a pot of soup. It can be listening with patience and full acceptance of your own inner voice. Is it your fear that is running the show lately? Have it stolen the leading part, when they were only meant to make a guest appearance? Journaling, talking to a trusted circle of friends, finding a good therapist, walking amongst trees and the ocean to get yourself some of them positive feel-good ions or making some time to literally make conscious groaning sounds can all help with putting some light on those fears and getting to know them a bit more.

Foods for the season…..

The flavour of the Kidney / Winter is salty and a little bitter. This makes sense, when you think of the nature of salt is contracting.

Slow cooked warm foods are the order of the season. Salty foods to include are miso, soya sauce, seaweeds, millet, barley, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, oats, bone broths, walnuts, chestnuts, black sesame seeds, and dark leafy greens

Foods to avoid : Sugar, artificial sweetners, coffee, alcohol, highly processed food, excessive salt, cold drinks and foods ie icecream, smoothies.

Also keep those kidneys warm! Give your body a fighting change to keep the inner cauldron bubbling by ensuring your lower back and belly are covered in these colder months. I have been wearing one of those circular woollen scarfs around my waist (you can buy them at the friday ECOSS market) and it makes the world of difference to staying warm. The less harder the body needs to work to stay warm the more energy it has to fight off those pesky pathogens.

Signs that the kidney is deficient are low energy, dark circles under the eyes, poor sleep, a tendency to be fearful, colds hands and feet, weak knees, low libido, and achy lower back.

Places around Warburton you can take your kidney.

Although a time of stillness it is still important to include some movement and exercise in your life to keep the spirit up and the joints moving. Warburton is blessed with many great teachers who run all kind of classes- here are just a few. (Feel free to add more to the post -either as a teacher or student)

Soul Dance

The intention of Soul Dance is to provide a space to shake off your week, dance however your body wants to move, and let go through a fun physical movement practice. It can be deeply relaxing, energising, and releasing.

When 4th Saturday of the month

Where: Warburton Arts centre

Time 7Pm – 9pm

Dance in the Valley

Inspiring montly dance class with Jo Woods that helps to support our hearts, minds, spirits, and bodies. Spaces to unravel, to share, to move, and to RELEASE. Utilising Open Floor movement resources we practice releasing physical, mental & emotional tension in a skillful & embodied way.

When: 7pm – 9pm Second Saturday of the month

Where: Warburton Arts centre

Yarra Valley QI Gong

A gently easy practice that is easy to learn and benifits mind, body and spirit

When 7 -8pm Thursday nights – Warburton Wellspring

9.30am -10.30am Friday -Warburton footy oval.

The Buddha Bodhivana Monastery

Dhamma talk, meditation and chanting

When- every Saturday

Where – 780 Woods point rd, East Warburton

Starts 6.30pm to 9pmish…

How I can help? I have been fortunatly to have been studying with an extrodinary teacher of Japanese Moxa (along side other traditions). Paul Movsessian. He has completely opened my world to the healing qualities of this art form. Moxa has an incredible penetritive warmth that has profound healing effects on the body. It warms the meridians and expels cold. At this time of year, I ofen focas on warming the Kidney area. We live in a damp part of the world! When dampness is prevelant in the body we can have issue such as tiredness, painful periods, sore lower backs, digestive issues and joint pain.

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