December 2, 2010

Tastes & Twists.

Nourishing Your Kidney in Yoga

Element: Water

• Nature: Yin

• Organs: Kidney, Urinary Bladder, Adrenal Glands, Ears, and Hair

• Taste: Salty

• Emotion: Fear and Depression

Chinese Medicine sees Winter as Yin (cold energy) when it is a good time to store yang (hot energy) to blossom and grow in the spring. Winter is a regenerative time for the body, so nutrition is an important factor to balance the effects of cold. Like all living things, the body changes with the seasons.

KIDNEYS according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.

  • They are linked to creativity and willpower
  • Power the nervous system
  • Emotions of fear, anxiety, panic and depression
  • Store essence called Jing QI
  • Govern reproduction and development
  • Control water metabolism and govern all fluids in body
  • Receive breath and grasp Qi
  • Reflects sense of hearing and the ears as orifices
  • Governs bones, joints and create bone marrow
  • Health in eyes and hair

Kidneys in allopathic medicine suggest the need for repose and rejuvenation:

• average 5” long and 3” wide

• kidneys receive approximately 120 pints of blood per hour!!!

• ~400 gallons (1500 liters) of blood run through your kidneys every day

This highly productive system works very hard and deserves time to rest – to pause – to restore and replenish…

You can eat warming and nourishing foods to unburden the Kidney system, and drink liquids to detoxify the body

In the Winter Qi Gong and Tai Qi and Yoga are perfect complements to the season and allow you exercise that replenishes Chi by allowing stillness and inner repose to heal the nervous system

This is the perfect time to treat yourself to some Restorative Yoga to nourish your spirit. Understanding how to work with your kidney area in your Yoga can enliven you from the inside out, allowing freedom to keep the water moving, and avoid stagnation in your Ch’i. To activate digestion and keep the spine awake and healthy, infuse your practice with twists.  Move with your Kidney energyas you twist from the belly and back body.

Forward folding is another way to focus awareness inward, but make sure you keep the heart lifted in forwards bends or the practice can become melancholy, and exacerbate emotions of fear and depression in the Kidney.

Gentle backbending can help tonify Kidney Ch’i, so focus on the front face of the kidneys as you bend backwards. Keeping the front of the kidneys open allows lifting the entire trunk and keeping the belly engaged and awake.

Thank you Healthy Living Lounge for the featured image.

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