Winter is a time for turning inward and exploring ourselves. Self-reflection, releasing stress, and reconnecting with our deepest truths are a few of the intentions that winter invites us to focus on.
Winter is abundant with Yin energy, and as humans, we can learn to embody the season’s lessons in our own lives. Just as summertime provides warm sunlight and long days for us to play outside, the winter months offer an equally expansive opportunity within ourselves.
In Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong, we view winter as a time in which the Water element is alive and vibrant. In the world around us, rain and snowfall from the sky and blanket the earth with its magical beauty. Constantly moving and transforming, the Water element can teach us the lesson of flow.
During the summer, water evaporates and moves upward into the atmosphere. During the winter, it condenses and returns to the earth. Like water during winter, we too can move our attention downward into our deepest layers where we find our inner truths.
In modern life, we’re constantly exposed to external beliefs and influences that can pull us away from our true selves. Opinions, judgments, and societal standards can all create false ideas about what we “should” do or who we “should” be.
Returning to our core allows us to let go of unhealthy influences and remember what is real. Without the constant bombardment of our mind and emotions, we can rediscover who we are and what truly matters. Winter is a wonderful opportunity to learn from nature and embody its wisdom — the same wisdom that already exists within us.
Meditation can be a great way to reconnect with ourselves and our inner truth. Therefore, we decided to offer a simple yet powerful meditation to help you harness the gifts that winter is seeking to share during this time.
Like all of our meditations, we suggest that you read through these instructions before you begin.
Start by finding a comfortable position for your meditation. You can either sit in a chair with your feet planted on the earth or lay on your back. If you’re at all tired, it can sometimes be best to sit in an upright position so you don’t drift off to sleep.
Once you’re comfortable, start to take some slow, deep breaths. Breathe in slowly through your nose until your lungs are full of air, then exhale out through your nose. Allow your body to become relaxed and at ease.
After a couple of minutes, imagine that you’re stepping into a sacred pool of warm water that lies in a beautiful garden sanctuary. This is your own, sacred space. You can imagine it to be however you like. There can be flowers, a fountain, music, or whatever else you’d like your sacred space to offer.
As you step into the pool, feel the warm water surrounding your feet. It’s refreshing, soothing, and cleansing.
After a moment, the water starts to rise up to your lower ankles, then your calves, and then your knees. With each inch that it rises, you can feel it cleansing and clearing stagnant energy from your body.
The water continues to rise up to your hips, your lower back, and then your mid-back. Wherever it touches, you can feel it activating healing energy and returning your body to its most healthy state of being.
As the water continues to rise, it covers your arms, shoulders, neck, and then your head. Feel any energies, beliefs, or thoughts that aren’t true to yourself getting washed away. Anything that isn’t authentic is dissolved, leaving you fully and completely connected to your highest self.
Continue breathing and imagine this cleansing process for as long as you like. Remember to take deep inhales and exhales as you embrace the warm, effervescent water. Whenever you’re ready, smile to yourself and open your eyes. Take the energy you just cultivated with you into the rest of your day.
If you’re interested in learning more practices for welcoming the lessons of winter, we have the perfect program for you…
Qi Gong For Winter Workshop
At Holden QiGong, we have a pre-recorded workshop called Qi Gong for Winter. In it, Lee teaches a variety of practices to help us cultivate inner strength and awareness so we can be in touch with our highest truth and experience greater peace.
In addition, this workshop focuses on practices that boost the immune system and help us to stay healthy and vital during the year’s coldest months. A significant part of the practice is dedicated to working with kidney Qi, which is connected to the water element. By fortifying the energy in the kidneys, practitioners are better equipped to fend off threats to their health.
This pre-recorded workshop is three hours long and can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home whenever you’d like. Learn more and start practicing today.