Three Winter Activities to Cultivate the Water Element

Holden QiGong
4 min readDec 26, 2023

Every season offers unique opportunities and gifts, and winter is no exception! Winter may be colder and darker than other times of the year, but it still holds important gifts you can harness in your life.

In Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong, winter is associated with the Water Element. The Water Element is important for maintaining health and balance within your body.

In this blog, you’ll learn about the different qualities that winter and the Water Element offer. You’ll also discover three simple yet powerful ways to help cultivate the Water Element this winter season.

Qualities Of Winter And The Water Element

The Water Element shows up in various aspects of your being — your emotions, your physical body, and even your personality.

Water Element Emotions

Within your emotions, the Water Element is connected to the qualities of peace, tranquility, and inner harmony. When the Water Element is strong, you experience a feeling that “all is well,” or that you’re “in flow” with the world around you. Those in a flow state have a profound abundance of the Water Element.

When deficient in Water Element, you may feel fearful or insecure. Of course, these feelings aren’t comfortable and often are associated with low self-esteem or a lack of confidence. To overcome this, it’s important to rebalance and strengthen the Water Element.

Physical Characteristics of the Water Element

Physically, the Water Element is connected to your Bladder, Kidneys, joints, and bones. It also plays an important role in your endocrine system.

When your Water Element is strong, it’s easier to feel physically and sexually alive. A Water Deficiency is often connected to chronic tiredness, joint pain, or a lower libido.

Water Element Personality Traits

The Water Element provides valuable gifts that can manifest beautifully through your personality and character. One of the primary strengths of Water Element personalities is their ability to overcome challenges by finding graceful ways to overcome difficult situations. Instead of trying to push directly through the obstacles that stand in their way, they’re often able to use tactful, elegant solutions to the ‘problems’ they face (just think of how a stream moves around a boulder).

Additionally, people rich in Water Element are very reflective and can discern important insights about the world around them. For this reason, they’re often able to see and feel the world clearly and stay deeply connected to their own inner truths.

Now that you have an idea of why the Water Element is important for your health and wellbeing, let’s discuss how you can harness its incredible gifts. Here are three winter activities to cultivate the Water Element’s wonderful qualities.

Although winter is an especially ideal time to cultivate the Water Element, you can turn to these activities anytime you want to tap into Water’s gifts.

1. Take A Walk In Nature

One easy and enjoyable way to cultivate the Water Element is to simply take a walk in nature. Water is everywhere in the natural world. When you immerse yourself in nature, you naturally and effortlessly harness its potent energy.

Although pretty much any natural environment will offer the Water Element, it’s especially abundant in places where you can find… well, Water. If you can take a walk near a stream, snow, lake, or other body of water such as the ocean, you’ll encounter even more Water Element.

When you come in contact with the Water Element in the natural world, take a few moments to acknowledge its presence and feel it channeling within you. In Qi Gong there is a saying, “Qi flows where the mind goes.” If you direct your awareness to the Water Element around you, you’ll harness it in greater abundance.

2. Reflect And Journal

Another wonderful way to cultivate the Water Element is to spend some time reflecting on your thoughts and feelings. In a busy and turbulent external world, it’s important to prioritize your internal processing.

Reflecting on your thoughts and feelings helps you process life’s experiences more fully and cultivate the Water Element within you. Additionally, writing down your reflections on paper can heighten the benefits of reflection. Of course, you can combine your journaling practice with a nice walk in nature. Or, you can make a nice cup of tea and curl up in a comfortable chair next to the fire on a cold winter day.

3. Practice Qi Gong

Practicing Qi Gong is a great way to cultivate the Water Element within you. Pretty much all Qi Gong practices will have a positive impact on your Water Element, but some exercises are more focused than others.

Qi Gong practices designed to cultivate the Water Element often include slow, flowing exercises that mirror the movements of water in nature. They also focus on strengthening your Qi in your Kidneys and Bladder.

If you’re interested in learning Qi Gong practices to cultivate the Water Element, be sure to check out our on-demand Qi Gong for Winter Workshop.

Cultivate Your Water Element This Winter Season

When you sign up for our on-demand Qi Gong for Winter Workshop, you’ll learn powerful practices that focus on cultivating the gifts that winter and the Water Element has to offer. These gifts have the power to enrich your well-being physically, emotionally, and energetically.

This on-demand workshop is taught by master Qi Gong teacher Lee Holden and can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. Learn more and discover how to harness the gifts of winter and the Water Element.

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