In the Tao, we believe that we are all born with 100% original force and half of this energy is stored within our sexual organs and the kidneys. This is the most powerful energy in the body – original force is the link between our physical body and our soul.
As we approach the winter season, the season associated with the kidneys, we are at the most opportune time of year to strengthen and balance our kidney energy and improve our overall health.
Here are six tips that you can do at home to nourish the kidneys and your original force in preparation for wintertime:
4 cups of warm water in the morning gently awakens your body and helps the kidneys flush out toxins. It’s important to stay hydrated but also keep in mind that the kidneys must filter about 200 liters of fluid per day. That’s a lot of hard work; so, drinking too much water can also be damaging to your kidney energy.
In Chinese Medicine, the kidneys are associated with the salty flavor and also tend to benefit from foods of blue or black color. Here are some nourishing foods to begin incorporating into your diet before winter: fish (particularly from the sea), shellfish, seaweed, kelp, spirulina, natural sea salt and pink Himalayan salt (moderately), bone broth soup, dark leafy greens, black beans and kidney beans, blueberries, blackberries and black chia seeds. Try to avoid over-indulging in raw or cold foods.
Tune into the positive virtues of calmness and peacefulness and let those feelings grow in your kidneys. As the stillness of winter sets in nature, try to work with your body to embrace the calmness you feel, as it has it’s own kind of power. Your body is like a universe, a microcosmos in the macrocosmos. Whenever you work with your body, by tuning into the virtues instead of against them, you can become more aligned with the macrocosmos of the universe even when you feel negative emotions.
With the Female Healing or Men’s Health exercises, you connect with your sexual organs and build more original force while strengthening and energizing the kidneys. The psoas muscle, the muscle connecting the lumbar to the hip joint, is also very connected to sexuality and kidney vitality. In addition to practicing meditations and exercises for your sexual health, like Breast Massage, Ovarian Breathing and Jade Egg Exercise for women, it is important to stretch and strengthen the psoas muscle. Try these quick seven psoas and lower back exercises.
In Chi Gong and Tai Chi practices, we focus on breathing and exercises that improve circulation, blood flow and keep the kidneys exercised through expansion and contraction of the pelvic and urogenital diaphragms. You can try these morning exercises which wake up the whole body, including the kidneys.
Kidney Breathing is a practice to energize your kidneys and can be done at any time throughout the day but is particularly beneficial in the morning to wake up your kidneys. Watch this video for instructions on the practice:
Use this time to tune into your body, your needs and improve your health and wellbeing. Wishing you all the best as your improve your kidney vitalty!
If you want to join me for an upcoming course, I’ll be teaching many classes abroad in Europe March-May 2016 and I’ll be teaching at the Tao Garden in Thailand in May as well. Find more information and those dates here.