Shine with shiatsu journal

How to dive deep within ourselves in winter

Autumn is now undoubtedly over. You can feel it in the darkness and cold that surrounds us. Winter has arrived. Even if the sun occasionally comes out, its power is at its weakest in the northern hemisphere right now. The night lasts a full 16 hours. 

The natural movement of winter is one of withdrawal. Many animals fall into hibernation. Trees withdraw their sap into the interior. The last leaves have already fallen because the water reserves are not sufficient to nourish the leaves. The focus is on the essentials, on securing one’s own survival. 

Winter is the time of silence, of solitude, of the greatest yin. For the ones of us who enjoy summer and sunshine, this can be a challenging time. We can learn so much from water. Learn how we can have less resistance towards the cold, how we can support ourselves best. 

1. The flow of kidney and bladder

Winter is represented by the kidney and the bladder. These two organs symbolise the power of water like no other. Their main function is to constantly cleanse the body. The kidneys filter harmful and toxic substances as well as residues of medicines from the blood. At the same time, they return water, salts and nutrients into the bloodstream. The urine passes from the kidneys to the bladder through the two ureters and is finally emptied completely. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidneys have a special meaning. They serve as a reservoir. In its function they stores the energy of all the internal organs and also the energy of people who lived before us, the Ancestral Energy.

This is the energy that we inherited at birth from our parents, grandparents and other ancestors. They all live on in us through this. The kidney energy likes balance. Especially now it is important not to get lost in doing to much. Instead of using up our energy everywhere, the focus remains on the essential.

Water has both in it – an incredible depth and calmness. It shapes our trust in life, our relationship with the subconscious. Water energy unfolds best with a good balance between activity and relaxation. It does not mean we have to stop our activities completely. Rather, we need conscious periods of rest in which we allow ourselves to relax. The water element draws us deep inside. This is where our courage resides.

2. Immerse yourself into winter

Use the cold season to strengthen your life energy. Here I show you my self-tested tips.

1.) Pay attention to the essentials

In winter we are encouraged to use our energy wisely. Instead of marathon training, go for a walk. Instead of three appointments in one day, rather one deep conversation. The essence within us can show itself when we allow stillness and do not constantly act in all directions. It comes from the depth of silence.

2.) Take a walk by the water

We can cultivate the connection to water regardless of the season. But in winter it is especially important. Take a walk by the river or the lake, watch how the water flows, how the waves move slowly and softly. Of course, you can also swim in winter or take a relaxing bath.

3.) Observe the fear inside you

Does your mood feel a little sad or pessimistic right now? What situations are causing it? What exactly are you afraid of? It is helpful to take a look at those questions. Often fear comes from feeling constricted, both in our thinking and in our feeling. If we allow ourselves to face our fear, things can move into a new direction.

4.) Find time for being quiet

Winter invites us to spend more time alone. To engage with ourselves and look into our own depths. In this way we develop contact with our subconscious. In winter it speaks most clearly and perhaps we hear it best then. Use this time to meditate, to sink into the world of your dreams. Or just sit in silence for a few minutes. 

5.) Listen to classical music

The kidney and bladder control our sense of hearing. A good way to get in touch with the water element is through music. Classical music is best for this. Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi and Chopin take us into a world where we can make new discoveries. Or simply have a break.

6.) Drink enough water

We often hear this in summer, but we need drinking water all year round. The bladder and kidneys need sufficient fluid to cleanse the body. Also to prevent kidney stones or bladder infections. Make sure that the water has a warm temperature. This is the best way for it to be absorbed into the body.

Let the water flow inside you!


Aleksandra Hoffmann Shiatsu Berlin

about the author

Aleksandra Hoffmann

Aleksandra Hoffmann is a certified Shiatsu practitioner based in Berlin, Germany. She supports clients in times of physical and emotional stress, so they can feel into their bodies and inner needs and find peace within themselves.