Dragon Yoga Pose
Kidney and Bladder
Water element is next. Let’s have a look at the 5-elements to see where the Water element sits within the cosmic dance.
When we look at figure 1.3, we can see that the Water element is supported by the Metal element in the Shen (nurturing) cycle and the Earth element supports Water in the Ko (controlling) cycle. I will talk a little more about the Metal element and Wood element later on in this book.
Winter (Water element) is the most ‘yin’ time of the year. Meaning it’s the best time to withdraw from excessive activity, to sleep more, eat more, slow down instructions and spend more time in selfenquiry. The organs associated with winter are the kidneys and the bladder. The kidneys, in Oriental
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medicine, are one of the most important organs and energies of our system for the kidneys store the vital energy, known as Jing Qi. Jing Qi is our most potent essence of energy that trickles out throughout our lifetime to bring us a long life. When we run out of Jing Qi, we die because this vital life energy has run out. We can easily and prematurely use up this Jing Qi through excessive activity, excessive stress, worry, drugs, alcohol, stimulants, addictive behaviors and by generally not taking enough time out to relax and regenerate. This is what the winter energy is all about – to take time out to replenish and regenerate so that when the other seasons come around, we have a healthy source of energy to work with. Adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue are common occurrence in our western fastpaced society, and these conditions are signs that we have taxed the kidney’s energies too much and have not taken enough time out to relax and regenerate. If we keep running ourselves into the ground, we will end up very miserable, depleted, fatigued and likely to die at an earlier age. Deep, achy pains in the lower back, poor bone health (weak bones, tooth decay), hearing loss, weak knees and fatigue are all signs that the kidneys are depleted and need some love.
The kidneys and bladder are all about nourishment and replenishment on all levels.
Water Organ Physiology
Let’s have a look at these Kidney and Bladder and how they function according to Western medicine and Oriental medicine.
Kidney function (Western Medicine)
– Removes waste from blood
– Regulates salts and acids (pH levels)
– Produces hormones that help control blood pressure, water balance, make red blood cells and maintain strong bones