While we spent January in introspection and reflection, February brought a welcome lightness as we passed through the midway point from the Winter Solstice to the Spring Equinox. We also recognized the Lunar New Year and I found myself getting even more excited about the New Year and the possibility of things to come. It can be challenging to stay grounded in the present moment as we contemplate the potential of the coming spring.
Every year, we renew our commitment to continue to rest during the cloak of winter time. Spring will return before we know it. Winter's stillness continues to call us inward and encourages us to nourish the Kidneys. Kidneys are nourished by legumes, nuts and seeds, (foods which resemble kidneys) particularly walnuts. They are also nourished by dark blue, purple and black foods. Consider foods which draw us in such as salty foods, like foods which come from the sea. Try not to engage in any stressful activity during kidney time which is 3 - 5 am and pm. Practice pranayama, meditation and yoga during these times or go for walks in nature. Continue to get plenty of rest. Follow the sun.
The kidneys are located in the lower middle back, protected by the lower back ribcage. Keep this area warm and gently massage it, when you can. Lie over a bolster and enjoy gentle back bends. If you have a regular yoga practice, practice deeper backbends like urdva mukha svanasana, dhanurasana, urdhva dhanurasana and dwi pada viparita dandasana. Consider some of our classes or sequences focused on backbends.
Whatever you do, be good to yourself. The spring will soon return with all of the activity, excitement and beauty it brings.
May you continue to rest and deeply nourish yourself until next time.
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Advanced Junior II Iyengar Yoga Instructor, Pixie Lillas, Inspires Us in Urdhva Dhanurasana, Upward Bow Pose. Visit our Asana Index for More Inspiring Yoga Poses or To Submit Your Own!