Qigong Self-Care for Warm Winter Days  

The unusually warm Virginia weather in late February has confused some of the trees and flowers into blooming several weeks early. Nature follows various cues like changes in temperature and sunlight to shift into the next phase of development. The trees and plants think it is spring already! When spring arrives, they will have spent their blooming energy.

Your body may have been feeling a higher energy as well – like you do in springtime. Mine has. It has been delightful to sit in the sun, take a walk or a run without bundling up, and grill outside. All these things are good, but the Chinese Five Elements philosophy says we are still in the Winter Phase, so we should not overdo it.

The energy of winter is like a lake that has iced over – peaceful and still. It is a season for rest. Some animals hibernate. Plants slow their growth. The normally cold Virginia temperatures make us want to take it easy. Winter is a time to conserve energy so that when spring arrives, we are prepared for the demands of the new season.

So, how should we live during these warm days in winter? It is fine to get outdoors and enjoy these warm days in the middle of our Virginia winter, but we should recognize that it is not yet spring, and behave accordingly. Continue to do all the winter things. Rest more. Eat warm, cooked meals. Take naps, or become absorbed in a good book or simple hobbies. This is not the time to start a big project. Practice meditation or breath work, and stretch your body more. Enjoy slower movement. Release your fears, and allow yourself to really enjoy a gentler pace. If you live in sync with the energy of the Winter Phase for four-to-five more weeks, you will reap the energetic benefits when spring really arrives.

This is Qigong – living the natural way – going with the flow of the natural unfolding of life.

 

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