The 5 elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood correspond with different seasons, the food we select and the cooking styles we choose. Making the right food choices for the season will improve our health, nourish and protect our body.
Winter is the energy of the element Water, a time for rest and hibernation, when everything in nature retreats to build up its reserves for its next cycle of seasons. It’s time for us to slow down a bit as it is a quieter, more reflective time of year. Winter is the perfect time to stay at home, when it is easy to sleep in under the doona and let ourselves rest.
It is the time of year where Japanese remedial yoga classes work with the bladder, adrenals and kidney with restorative, season moves.
The Kidney Meridian is called ” The Controller of Water” and, as we are 83% water, so it is incredibly important to our health. It also is in charge of our Essential Qi, or the energy that we inherit from our mother and father that controls the bigger cycles in our life like puberty, menopause, etc;
The Bladder Meridian, the “Official in Charge of the Reserves of Energy”. It is our ability to keep going or a feeling that we are too tired.
Most people have a certain amount of imbalance in the water element meridians that vary on a day-to-day basis as it is influenced by our diets, high stress lifestyle and sleeping patterns.
So in Winter we eat foods that aid in healing our kidney energy. Winter foods include:
Grains like barley, buckwheat, black rice, oats groats
Vegetables that grow down into the earth, like beets, root veges and pumpkin
Beans that look like the kidney such as Adzuki and black beans and Pulses such as black lentils
Sea Vegetables are a must and include arame, kelp, hijiki, nori, wakame, kombu, spirulina
Fruits for Winter are blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, dark grapes, black raspberries, mulberries
Fish like blue fish, caviar, scallops, oysters, clams and mussels
Nuts are chestnuts, black sesame seeds, walnuts
Condiments & Seasonings Tamari, miso, tekka, gomasio, umeboshi, salt cured pickled food like our yummy cucumber recipe
The best yoga teacher training includes learning about how the five elements influence the science behind macrobiotic cooking. The Yoga House yoga training courses teach suggest you protect your kidney energy by keeping your lower back warm this Winter, restore your energy with yoga, rest when you can and slow cook your food with meals like like stews and hearty soups.