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Yin yoga and the water element

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

Yin Yoga is a passive style of yoga that encourages a softening or surrender of activity and an observation of awareness of the present moment. Integrating the Five Chinese Elements into practice enriches the model of Yin Yoga as a healing modality, as we humans are the embodiment of earth, fire, water, metal and wood. In circumstances of imbalance, we can use the wisdom tradition of Yoga Asana to organize the skeleton and relax the musculature in specific ways that awaken and enliven gentle self-inquiry and a lubrication of the connective tissue and pathways for immunity, longevity and vitality.

In a world that is in constant change, you can use this practice to find stillness. In thought patterns that produce suffering, may this practice allow you to see the unity of all things, from the changes of the seasons to the suppleness of the spine.

Water element and the Kidney meridian: Peace of mind and empowerment The wisdom of water is its incredible strength, it carves stone and shapes the whole earth, but without coercion. The water element enables adaptation to all of life's changes, challenges and stresses. Like the flow of water, a balanced practice allows us to control emotions, rather than let emotions control us. This is sometimes called "radical objectivity": water energy enables us to act effectively on a problem despite emotional responses, from a place of stable clarity, and to continue to advance or retreat as appropriate. Acting consciously, rather than reacting unconsciously. Allowing feelings to be there, without suppressing or indulging them

Season and organ Every element is most dominant during a certain season. Winter, which is also the season most dominant in YIN energy, is also the home of the water element. Just as a bear hibernates in winter, the water element of this season asks us to engage in revitalizing activities. The kidneys are responsible for removing waste products from the blood and regulating the salt and water balance in the body. Kidney energy affects all life processes from birth onwards. It is important for the growth and maintenance of general vitality, creativity, youthfulness and sexuality. Kidney energy controls Chi, or Prana, thus providing stamina and strength to the entire body.

Ask yourself Do I know when to stand up and when to give up? Am I making choices that drain my vital energy, or am I allowing space to replenish and revitalize my system? Water types They tend to create stressful schedules and unrealistic priorities to take on too much beyond their capacity. A continuous build-up of stress and a consistent strain on the adrenal glands and nervous system can drain them.

Emotional symptoms of imbalance: Fear, panic attacks, phobias, feeling overwhelmed. Physical symptoms of imbalance: Kidney deficiency is more noticeable in winter. If tired or unbalanced, water types cannot stay warm and grounded and nourished when the water element is intense. Weak kidney chi can show up as yellow pallor on the skin, blue bags under the eyes, a craving for salty food, and aversion to cold. Balanced water types They trust the flow of life. They are usually morning people, when they wake up full of energy. They are motivated and thus float around obstacles with a skillful balance of determination and effort. The water meridian or kidney channel begins at the sole of the foot and curls around the inner ankle before rising up the inseam at the back of the leg. As it reaches through the inner groin, it branches up the front of the spine and chest to end just below the collarbones. A Yin Yoga position to support and balance water elements usually tends to emphasize support of the life force. Since the kidneys filter toxins from the blood, our goal in a water pose is to support blood flow and Qi uninterrupted, along with front and back bends and extension of the inner leg line.

Try some of the following water positions: Half Dragonfly Seal Bridge or supported bridge Sphinx Caterpillar


Supported bridge


If you are interested in Yinyoga this winter, please get in touch or book your place already for a nice moment of silence and recovery.

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