Water: Kidney and Bladder
Water is the most yin of the five elements and is the domain of the kidneys and bladder. Water flows to the lowest point and always finds the path of least resistance. The season of water is winter and time of day 3-5 PM. Water is undermined by fear and strengthened by going with the flow and going deep within.
The PDF provides you with theory of the water element. It also poses questions to assist you in reflecting on how energy flows in you and in your life specifically in regard to this element. Working with the the information in the PDF will assist you in understanding how the water element functions in you and how you might strengthen or unblock this energy to bring it more into balance in your life. This element brings you deeply into connection with yourself and your connection to the flow of life.
The Warm Up and Five Element Stretching videos were introduced in the first unit and appear here again. To enrich your experience of the water element and that aspect of yourself, pay attention to the flow of energy in your body as you perform these movements and stretches. Notice where there is heat and cold. Cold is associated with the water element and can restrict the flow of the water energy in the body. Notice how the energy flows more readily and you stretch more easily when you are in a warm environment versus a cold one. You might visualize the flow of energy through the meridians (also called channels or pathways) as you do the stretches, up the front and down the back of your body. Be in the flow.
The Ki Strengthening – Water video demonstrates another way of focusing ki testing to explore the water element. In this demonstration the focus is on ‘weight underside’. When water runs in a riverbed, it always flows to the lowest area. In the same way, we allow the weight of our body to rest on the lowest areas, rather than tensing and ‘holding’ weight of our bodies in tight shoulders or jaw tension, or tight fists etc. This also trains us to go with the flow and not tense up in fear. We can use our mind to keep our water element flowing.
You can use Ki Breathing to release the tension caused by fear and deeply connect with your emotions and yourself.
Before you begin, you may wish to take stock or make a list of fears you are aware of or places in your life you feel held back by fear. Then sit, stand, kneel, or lie down in preparation for ki breathing. Be sure you are relaxed and comfortable and bring your focus to your breath, breathing out slowly and completely. Pause, and then breathe in the new breath, slowly, fully. To explore the water element with ki breathing, feel your breath as water. Feel it flow out of you, washing away all debris that has built up to restrain it. This debris may be the fears you are releasing. Then feel the inhalation wash into you as you fill up with this fresh, clear water. Feel the ebb and flow of your breath as the tides of the ocean. Feel your breath connected to the moon and the feel the pull of the moon on your breath. Also feel your breath flow out around you and deep into the earth as water would flow, to where it can be cleansed and refreshed.
You are one with the sky and earth, with all that is. Your breath is part of our expansive universe and flows with the universe, finding the path of least resistance. Your breath cleanses and refreshes you like a glass of fresh, clear spring water. Your breath is as deep as the ocean and gives you the power to act – the power of a river or a reversing tide.
The kidney meridian begins on the bottom of the foot and the bladder meridian ends in the smallest toe, so keeping the feet warm can support the ki in these meridians. Foot Massage can also stimulate ki and promote health in the water element. It relaxes the whole body and creates a grounded connection to our mother earth.
The Water Guided Visualization will familiarize you with the qualities of the water element. It can be used any time to access a state of rest and restoration and going with the flow.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and
listen. – Winston Churchill