The following is an excerpt from my book, Total Life Cleanse, on the Water element, which correlates with the winter season. Support your water element this winter with lots of nourishing soups and gentle exercise.
Winter Seasons Water Element:
Is yours strong or weak?
When the water element is out of balance, we can feel tired or depleted during the times when it is dominant: in the winter and daily between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. That’s why we often crave afternoon siestas!
When we feel weak or tired, we tend to feel more vulnerable. Water out of balance for an extended time causes anxiety and fear to firmly take hold. On the other hand, if our water element is strong, we may feel energetic, strong-willed, and courageous, especially in the winter.
The Water Element and emotions
The water element corresponds to a full spectrum of emotions, from frozen fear to profound courage. Depending on the condition of our water element, we will walk through life in very different ways. Imbalanced water can cause feelings of terror or frozen fear. This causes us to become stuck, stubborn, and unable to flow with, and trust, life.
When water is balanced, we are quite comfortable and capable of being present with the unknowns in life, having courage and being able to take appropriate risks while having a healthy relationship with fear.
The Chinese describe fear as being in the presence of the unknown. When in the presence of the unknown, some people respond with meekness, fear, suspicion, or paranoia, while others respond with trust, courage, and humility.
The Water Element manifested
How we tend to respond tells us a lot about the state of our water element. Innumerable manifestations of water in nature also manifest in us. Our water can be like the deep blue ocean, a frozen lake, a polluted and stagnant swamp, or a beautiful flowing river. Water can manifest within as a tsunami wave or a placid lake early in the morning, with barely a ripple. It all depends on the state of our water element.
Water is the source of fluidity in our body. Watery secretions are the media for transporting all physiological functions, from cellular communication and detoxification to the electrical synapses in the brain, which carry neurotransmitters to their appropriate destinations. The water element also supports optimal joint lubrication, digestive secretions, our capacity to taste, and brain function.
The Water Element and ancestral chi
The water element is also the source of our inherited chi that is passed on from the parents to the child. When we need to access energy beyond that which we create from food, air, and water, we rely on our ancestral chi—the essential reserves of our physical, mental, and spiritual energy. Ancestral chi stems from the quality of chi and consciousness of both the mother and father at the time of conception. For this reason, ancient Chinese and Indian cultures gave great importance to cultivating a healthy and elevated consciousness prior to attempting to conceive a child.
In my book, Total Life Cleanse, and in the program, which I run on a regular basis, I talk more about the Water Element and kidney and bladder health, the significance of all the five elements in Ayurvedic medicine, and what these mean for us as we seek better health and healing.
Jonathan Glass, M.Ac. Ayurvedic Practitioner