It is the beginning of the year – but you feel  tired?

It is the beginning of the year – but you feel  tired? Have you already used up the energy you built during your winter holidays? How was the beginning of the year energetically? Did you set an intention and do you ‘water it’ everyday with attention and good energy? I hope the giving and receiving is in balance 🙂 

And with this newsletter I am sending you reminder to watch the use (and misuse) of your energy 🙂

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine kidneys store our energy. There are two types of energy, prenatal Jing and postnatal Jing. 

Prenatal Jing ( Essence – Vital Substances)

At conception, the Prenatal Jing is passed to the foetus from the parents. Prenatal Jing (together with  energy derived from the kidneys of the mother) nourishes the foetus during pregnancy. Prenatal Jing determines basic constitution, strength, and vitality. It is fixed in quantity, determined at birth: it cannot be added to, only conserved and used up more slowly. It is stored in the kidneys.

The way to conserve Prenatal Jing is by striving for balance in all life activities. Balance meaning moderation in diet, work/rest, sexual activity. Irregularity or excess in these areas wastes Prenatal Jing. Certain exercises help conserve Prenatal Jing, such as breathing exercises, Taiji (Tai Chi), and Qi Gong, meditation, and yin yoga. 

Postnatal Jing (Post-Heaven Essence)

After birth, the child begins eating, drinking, and breathing independently. Its lungs, spleen and stomach then begin functioning to extract and refine qi from the food and drink it consumes and the air it breathes. Postnatal Jing is the complex of essences thus refined and extracted.

How can you check your own energy level?

By staying close to yourself, you reflect on what you eat, how you sleep, how much you move, so you look at/ feel how much energy you give and how much you receive and see if the giving and receiving is in balance. 

Often we give more than we receive and over time we run out of energy. Every time you feel something is negative and challenging, it takes your energy. Every time you feel something is positive and smooth, it gives you energy. When our batteries are charged we handle life’s challenges more easily. When we run out of energy, we feel powerless and sometimes hopeless 

From time to time we may buy flowers for ourselves or treat ourself with a massage but is that really taking good care of yourself? Is it listening  to the needs of our body and mind? 

It is a time to learn how to build up energy, a time to learn to receive and to learn to give to yourself without feeling guilty 🙂 

First question: What do you do to charge your batteries?

We asked this same question to our teachers (answers below) and we have created some unique workshops to let you re-charge and manage your energy. 

KATRI | The past months, including my  pregnancy and postnatal period were very challenging for me. I could literally feel a lack of energy.

When I think about what charges my batteries I need to say  Warmth, I protect my feet and kidney regions by wearing warm socks and body warmer. Sleep, I focus on maintaining a good sleep pattern. Meditation, I meditate to slow down thoughts, connect to the present moment and to connect to peace within me (I use for it a practices like Yoga Nidra). Nourishing food, I pay attention to what I eat and I choose light, nourishing and warm food. Being aware of what ‘sucks’ my energy. I am aware of “energy givers and energy takers”. In short,  energy takers are activities, thoughts, obligations, negativity around us, things WE MUST DO, which suck our energy. Energy givers are the activities, thoughts, actions, things WE LOVE TO DO which give us energy. When my batteries are low I eliminate everything that siphons away my energy.  I don’t push myself to do things which are unpleasant and challenging, I concentrate on doing things which I love to do. Being kind to myself, and giving  myself a smile and compliment helps to uplift my  energy and charge the batteries.

JAN | When I am drained of energy, I become silent. I prepare myself with a small ritual to start a walk. And then start walking, observing my surroundings, seeing myself as a part of the world. Not to go inward, but outward. The walking and observation gives me energy.

But sometimes even that is not enough. Those times I need real power. Then the shaman within comes forward and leads me into nature, not the known paths, but the unknown.

The walk among the trees, the sound of little branches below my feet, the whispering of leaves above my head and absorbing it all, becoming one with it All. That’s what gives me the real power.

MAI | When I feel my energy level is low, I check my diet and amount of sleep. I make miso soup with lots of root vegetables, such as Japanese white radish, burdock, taro, etc. with fried tofu. Usually, eating well and sleeping well charge me up with enough energy to keep running my life. Just FYI, in 2022, I missed no classes because of being sick or ill
ANNA | My way of charging my batteries? It sounds easy but it’s not! I am a mother of two little kids, taking care of one of them full time and also working. It is quite challenging to find some time for myself. Because my daily routine is really active, I start my day with some energising essential oils in my diffuser (wild orange or lemon) which is beneficial to all of my family members, not just me. Then throughout the day I try to find a few short moments just to sit or stand with a cup of coffee (which I love) in front of the window and focus my eyes on one distant point, at least for 4-5 minutes, practising my breathing.

If I already know in the morning that the day will be very busy, then to keep myself calm and not stress to much (because stress steals a lot of our energy!) I think about the coming evening when I will go to work, where I rest my mind and charge my batteries the most! I am so lucky doing such work, I know. But what gives me an even higher level of energy? People! The people who inspire me. When I am participating in their classes or workshops. When I have this precious time for myself, laying on the matand learning from others, listening to my body, letting it flow and resting my mind. All of that is something special to me, this is my way of charging for sure.

LEONTIEN | In wintertime when the days are short you can experience a lack of energy. Whenever that’s the case a nice walk can do wonders! Just put your coat, hat and gloves on and hit the road. Especially early in the morning it can be so calm and beautiful outside. Let the cold air cheer you up an give you renewed energy. Back home treat yourself with a warm cup of ginger tea and you will notice that you are full of fresh energy!
RIET | Nowadays, because of my arthritis I have quite some pain and there are days I would  rather  stay in bed. So why don’t I stay in bed? There are so many things I can do even with arthritis. Staying in a reasonable condition is therefore important for me, and even when the pose is difficult for me, joining a Yin yoga class makes me very happy nowadays. Most of the time it also gives the benefit of a good night’s sleep and feeling happy  next morning.