The Energetics of Winter

The Energetics of Winter

Today's blog is from Jane Pascoe, a movement specialist, who uses the seasons as inspiration when it comes to all aspects of her movement and wellness practices. 

Jane's given Aglow VIP members links to two free online winter classes (see the last section for the links), AND also 50% off ($42 dollar saving) her online movement membership for three months (code at the end of this blog).


“Winter Is The Time To Appreciate The Darkness And Cold And To Snuggle Up, Nourish Your Body And Mind By Going Deep Within, Allowing Time For Rest, Introspection, Self-Reflection, Meditation And Quietude.”

Hand cupping a hot drink

Winter is the season to stay grounded, recuperate, restore and replenish your energy in preparation for spring growth. This blog is going to cover:

  1. Traditional Chinese Medicine 
  2. Self-care tips for winter
  3. Movement and breath

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) attributes winter to the water element, associated with the organ system of the kidneys and urinary bladder. Winter is the most yin season with its dark, slow, inward energy, and is the time to strengthen your kidneys.

 In Western medicine, kidneys are associated with:

  • water metabolism
  • filtration of blood
  • regulation of blood pressure
  • production of red blood cells.


Chinese medicine expands the functions of the kidneys and urinary bladder further, recognising these organs as energetic pathways that convey not only physical but also mental and emotional qualities. In TCM, kidney qi (life force) is responsible for

  • memory
  • healthy teeth & bones
  • storage of the vital energy and inner strength.
  • birth, growth and reproductive capacity
  • longevity
  • willpower and courage.

The emotions associated with the kidneys are fears, courage and depression. Chinese medicine further teaches that kidneys hold our vital essence, the fundamental energy, referred to as jing, which is produced in our bones. If our kidney jing is deficient it’s said that no other energy pathways can thrive.


What depletes our kidney energy?

Stress, lack of rest and sleep, overwork, overindulgence and exhaustion deplete the kidney qi and accelerate the ageing process. Too much sugar and salt and stimulants and too little water in the diet also cause imbalances in the kidneys and the urinary bladder.

Colder weather may also deplete kidney qi and, when weakened, this may exacerbate rheumatoid conditions as well as joint and lower-back pain. TCM doctors often recommend bone broths to strengthen the kidneys and nourish the deeper tissues such as bones and joints. Aglow’s collagen products would also be wonderful!

 The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, arguably the most essential Chinese healing text, advises:

“Retire early and get up with the sunrise, which is later in winter … The theory of the winter season is one of conservation and storage. Without such practice, the result will be injury to the kidney energy. This will cause weakness, shrinking of muscles and coldness; then the body loses its ability to open and move about in the spring.”


That’s right - You have permission to sleep in!

 Cup of Tea in Bed

Self care in winter

Implementing the following suggestions will help you to cultivate a more balanced lifestyle and remain healthy, grounded, calm, nourished and vital this winter.

Abhyanga (self-massage) will keep you warm and relieve aches 

Sleep. Winter is the time to slow down and, if your lifestyle allows, the season when you can indulge in sleeping in, as Ayurveda suggests going to bed earlier and rising around 7am. Staying in bed a little longer will help you rejuvenate.
Diet. When all is well and balanced in the body, your agni burns the strongest in winter. To feed this digestive fire in the colder weather, you need more fuel, in the form of food, to stay warm and nourished. Enjoy enjoy eating warm, mildly spicy foods and avoid anything too cold. Winter’s the season for hearty soups, nutritious stews and nourishing casseroles!
  • Ginger, cinnamon and cloves are warming spices and will boost immunity, invigorate metabolism, enhance digestion and respiration, increase circulation and aid in mucus elimination.
  • Complementing your warm winter meals with fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut and home-made yoghurt will further support your digestive system, enhance your immunity and encourage better absorption of the nutrients from the foods you consume.

Drinks. First thing in the morning, have a glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon and freshly grated or dry ginger. This will help increase your appetite, aid digestion and stimulate healthy bowel movement.

Sip warm teas spiced with ginger, cinnamon and cloves throughout the day to help warm you and keep your digestive fire burning. In the evening, have warm almond or cashew milk spiced with turmeric and nutmeg. Avoid iced and cold drinks during winter. Try my favourite hot beverage in the mornings HERE


Movement and breath

Pranayama (Breath regulation) for winter

Kapalabhati is a breathing technique that helps build internal heat, clear your mind and strengthen your lungs and aids in digestion, relief of allergies and mucus elimination from the respiratory tract, protecting and strengthening it along the way.

Find a comfortable seated position on the floor or a chair, keeping spine erect and shoulders relaxed. Tune into your natural breath. When you’re ready to commence, inhale naturally, feeling your diaphragm moving downwards into the abdomen and your chest expanding as the lungs fill with the air. Exhale actively, contracting the abdominal muscles, drawing your navel in and forcefully expelling air from the lungs. Begin slowly then speed up your inhale and exhale, remembering to allow the inhalation to be passive and the exhalation to be active.

Need more guidance? My movement membership has a number of pranayama classes along with yoga, meditation, pilates, barre and hiit classes. Something for every season!


Movement in Winter

Building some internal heat as well as nourishing the kidneys and adrenals would be high on my list over winter.

Check out these complimentary winter themed classes below. 


These classes are just 2 of the hundreds to choose from on my movement membership. From different styles of yoga to pilates, barre and hiit; there is something for every mood. Try these class links or sign up for a free trial of the movement membership where you can choose from these classes as well as hundreds of other options.

I’d love you to join us through my movement membership, and at $28 per month it’s a super affordable way to get regular and varied movement in whenever, wherever. Use the code MOVE for 50% off your first 3 months ($42 value). Alternatively use the following link for 50% off your first 3 months trial ($42 value) here.


Please reach out, I’d love to help you with your movement goals/journey.       

Sending you warmth, ease and nourishment.

Jane xo 


Instagram - @janepascoe        
Email –     

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