Getting Real With Lisa Van De Graaff

In Oriental Medicine’s Five-Element Theory, it is the time of water. Water is our essence, our life force, and our sense of will. The strength of our water element is largely inherited, given to us at birth and ours to consume throughout our lives. In winter, some of our deepest beliefs and emotions may bubble up to the surface. It is normal to feel fear in this process, and our relationship to that fear is where we look to gauge health. In the extremes, the fear can paralyze us or cause overly risky behavior. In balance, knowledge and wisdom will help us to transcend fear.

Nurture your water element this winter by resting and getting enough sleep. Stretch your back with a forward bend and touching your toes. (If you can’t touch your toes, close your eyes and simply visualize your fingers reaching the floor – breathe and know where you are right now is enough.) Feel the spaces between the vertebrae and allow them to open, then press your feet into the floor, feel the strength in your legs, and roll up to standing.