End of Winter

As we bid farewell to the Year of the Rabbit (a year where many of us fell into a rabbit hole…) and welcome the Year of the Dragon, I carry anticipation in my heart for the new energy and opportunities this auspicious time may bring on the personal and universal levels.

The new Chinese year of the Dragon was celebrated on the 10th of february (it begins with the new moon that occurred January 21 and February 20 a15 days celebration) which also heralds the impending arrival of spring.

As the earth awakens from its winter slumber (have you already seen the Sunny yellow daffodil – narcissus flowers?), it reminds us of the cyclical nature of life and the many possibilities that lie ahead.

In Chinese astrology, each year is associated with one of the twelve zodiac animals and one of the five elements.

This year it is the Dragon and the wood element.

The Dragon symbolizes power, strength, and good fortune, heralding a period of growth and transformation for us all. We can all learn and draw inspiration from the qualities of the Dragon – its power, resilience, and ability to navigate challenges with grace and wisdom.

Wood is a symbol of vitality, growth, and expansion, representing the energy of this year, it symbolizes as well as the time of spring, which is only a few weeks away and the opportunities it brings for personal and spiritual growth.

To support the wood energy rising within us, the following Yoga postures which typically focus on opening the chest, stretching the sides of the body, and promoting flexibility in the spine, are suggested:

  1. Camel Pose: This backbend opens the chest, stretches the front of the body, and stimulates the heart chakra.
  2. Bow Pose: This backbend also opens the chest and stretches the front of the body, while also strengthening the back muscles.
  3. Bridge Pose: This gentle backbend stretches the chest, neck, and spine, while also strengthening the back muscles and improving posture.
  4. Extended Triangle Pose: This standing pose stretches the sides of the body, opens the chest, and promotes flexibility in the spine.
  5. Warrior II Pose: This standing pose strengthens the legs and opens the chest, while also stretching the sides of the body.

Incorporating these yoga poses into your day can help promote vitality, growth, and expansion.

Additionally, practicing Do-In, a form of stretching – the meridians (so it is close to shiatsu in the way it works) can help balance the energy in the body.

One specific Do-In movement for the wood (liver and Gallbladder energy channels) element involves:

Sitting up straight with one leg outstretched, flat on the floor, and with the foot upright.
The other leg is tucked into the body.
Bring your hands above the head with the palms facing each other and, on exhalation, lean sideways over the outstretched leg (keeping both buttocks on the floor).
Hold this position on inhalation, and then settle further into the stretch on exhalation (for three respirations).
Hold this position before slowly returning to the original sitting position.

Repeat on the other side.

You can support the wood energy with nutrition:

Eat plenty of green coloured foods (especially dark green leafy vegetables) and sour flavours like lemon water (drink first thing in the morning on an empty stomach); the water becomes electrolyte / “jelly water”. We are still in the winter time so keep eating warm food and plenty of soup.

At the same time, avoid alcohol, sugar and reduce coffee;

I discovered: clearly not coffee

https://clearly.eu/products/clearly-not-coffee and I love it.

When you need a pick-me-up, reach for peppermint tea instead.

If you’re interested in learning about intimacy (with yourself and others) and the basics of tantra,
I deeply recommend following a heart-based workshop with our dear friend Ananda. This is what he wrote to me the other day, and I share it with you:
“It’s my belief that my calling, and what I can bring to this space, revolves around exploring nature in its most unrefined state, embracing our innate wildness, and fostering harmony between our emotional and sexual selves. This exploration lies at the core of the ‘Wild at Heart’ journey, which I am thrilled to share with you”.

Here you can find more details and register: https://buytickets.at/anandaamitangelo/1116336

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to either Ananda, the facilitator, at erosmedicineamsterdam@gmail.com , or to Nir (my life partner) the organizer: Nir.newman@gmail.com.

Almost the last note: The Akasha spa is closed for 2 months as of this week, so no Watsu in Amsterdam till end of April. If you are willing to travel for it (to Limburg at the end of March), I will have 2 days there to provide sessions. Please contact me as soon as possible if that is your wish.

If you can’t travel far, booking a shiatsu (= watsu on land…) session might be a good alternative.

Wishing you a prosperous Year of the Dragon:

May we embrace, like the Dragon, our inner strength and face the opportunities and challenges of the coming year with courage and determination.

This year I’ll turn 50 (in 3 weeks’ time actually). I am deep in my peri-menopause time, excited to reach menopause and its gifts
(if you read that and totally don’t understand what I say, you are welcome to book my lecture on the issue).

Thanks for reading!
See you soon hopefully either for a session or at my women’s circle gathering on Thursday evening or somewhere for a hug.

Take care,