The Season of YIN
As the winter season progresses, all natural life slows down and is invited to move to the internal spaces. The trees lose their leaves and go to "sleep" in order to conserve their stores of energy. The sun shines its face for fewer hours of the day. Mammals, including us humans, retreat to our shelters and burrow in plush materials. Yin energy is of the winter. It governs the cold, wet, dark, night, and internal spaces. When nature calls us to go within, let's not fight it. The season of YIN is nigh.
Unfortunately, our society values and pushes constantly for Yang energy. Phrases like "Rise and Grind" are constantly found plastered on coffee mugs and t-shirts. Stimulus is fed to us like pigs sent to slaughter. We give ourselves no space to luxuriate in our Yin energy. The scales keep tipping towards Yang without filling up in Yin to balance. How do we expect us humans to keep on going without completely burning out?
The season of Yin is the perfect time to examine within - physically, mentally, emotionally. According to TCM, Yin energy produces and stores Qi, blood, and bodily fluids, and governs our Jing (essence) and Shen (spirit, mind). The organs that function under this energy are the heart, the spleen, the lungs, the kidneys, and the liver. These internal organs are the foundation to a well functioning system. When they are balanced the rest of the body falls into place. You will often find that TCM practitioners begin a treatment of ailments first by replenishing and detoxing the liver, kidney, and/or spleen. The illness is not treated, but rather the person with the illness with the concept of zang xiang (what the internal organs can reveal).
Practicing Yin Yoga is also a great way to connect to our Yin energy. It allows us to target the deep connective tissues and facial networks. Each posture is passively held between three to five minutes mainly targeting the lower body which is full of these tissues and networks. Yin postures require the muscles around these deep connective tissues to relax in order to stretch. This practice invites us to slow down the mind falling into the gentle opening of space between our muscles and between our thoughts. Fidgeting or constantly adjusting shows more of the mind than of the body. People with a lot of Yang energy will find Yin yoga quite challenging as the energy is quite the opposite of what they are used to, but best believe they will be the ones that benefit the most.
We invite you to float in your Yin energy this winter season. Find what feels good. Perhaps that is cozy-ing up in your softest socks. Maybe it is setting boundaries and saying no to social events. Perhaps, it is simply just permitting yourself to do absolutely nothing.
Let us know how you tap into your Yin!