Yin Yang

Preserve your Energy this Winter


Seasonal change brings more than just a change in the landscape of the planet;  it changes our internal landscape as well.  Chinese medicine saw this to be true paying very close attention to how the elements affect us.  What season we are in becomes a great mirror for us to consider our activity level, our emotions, and what we should do with our physical bodies.  We are entering winter this month, the time of full yin.  The nights are long, the air is cool, and animals hibernate, this includes us!


Chinese medicine is based on the taoist principle of yin and yang which accounts for the duality we see in all of existence and the interconnectedness of all life.  This is represented by the yin yang symbol and as you can see each side has a little light in the dark or dark in the light.    Every concept you can think of in life is only available for distinction because there is an equal and opposite in nature.  You see  nighttime because you can also see daytime.  You know something is hard because you have had an experience of touching something soft. 



The yin aspect is represented by the feminine, the dark, intuition, the water element, and the winter season to name a few.  The kidneys are the organ system we want to nurture and pay attention to as well as its associated organ pair, the bladder and adrenal glands.  The kidneys are our main source of prenatal qi (or energy) and our jing (or reproductive essence).  This helps us rest, rejuvenate, and slow down the aging process.  The kidney health also contributes to the health our knees, low back and hearing.


The mammal instinct to hibernate during this season is spot on!  We should hope to emulate this activity by making decisions to not exceed our energy reserves; perhaps not go to that extra party and instead rest, eat nourishing soups and stews, cook with root vegetables or any other seasonal eats and take time reflect or retreat.  If we push ourselves too much this time of year, we as a human specious tend to get sick with colds and flus as well as tax our adrenal glands which help us adapt to the stresses of life.


Self-care can go beyond resting and eating and can engage with what nourishes your mind and heart such as acupuncture, meditation, bodywork, herbal remedies, qi gong, tai qi, which are all wonderful for cultivating qi for the kidneys.

Want to know a little background about the winter solstice?   Take a look at a previous blog article

A Blaze of Light to Come on the Solstice:

It’s been a long and trepidatious 2016, but as we enter the Winter Solstice on December 21st, the longest night of the year, light is at the end of the tunnel . . . literally.  The sun will begin to shine brighter and closer to us in the Northern Hemisphere, calling in more yang energy, that which builds strength and qi after great stillness.  Solstice translated from Latin means “sun set still.”  

Traditionally people would gather around a fire or light a candle to mark the great sunlight that is to come, while also setting intentions of letting go of everything that came before in order to pave way for the new year.   Use this last sacred night of deep yin to reflect on what happened over the year and what you might do differently.

This makes a beautiful holiday to celebrate because it is where the darkness, melancholy, and stresses of life can be met with the hope of a brighter day.  Where true yin meets true yang.  A reminder that all of life works in a balance and nothing can be felt or understood without awareness of its opposite.  To feel the light, you must understand the dark.  Even if 2016 was a hard year for you, always remember that what is challenging becomes the fuel for cultivation. 

The deeper the challenge both personally and collectively the greater the potential for our awakening.

So. . . .

-Light a candle or a fire

-Reflect on the previous year

-Let go of what you need to (even burn these reflections written down on paper)

-Honor what you learned

-Move forward with a new intention