Our holiday season is wrought with hard, masculine energy: we race through goals, eager to be productive, and to meet personal and professional deadlines before the end of the year. We wake on January 1st, and can see the continuation of this energetic programming. Fitness centers are full, and everyone begins declaring what they plan to achieve. If we maintain this pace, we can strive and drive our way through the entire winter.
And yet, if allow ourselves space from this cultural script, we may notice that there is resistance in our bodies and spirits to this concept of hard work through the cold months. If we look around, we'll see that winter itself does not mirror this yang energy. Rather, the energy of winter is yin: slowness, darkness, heaviness, and rest. This season is a time for us to reconnect with our bodies, minds, and spirits. Nature hibernates to regain strength, regrouping before a burgeoning and productive spring; we would benefit from doing the same.
How can yin energy be nourished and restored? By taking time to surrender to this slow, and restful season: long nightly sleeps, and naps when you are able. Making warm and slow-cooked foods, and then spending time in quiet presence with your family. Sacred rituals are also wonderful for yin: lighting incense, meditating, journaling, and prayer all harness in this feminine energy. Quiet walks and contemplation in nature (when the weather allows), and less television. Yin provides us all with a beautiful gift: a time to restore the peace within ourselves, so that we can maintain our strength and reserves until the light returns.