Yin energy helps us experience deeper sleep, heightened intuition, and greater internal balance. It empowers us to receive the abundance that surrounds us and cultivate strength within ourselves.
In Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong, Yin energy is an essential part of health and wellbeing. Along with Yang, it is present within all elements of nature, including humans. Our ability to thrive is largely determined by the state of Yin within us. One way to cultivate this energy is to turn our attention to an unlikely teacher—the moon.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of Yin energy. We’ll also share a five-minute Qi Gong routine for cultivating Yin energy from the moon.
Understanding Yin and Yang Energy
Yin and Yang refer to the separate yet interdependent energies that exist within all things. Wherever there is duality, there is Yin and Yang.
In nature, different qualities are associated with Yin and Yang. For example, Yang is associated with heat, fire, light, movement, daytime, sun, summer, hardness, and masculinity. Yin is associated with cold, darkness, stillness, nighttime, moon, winter, softness, and femininity.
Yin and Yang energies also express themself in human form…
Within people, Yin is reflected through gentleness, listening, sleeping, introspection, and intuition. Yang, on the other hand, is more about doing, speaking, and outward expression. Based on this, it’s not hard to realize that western culture often overemphasizes the gifts of Yang and neglects Yin qualities.
Although Yin energy isn’t always as outwardly noticeable, it is still just as important as Yang. In fact, because the two energies are interdependent, they each need one another. Yang cannot exist harmoniously within Yin, and the same is true in reverse. Therefore, it’s important to cultivate both Yin and Yang energy.
5-Minute Qi Gong Routine to Cultivate Yin Energy
Since we’re in the heart of winter in the Northern Hemisphere (Yin!), we thought we’d share a brief Qi Gong routine to help you cultivate the gifts of Yin energy!
This routine specifically focuses on harnessing Yin energy from the moon. With its cold surfaces and nighttime presence, the moon has long been associated with Yin.
Preparing to Practice
To prepare for your Qi Gong practice, plan an evening to walk outside when the moon is in the sky. Perhaps, go on a little night hike near your home. Or, simply step outside your back door to practice in your yard.
Wherever you practice, make sure to make yourself comfortable. If it’s chilly, be sure to wear warm clothes. Once you’ve found a nice, quiet place, it’s time to begin your practice. Perhaps, read through these directions before starting.
Deep ‘Moon’ Breathing
Face toward the moon and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hover your hands in front of your face with your palms facing toward your forehead. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Make sure you’re in a relaxed stance and your knees and elbows are slightly bent.
Once you’re in position, start to take slow, deep breaths.
As you inhale, imagine Yin moon energy channeling down through you. On your exhale, imagine the energy flowing through your being. Visualize the energy relaxing each cell of your body as it moves and circulates.
With each inhale, you’ll take in more and more moon energy. With each exhale, you’ll feel yourself relaxing a little deeper. Yin energy flows and grows within your body.
If it feels right, you can have your eyes open as you look at the moon. It’s also completely fine to close your eyes and focus on the feeling of moon energy channeling through your body. After a minute or two of deep breathing, you can transition to the next exercise.
Moon Over the Lake
Bring your feet a little further apart so they’re slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees a little and bring your hands in front of your body. Allow your body to continue feeling calm and relaxed.
Now, start to shift your weight slowly to the left so your upper body moves over your left leg.
As your weight moves, allow your hands to glide gracefully in that same direction. When you’ve gone as far as you can comfortably move without losing your balance, bring your hands up in a circular motion and start to move your hands in the opposite direction. As your hands start to move back to the right, allow your weight to shift slowly in that direction as well.
When your hands and weight have shifted all the way to the right, allow your hands to fall gently downward, then start to move them back to the left. Throughout this entire exercise, allow your weight to move in synchronicity with your hands.
As you move, your hands should make a big, slow circle.
When your hands move downward, imagine that your hands are moonbeams shining down on a calm lake. As they move, visualize that your hands are like mist moving across it. When your hands circle upward, imagine that they are mist rising off of the surface of the lake.
After a minute or two, circle your hands in the other direction as you continue to shift your weight with the movement of your hands. Go through the same movements you did in the previous direction.
You can do this routine for just five minutes, or continue longer if you prefer. Throughout the routine, remember to visualize yourself channeling Yin energy from the moon above you.
When you’re done with this routine, give the moon a little smile and take its Yin energy with you into the rest of your night.