What can we learn from the shorter days and colder nights that winter brings us? In Qi Gong, we’re constantly seeking to embody the lessons that the seasons offer. During summer, we shared a blog post about the year’s longest day—the Summer Solstice. Today, we’re going to explore the energies and wisdom of the Winter Solstice.
Most Yin Day of the Year
Just as the Summer Solstice is the day in which the world is most abundant with Yang energy, the Winter Solstice is the time when the earth is at its most Yin state. Both Yin and Yang energies are essential for all living creatures, humans included. Finding balance between these energies is an important part of health, as well as overall wellbeing.
Yang energy is fiery, passionate, expressive, and about taking action. The long days of summer are a great time to manifest your visions and follow your ambitions. There’s a reason that many of us are attracted to spending our days outside and being active during the summer months. As humans, we’re naturally drawn to embody the energy of the natural world, and summertime is a period of outward awakening and celebration.
While Yang energy drives us to go outward and express our fullest selves to the world, Yin energy invites us to go inward. Shorter days and colder temperatures offer us a great opportunity to conserve our resources and look within ourselves. If the image of summertime is running on a beach in the hot sun, the vision of winter might be an image of sitting calmly by the fire.
As we mentioned, it’s essential to balance our Yin and Yang energies within our beings. While the outward, expressive manifestation of Yang energy is easier to recognize, it is our Yin energy that gives us our clarity of vision and direction. Have you ever heard the saying, “think before you speak?” Well, if speaking is Yang, then thinking is Yin. Yin and winter energy is the source of valuable reflection, emotional processing, and inward cultivation. If we really spend time to nourish our Yin resources, then our Yang side will greatly benefit as well.
What can we discover by going inward? Well, everything we are and more. Just as there are many events and activities happening in the world around us, our inner worlds are also constantly changing and evolving. In the midst of busy lives, it can be easy to forget about the “outer-world’s” counterpoint, which is, of course, our own inner process.
By sitting with ourselves and really taking time to understand what’s happening within us, we can move through inner barriers and resolve internal disharmonies. As we enter the heart of winter, perhaps you’ll notice some unresolved emotional processing surrounding a relationship, work, or events in your life. Or, maybe you’ll start to envision changes that you want to enact for your path moving forward into the new year. Whatever it is that comes up for you, it’s important to give it some time and attention. Of course, there is no better opportunity to hold space for yourself than the winter season.
Maintaining Balance Throughout the Winter
While it’s great to fully absorb the gifts of winter, it’s also important to stay balanced. Just as you would want to stay well-hydrated during the hot days of summer, it’s equally essential to stay warm throughout the cold of winter. There’s a good reason that people around the world decide to light fires in their stoves as the days grow shorter. Making sure you stay warm is important for your health and wellbeing.
Another valuable area to be conscious of is your level of physical activity. During summer, it’s easier for many of us to spend time outside exercising or being in nature. While the shorter daylight hours and colder temperatures of winter aren’t as inviting when it comes to doing activities outdoors, it’s still important to not become stagnant. Even if it doesn’t feel feasible to do the same fitness routines that you enjoyed during summer, there are still a lot of ways you can take care of your physical body during the winter months. Qi Gong is a great option for “winter fitness.”
As we go inward during the winter months, one great question we can ask ourselves is “what is truly important?” More than likely, one of the answers will be: the love and connection that you share with those you care about. There’s nothing in life that is more important than love, and the winter solstice offers us a great opportunity to reconnect with that truth. Through your own inner journey into the depths and heights of your consciousness, you’re sure to emerge with renewed appreciation and gratitude for those you care about. By bringing that awareness into your connection with others, you can use the power of Yin (inward) to fuel your Yang energy (outward)—the energy that connects you with the world and others.
Putting Knowledge into Practice
We’ve discussed the importance of inward processing and vision-setting, but how exactly do you go about doing that? At Holden QiGong, we’re really excited to offer a special workshop to help you gain awareness and confidence in what you want to manifest in 2020…
On December 29th, Lee will be leading a special Vision Setting workshop to help you welcome the new year with clarity, energy, and abundance. Not only is this workshop aimed at helping you to cultivate your own personal Qi Gong practice, but with all areas of your life! By having a vivid vision of the path before you and finding full alignment between all parts of yourself, you can become confident, empowered, and directed. Click the link below to learn more about how Qi Gong can help you to realize that power!
Written by Ian Drogin