The moon is in its own temple of Cancer, a feminine, water sign, and is fully illuminated by the Sun in the feminine earth sign of Capricorn. This might be the most Yin time of year – dark, slow, inward-focused, fluid, yielding, receptive.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine and its application through the practice of Yin yoga, we honor each season and the corresponding organs, recognizing the importance of supporting each for optimal health and vitality.
During the Winter, these organs are the Urinary Bladder and the Kidney. The Urinary Bladder meridians (or “little rivers”) connect from the inner corner of each eye to the pink toe. The Kidney meridians begin on the front of the body at the collarbones and run to the bottom of the foot. These meridian lines correspond to the fascia that makes up the deep connective tissue of the body – binding muscle fibers and carrying emotions.
Each season there are elements and emotions associated. For Winter, these are Water and Fear. The Kidneys are the seat of Qi or our life-force energy, the deepest root of energy and can be visualized as a pot of water (yin) over a flame (yang), and is searching always for balance between the two. Water occupies all spaces. It can be still or raging, gentle or powerful, shallow or deep, and it can soak into the depths. Winter is a time when plants draw their energy inward, to their roots; animals move toward hibernation. All hoping their preparations transition them to spring.
Here is where it is easy to see the emotion of Fear come into play. So, what do we do when we sense fear? Do we quickly move past, do we mindlessly react, do we ignore until it overflows? Perhaps we can allow it to be there, and find space to quietly observe. We can take time to focus on the feeling, not the story around it. Maybe we can sense its origin, maybe not. Perhaps it’s tied to some ancestor long ago who was uncertain if their vitality can last until the spring.
Winter allows space for drawing inward, for reflection, for recalibration. We have opportunities to quiet the mind and heart to hear the calling of the soul. We can take time to reset our inner compass. Doing this work is not only about seeing the light. It also means seeing the shadow with greater depth, with greater tolerance and gentleness. In times of noticing fear, it is possible to also look for something else – hope or love, not to erase any of this human experience but to carve out deeper understandings through this journey.
So, on this full moon evening, I invite you to practice making space for what is more inward. With the moon tugging at more action, you might find balance through movement or you might find balance through grounded activity. The latter is what we’ll focus on tomorrow evening during Yin Reset. Feel free to join online, if you have the time.