According to the teachings of Chinese Medicine, an important principle to leading a healthy life is that of balance.
Living a life of balance affords us longevity. One of the ways of achieving balance is by mirroring the energy of the seasons. Everything in nature is composed of yin and yang energy.
The winter is the time of year that has the most yin and the least amount of yang: less sunlight, more hours of darkness, colder temperatures and hibernation. We harmonize with winter’s energy by sleeping more hours and by decreasing our physical activity.
Physical movements should mimic the sun’s cycle in the winter – mellow and contained. In other words, a flow yoga class may be more helpful towards maintaining health in the winter than an aerobics class or an intensely long ski. On the contrary, summer is the perfect time for more ambitious physical activity because there is maximum yang energy available from the sun.
Likewise, our mental states should echo the seasons. In spring and summer, our mental lives are much more ambitious and outwardly focused; we’re more social and interactive. In fall and winter, our spirits calm down and it becomes a time of contemplation and withdrawal.
Lifestyle adjustments can be difficult to accomplish for those of us who have set work or school schedules. Modern life is not conducive to differing levels of productivity with the seasons. We are constantly working harder and striving more, with resting less. However if we ignore the rhythms of nature, we miss the natural energy cycle within our own bodies.
We create inner conflict and we are not in harmony with the ebb and flow of life. Just like trees go dormant and the bears sleep, they are in sync with the natural cycles. Our bodies are designed to easily have a lifespan of 100 years. Indeed the ancient Chinese 2000 years ago knew this and honored the principles of nature.
Honor the seasons, cycles and your body. Let yin be in for now…
To Your Best Health,
L. Ac. Dipl OM
801 Florida Rd, Suite 12, Durango, CO