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Nourishing Yin Energy: Embracing the Winter New Moon’s Invitation to Rest

In a culture that glorifies busyness and productivity, the arrival of the new moon presents us with a precious opportunity—a sacred invitation to rest.


WHAT IS YIN ENERGY?

Central to Chinese philosophy are yin and yang energies.  Often represented by the familiar symbol of the yin-yang.


Yang is represented by the white half of the symbol.  Yang energy is masculine, functional, expansive, warm, and active.  Yang energy flows through fire, day, sun, and light.


Yin, on the other hand, is represented by the black half of the symbol.   Yin energy is feminine, introspective, receptive, cool, and still.  Yin energy flows through water, night, moon, and shadow.



These energies flow together in an intricate dance, creating equilibrium.  It is through the harmonious interaction of these complementary energies that health and vitality are sustained.


THE YIN OF THE NEW MOON

The arrival of the new moon embodies yin energy in a very physical sense.  The new moon involves the two yin-infused elements of the night and the moon.  The moon disappears from our view, shrouded in yin mystery.  The sky is at the darkest point of its monthly cycle as the moon rests, fully in shadow.


Spiritually, this is a time for sowing the seeds of our intentions and dreams.  Just as we plant seeds into the darkness and mystery of the soil, so we plant our intentions into the darkness and mystery of this new moon time.  On a dark night, void of the moon’s light, we are invited to rest, to turn inward, and to honor the quiet whispers of our souls.  Again, we see this feminine, receptive, nurturing, mysterious yin energy at play.


A WINTER NEW MOON

The season of winter deepens us even further into this yin energy.  Winter embodies the yin of coolness and darkness. As nature retreats into a state of dormancy, conserving its resources for the season ahead, we also are reminded of the importance of embracing rest and replenishment during this time.  A Winter New Moon, then, draws us even further into this nurturing, restful yin energy.


No living thing can be sustainably busy and productive all the time.  We are not robots.  We are nature.  And we become thrown out of balance when we strive to embody yang energy at all times without allowing yin to enter the dance.


RESTING IN THE WOMB OF THE MOTHER

When we embrace the energy of the new moon, we are gifted the opportunity to find ourselves cradled in the womb of the feminine yin, a sacred space of rest and rejuvenation. A place where we can release our grip on the unknown and release into mystery.  Here, amidst the stillness and silence, we are given the opportunity to replenish our reserves, restore balance to body and mind, and cultivate a deeper connection to the rhythms of nature. By cultivating practices that support the nourishment of yin, especially during the yin-dominant season of winter, we can foster a sense of alignment, harmony, and vitality in our lives.


PRACTICES TO NOURISH YIN ON THE NEW MOON

Stretch

Nourish your body and soul with gentle stretching movements.  Yin is flexible, slow, and restful.  Take your time.  Find a gentle stretch, and then rest into it in stillness.  Feel mindfully into your body.  You might consider a gentle, restorative, or yin yoga class.


Hydrate

Drink water, run a humidifier, take a steaming hot bath.  If you are brave, you might even visit the beautiful, cold, mysterious winter lake.  Nourish your body with the yin element of water.


Sacred Circle

Gather in sacred circle with trusted soul friends.  Let it be quiet and introspective.  Support one another.  Hold that circular, yin space for one another.


Rest

Take an evening to pause.  Pick a gentle activity to do that you find personally restful and rejuvenating.  Read a book, journal, or sit with a cup of tea and stare at the sky.  Let yourself rest.  Let yourself sleep. 


We spend so much of our time working, striving, and growing, or feeling guilty that we’re NOT working, striving, and growing.


On this new moon night, release the guilt of that narrative.  Boldly embrace the yin energy of rest with as much gusto as you embrace the yang energy of activity.  Without one, there can be no other.  Join in the dance of the universe. 




By aligning with the yin energy of this winter new moon, we align ourselves with the current of nature and find our flow.

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