In my lovely yoga class today, my wise teacher, Bridget at Yoga Om, talked about ‘Moments of Being’ as described by Virginia Wolfe. She encouraged us to notice the space or pause between our breaths. What does it feel like when we stop doing?
Woolf calls the forgotten rush of everyday life “non-being,” and contrasts this unconscious state with memorable moments—the hum of bees as she walked to the beach as a girl—that are often mysterious for being so ordinary and yet remembered. In these flashes of time she was conscious of being conscious, instead of “embedded in a kind of nondescript cotton wool” in which human days typically pass. https://richardgilbert.wordpress.com/about/
As we are nearing the shortest day and Winter Solstice, we have the opportunity to embrace the Yin. In Chinese Medicine everything comes back to Yang and Yin and whether they are in balance. Yang is about activity, doing, energy. Yin is about rest and being. Yang is the light, Yin is the dark. The most Yin we can be is when we are dead!
When our Yin is depleted we can feel tired, look pale, have night sweats and feel thirsty. We age more quickly and attract more illness,
Most of us live very Yang lives, in a society that values goals and measures success by our activity. Many of us have a mantra around being ‘too busy’. Many of us are fighting to find our Yang- we don’t want to get up when it’s still dark outside. We struggle to get out in the evening to that restaurant, gig or evening class. Our instinct is to snuggle up in our warm beds, in comfy pyjamas, on the sofa, stroking the cat or dog and eating warm nurturing food like stews and casseroles. Following this instinct is not being lazy or unmotivated. It is embracing our Yin!
During shorter, darker days, we need to conserve our energy and look after our Yin. Leave the big plans and the salad leaves for the Spring!
Now please go and think about what you can do to nourish your own Yin and notice the space in-between the actions and activity and allow yourself to sink into that.