Winter Solstice: Sitting with Darkness

WINTER SOLSTICE Invites us to turn inward; nourish, restore, let go, heal, listen deeply and reflect. When we talk a walk into our winter's cave, the way a hibernating creature does, our tendency may be to tap out, fall to sleep, or numb out (insert method of choice). But as seekers of truth we may instead be drawn to notice what we find there in that 'cave'. Can we sit with our darkness, our shadow, pain, loneliness, anger... the unknown?

Can we witness the hurt parts of ourselves and allow them to be seen and heard; to shed the old to make way for the new growth come spring?

Winter is governed by the Water Element (Kidney/Bladder Meridian in Oriental 5 Element Theory) so it's all about finding flow, in our energetic and emotional body. We need to nourishing the container in which that flow occurs to allow it to move freely. We may notice where we have dammed it, and where the eddies flow unimpeded. In these long cold, wet, dark nights winter invites us to dive deep within and do the work.

PRACTICE:

* Take a warm bath, feel the water around you. Feel into the water within you. The moisture in your eyes, mouth, nose. Feel in to liquidity, fluidity and flwo. Water is immensely POWERFUL. It puts out fire, it wears down earth, it's strongly YIN, feminine and flowing. Feel in to the idea of flow as your relax in the warm waters and set intentions to bring greater flow in to your life.

* Make time for practicing reflection. First thing in the morning and right before bed are great times, the book ends to sleep, for us to practice reflection. Is it ok for you to sit with your thoughts in the mornings, rather than scrolling through your device? And could you go to bed to relax 20minutes before you plan to sleep, with a nice piece of music, a meditation, or just taking your own time to unwind and let go of the day before you go unconscious?

* Take a Yin Yoga Class. Yin Yoga is practiced seasonally. Winter yin nourished the kidney and bladder meridians, tending to the water element, our vital life force (jing). Most Yin teachers will teach according to the season, so get along to a class. Or if you prefer to practice at home I've made a couple of Yin practices for winter (from two years ago):
Watch the Yin introduction video here.
BeginnersKidney/Bladder practice here.
Intermeditate Kidney/ Bladder practice here.