>Cycles and Rhythms: Yin and Yang in the Winter Months

>According to Chinese medicine, the oneness of the universe has 2 aspects which can be seen as dualities or even conflicts, they are the Yin an Yang.
For balance sake: Most things exist as a combination of Yin and Yang, rather that purely one or the other.
Aspects of Yin:  Refers to Earth: Cold, wet receptive, deep and inward
Aspects of Yang:  Refers to Heaven: hot, dry, active, light, superficial and outward

Therefore, the Chinese see this balance specific to the cycles such as Winter and water being the
Yin part of the balance.
From the Chinese view, individuals deficient in Water energy may find it difficult to slow down, relax or rest during the winter months
A balanced Water element allows fluidity and flow. It also allows a person to nourish themselves and have a ready expression of feeling such as love.

So how does a person stay healthy in the Winter months?
During the winter, when the Yin dominates, there are 2 organs which need extra attention: the kidneys and bladder.( water element)
1. Drink plenty of water during the winter months
2. Winter diet:  In the winter months we also need to change our diets. There are shorter days, it is colder. Therefore, a diet that produces more heat is necessary ( soups, teas, hearty stews) The days are shorter so  we also tend to have less physical activity, and are burning fewer calories. So we need to eat less in order to keep our weight under control.
3. Examples:
Vegetable soups with carrots, turnips, onions, potatoes are especially right for the cold winter diet along with garlic, cayenne pepper and ginger root to spice up the winter diet.
Black beans, brown rice, lentils, and sunflower seeds can be cooked together by simmering them in one and a half times their amount of water. After 40 minutes, add some fresh olive oil, cayenne and nutritional yeast, or yogurt, curry and parsley. These grains and bean mixture make a complete vegetable protein.
Taken in part from: Haas, E. (2003) Staying Healthy with the Seasons.21st Century Ed. San Rafeal, CA. Random House