The phrase ‘follow the yin‘ has its roots in Eastern Taoist philosophy and is based on the understanding that to live in harmony with universal energies, you need to put the Yin (feminine/receptive) in the guiding position.
Yin is the feminine energy, the receptive aspect that is the open door through which universal and spiritual intelligence is received in the form of intuition and feeling. She is the chalice. The Yang is the masculine energy, the active aspect that listens to her and then acts to manifest her intuitive guidance into the physical world, bringing formless into form.
Female intuition plus male action equals creativity.
This is the natural order of the universe, the way to optimally benefit from the life-force or Qi (energy) available to you.
If you’re a Star Wars fan, it’s how to use The Force and be a Jedi!
Unfortunately, most of us have not yet learned to benefit from the harmonious dance of Yin and Yang.
In our modern culture, Yang (masculine/active) has been dominant after millennium of suppression of Yin. Under this patriarchal worldview, rather then surrender to the forces of the universe and trust in the Mystery, the masculine energy attempts to control it. This is a fear based response to life that sees mankind as separate and stuck in survival mode.
The resulting imbalance between Yin and Yang is at the root of the crises our planet faces today, reflected in everything from our war against each other and the environment, to the war that is fought everyday against the natural cycles of women’s bodies.
Yang is out of control; the counterbalance of a flourishing Yin is essential to restore harmony and balance both within and without.
To understand what this means to women’s health, all you need do is look at how the average woman has had her natural hormonal cycle controlled by artificial hormones since she was a teenager. Ironically, women have been led to believe this is ‘female empowerment’.
Consider also how the average pregnancy and birth is now managed as an illness. The vast majority of births are controlled, pharmaceutically and surgically, rather then trusting women’s bodies and female intuition. The average woman has been taught to fear birth to such an extent less then 0.5% experience normal, natural physiological labor.
Given that hysterectomy and caesarean section are the two most common surgeries worldwide, it’s easy to see how suppressing Yin – man versus nature – is failing women and their health.
Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners apply the principle ‘follow the yin’ as a way to improve all aspects of women’s health, recognising that life is cyclical. Just like the Day-Night cycle, where there is Yin phase (sleep) and a Yang phase (wake) so too the menstrual cycle follows an energetic ebb and flow of energy. For women who are post-menopausal, paying attention to the lunar cycle (moon) is beneficial.
Women are cyclical. To try and go through life at one speed and in one gear goes against the natural life-force that is available to women.
If you are feeling burnt out, stretched to max, overwhelmed with all that you have to do, disconnected from your inner sense of knowing, or out of control and at the mercy of your hormones, there is another way.
Learning how to work in harmony with the menstrual (or moon) cycle, to know when it is Yin time and when it is Yang time helps women understand the power of each phase of the cycle and allows women to work in harmony with their body. This the way to optimum health, vitality, joy, creativity and wellbeing.
Follow the yin.