Welcoming the light and shadow

Does a snowflake, flung from an angel’s wing, trust the fall, 

not yet knowing the grand design or what it will become?

There is patience, a whisper of natural order,

as it follows it’s innate path, anchoring light to Earth.

~ Transformation by Myra Dutton

In the depths of winter I find myself moving between emotions; loving the gentle sun as it shines on my face, enjoying the layers of clothes that keep me cosy and warm, then feeling flat and demotivated when faced with overcast skies, grey and drab, or frustrated I can’t walk the dog as it’s raining.

Here are some recent pictures I took as I walked by the local creek; it captures both the shadow and light.


There is peace to be found in acceptance; the inevitable change of seasons and to notice how our own natural rhythms and cycles are connected to those of the earth. We learn to value sunshine and shadow, light and darkness, activity and rest, work and play – to explore the balance; the yin and yang.  


Yin characteristics are cool, wet, feminine and quiet, whereas the yang is the opposite: warm, dry, fast, masculine and extroverted. Winter is a yin season, a time for storing and conserving our energy in the way a bear retains fat by hibernating , or a farmer stores food for the cold months ahead.


The yin and yang symbol reminds us that both sunlight and shadow contain within themselves the potential or seed of their opposite quality. At the darkest part of the symbol is a small dot (bindu or seed) of light; at the lightest part, is a small dot of darkness. The challenge can be to accept the value of both the light and the dark.

yin yang symbol

At a time of the year when there is less light, we benefit from embracing the value the darkness. Think of a baby developing and growing within the darkness of the womb, or a seed in the darkness of the soil. The dark is good. It is a place for rest and renewal, a place of healing, wisdom and inner knowing.  We can use quiet, reflective and mindfulness practices such as yoga nidra (deep relaxation) and meditation to get in touch with this place within. Here we may find understanding, inspiration and insight into who we are and discover our heart felt desire, that which we want more than anything in life, for health, wealth or healing.

Here are some questions you may like to reflect on at this time of the year.

1. What aspect of yourself or life have you kept in darkness? What have you avoided, repelled or ignored?

2. Which aspect of yourself or life could benefit from warmth, compassion and light?

3. As the sun’s light strengthens over these next few months, what aspects of your life would you like to cultivate and strengthen?

I am running a 6 week iRest® yoga nidra course beginning Friday 9th August @ 6pm. If you are interested in exploring this practice of deep relaxation and self enquiry, please contact me or click here for more details.

Building our strength reserves through gesture (Mudra)

The kidneys are connected to the second chakra, which is located in the lower abdomen and the element of water.

Physiologically, hatha yoga works on the hips, lumbar, and sacral regions to stimulate this energy. Specific asanas can also aid in maintaining and stimulating the healthy flow of fluids in the body, which improves kidney function and revitalizes energy in the second chakra. Such fluids include the synovial fluids of the joints and the fluids of the lymphatic system as well as a healthy level of blood and urine production.

Asanas that simply put pressure on the kidneys also help to flush and cleanse these organs.

The meridian line, or energy line, that stimulates the kidneys runs from the bottom of the fifth toe and through the inner knee, thigh, and sacral region. Twists, back bends, forward folds, and inner thigh stretches will stimulate the second chakra and release blockages.

Bhudi Mudra

More than half our body weight consists of fluid,the Bhudi mudra helps to restore or maintain equilibrium in the fluid balance. This mudra is good for dry eyes or mouth and disorders of the bladder and kidney areas.

Place the tips of thumbs and little fingers together, extending the others in relaxed way. 

Imagine a small, clear mountain stream flowing gently. Dip your feet or hands into it and let it caress you. Cup the water in the hollow of your hands; drink the precious cool liquid;let it refresh you. While you do this repeat three times:


Water purifies, refreshes and strengthens my body, mind and soul.

Make sure you continue to drink plenty of good quality water in the colder months.

Keep warm,