On November 7th, we welcomed 立冬 (lìdōng), the 19th solar term of the year and the first of winter. The term not only announces the onset of winter but, rooted in ancient beliefs, also signifies an end – a time when vital energy is conserved, and all living beings enter a state of repose, akin to animals entering hibernation.
Understanding "Li Dong"
"Li Dong" translates to the "Beginning of Winter" when the sun reaches 225 degrees of the ecliptic longitude. This marks the establishment of winter, combining the characters 立 (lì), meaning "to be established," and 冬 (dōng), representing the winter season in modern Chinese.
Incorporating Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the transition during "Li Dong" holds special significance, symbolizing the shift from the Yang to the Yin phase. Yang embodies activity, growth, and expansion, while Yin signifies rest, reflection, and contraction. This pivotal change encourages us to adapt our habits and routines in harmony with the evolving season.
Adapting to the Yin Phase
As Yang energy wanes and Yin energy rises, it becomes essential to align our lifestyle choices with this natural shift. Embracing warmer, nourishing foods, adjusting exercise routines to include gentler activities, and prioritizing sufficient rest are key practices recommended by TCM during this time. By harmonizing with the season, we enhance our well-being and build resilience against the winter chill.
Embracing the Beginning of Winter
"Li Dong" beckons us to tune into the rhythms of nature, recognizing the cyclical dance of Yang and Yin energies. As we enter the Beginning of Winter, let us embrace the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine, adapting our lifestyles to foster balance and harmony with the changing seasons. In doing so, we fortify our health and align ourselves with the timeless flow of nature.