Nourishing Yin


Translated by Tolbert McCarroll

Yin is the “stuff” that fuels Yang.

No matter how pretty your car is, it won’t run if the gas tank is empty.

Yang energy is busy, active, bright, flashy, external, extroverted, etc. The basis of Yang Qi is Yin. A gift of understanding this is knowing that by restoring our Yin we keep our Yang energy fortified. Practically applied, this means getting enough rest, allowing ourselves a nap, or taking a few minutes for ourselves in the morning.

Nourishing Yin means rest, relaxation, and inward attention.

This is in contrast to amping up the Yang with more coffee, Red Bull, another social engagement, turning up the music, or yelling at ourselves to keep moving. These stimulants work at the moment, but eventually, we crash and find ourselves exhausted, coming down with a cold, flu or worse.
Nourish Yin by getting consistent sleep, eating foods that you know are good for you, having a few minutes of inward quiet time, and using kindness when speaking to yourself. These practices provide a consistent basis for your Yang activities.

We can nourish Yin simply throughout the day by paying attention to our breath at stop lights, pausing before we eat, and offering ourselves a compassionate inner dialog. These little things add up over time and will support the harmony of Yin and Yang, which is the basis for our happiness and health.

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Cindy Black

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.


  1. Cindy Black on September 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Happy to hear that Yin is finding space in so many busy schedules!

  2. Kim Brooker on September 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    A great article. I also “put off” reading this until today because I was too busy! Interesting that several others here did the same. A little rest and taking a few minutes for myself this morning is definitely in order……….thanks!

  3. Terry Miller on September 7, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I like Denise was way too frantic to read about Yin. Perhaps it’s because we have been inundated with “falling from the sky Yin” so I thought that would suffice while I Yanged around and about as usual. When I did stop and look and listen to your blog I actually meditated for the first time since….. too embarrassing to mention:+( !
    Gonna change my evil ways Doc, I swear.

  4. Denise Jackson on September 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Awesome. I saw this post a few days ago, and didn’t make the time to read it until this am…just when I needed. “Funny universe”. Thank you for the reminder.

  5. Cindy Black on September 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Sometimes it seems that the simple things are the most challenging to practice. Glad to hear that there will be more self kindness and naps going on in the world!

  6. Karen Ball on September 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    I love your gentle reminder to be kind to ourselves. And I learned something – I never realized that Yin energy was the basis for Yang energy – but of course, it makes sense.

  7. Andrea Butje on September 5, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Compassionate inner dialog and sleep-such great guidelines. Think I will have a nice long chat with myself today and a nap!

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