Yin and Yang Easily Explained, Easily Understood
One of my great influences, in terms of health, is traditional Chinese herbal medicine. At the heart of traditional Chinese herbal medicine is the theory of
yin and yang.
The theory of yin and yang has influenced many aspects of Chinese culture, from health and healing, to acupuncture, to the design of houses and palaces including the
Forbidden Palace and yin and yang has also influenced Chinese cooking too. Yin and yang is at the heart of Feng Shui. Truly, the theory of yin and yang is everywhere. But what is it?
Yin and yang is the cycle of life — starting with the rise of the sun in the morning where the rays shine straight up. From here, the sun goes higher into the sky creating rays of light that point downwards creating shadows. The sun creates heat, which in turn creates energy and movement. Those items that were in the dark are now in the light.
Later in the day, the same things that were creating a shadow are now in a shadow. The light is heading towards darkness. That which was
yang is now becoming
Slowly but surely, light is replaced with darkness. The sun is replaced with the moon.
And so the cycle goes — what was yang (light) becomes yin (darkness) and vice versa.
Yin and Yang — Female and Male — Darkness and Daylight — It's All About Balance
Nature is constantly seeking to balance herself. When the body is sick, it seeks to balance itself. This is healing.
Yin and yang are never static — always moving like the cycle of life.
Everything in life can be understood using the theory of yin and yang. That which is upwards is yang. As a result, the sky, the head and the top of anything are yang while the ground or earth, the feet and the bottom of anything is yin.
Those things, which are strong and bright, such as the sun, a fire, a candle — all yang.
The night sky, darkness, water and other things that are soft — all yin.
Both yin and yang require each other to exists.
Even when there is yin, there is yang. An example would be the moon in the night's sky. Both of which are yin qualities, yet the light reflected from the moon is yang in essence.
Yin and yang are constantly changing — evolving from yin to yang and from yang back to yin.
Yin and Yang Symbol
The Chinese symbol for yin and yang is a circle that has been divided by a symmetrical curve.
One half is light, the other half is dark.
The lighter or white portion of the circle represents yang energy. The darker or black portion of the circle represents yin energy.
You will notice that each portion of the circle is shaped like a tear drop — full at one end while thin at the other.
The two portions seamlessly fit into each other. This seamless fit highlights that when yang energy is at its fullest, yin energy is just beginning. When yin energy is at its fullest, yang energy is just beginning.
At any point in the circle, if you were to cut the circle in half, both yin and yang are in balance.
Within each half, there is a small circle of the opposite colors. These two circles symbolize that yin gives birth to yang and that yang gives birth to yin.
Yin and Yang — Pairs of Opposites
Yin and yang are pairs of opposites, both needing each other to exist.
Here is a small chart of yin and yang qualities:
Looking at the chart, we can begin to see how, on a wet rainy day, we begin to feel tired — wanting to rest — since rain has
yin qualities. Meanwhile, on a sunny day, we begin to feel alive — wanting to do things — since the sun has
You've probably noticed how your pets are less active on rainy days, along with you too and how much more active your pets are when the sun is shining.
While some rain is nice, many people start to feel depressed when the rain never ends. On the other hand, too much sun and we get burned making our body too hot leading to sunstroke or heatstroke.
So on the rainy and dark days of winter, we must find a way to bring some
yang energy into our life — perhaps hot soup for you and some indoor activity for your pets. On those hot summer days, we need to know when to sit in the shade to take advantage of the
yin energy that shade provides.
Both yin and yang must always be in balance — excess either way can lead to health problems.
Yin and Yang and Health
Understanding the basic concept or theory of yin and yang then allows you to understand the basic principles of holistic health and healing.
When the body is sick, there is either too much yin energy or yang energy. To restore health, what we want to do to bring balance back the body. The first step to restoring balance is a wholesome diet. Nutrition and diet are the foundation of all health and healing.
Feel free to also read:
Have you been wanting to do hatha yoga (stretching) but have found it either too difficult or you are not that flexible? If yes, and even if no, watch Jesse do some pure hatha yoga routines.
flow yoga, each pose in pure or traditional hatha yoga is held for a few minutes. While holding the pose, you focus the mind on the stretch. When you focus the mind, that's when you find silence.
Jesse is not flexible — never has been and probably never will be flexible like others. But it doesn't matter. In pure hatha yoga, how flexible you are makes no difference. It's all about loving the pose and focussing the mind on the stretch.
If you want to learn pure hatha yoga, now you can by following Jesse on a series of hatha yoga routines.
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