Yin, Yang, & You
Here it is! Have you heard about yin and yang before? I bet you have. For one thing, most of us know the symbol; the half white and half black circle with that iconic squiggly line down the middle. If you’re still completely lost, check out figure A.
Now, do you know what each side represents? If not, let me quickly explain.
Both yin and yang represent the concept of polar opposites. Just to name a few, read figure B underneath for a simple breakdown…
Wait, I almost forgot something! … What do those two tiny dots mean?
These dots signify the concept of mutual counteraction; yin within yang and yang within yin.
For example, the black dot represents the idea of summer (utmost yang) transitioning into autumn (yin within yang). Similarly, the white dot, explains the fact that the utmost yin (winter) will soon change into spring (yang within yin). Thus, the seasons always change from yin to yang.
Confused yet? But, how does this concept of yin and yang apply to YOU?
For starters, by realizing that everything in our life is a result of this oppositional relationship, we can take proper action.
In one instance, not sleeping at night consumes our yin.
For this reason, when one suffers from insomnia (poor sleep), they often feel groggy and sleepy all day. That’s because their yin is weakened from tossing and turning the night prior. Therefore, try and sleep like a ROCK every single night!
This is only one simple example, but yin and yang can be applied to any aspect of one’s life.
How Do We Balance Yin & Yang?
As explained from one of my teachers, yin can be understood as the wax of a candle, while, yang is the flame. The better you are at protecting your yin, the longer the flame will last.
However, once the yin (wax) expires, the flame goes out. With that said, how do we preserve our yin?
First off, as mentioned above, get solid sleep. That is one of the most powerful ways to nourish yin. Other ways include, not over-exercising, eating plenty of cooked and hearty food packed with nutrients, and don’t overly exert yourself too hard at work.
As well as, living in harmony with the four seasons helps keep the body balanced.
With that in mind, during the winter, take adequate and eat warm-cooked foods. Avoid raw and iced cold drinks. While, in the summer, stay more active outside and eat lighter. Further, during this season, avoid overly greasy foods that are hard to digest.
Lastly, incorporating a way to actively reduce stress and maintain a healthy body naturally is a sure way to keep that candle shining bright.
Dr. Chris, L.Ac.
Kaptchuk, Ted. The Web That Has No Weaver. New York: Congton and Weed, 1983.
Wiseman, Nigel. Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine. Brookline, Massachusetts.Paradigm Publications, 1996.
Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon, Huang DI nee Jing. Authors unknown, Former Han,ca. 100 B.C. Comprises Elementary Questions and Magic Pivot Ling Shu.