The Relationship between Yin and Yang
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The Relationship between Yin and Yang

Knowing how yin and yang work can help you in your daily life and health.

Yin and yang are Chinese beliefs that go back many centuries. The first known writing about this was in 14th century BC. The concept of yin yang comes from the Book of Change (I ching). The main philosophy is Confucianism but there are also Taoist ideas present. That everything has yin and yang and this is what causes the life energy, the qi (pronounced chee). They are opposing forces when balanced creates harmony.

Yin and yang are always in a state of flux looking for the balance point. In everything there is some yin and some yang, where one is dominant, that is then usually the classification. All phenomena can be explained yin and yang, the workings of the body, the healing of disease, the nature of foods, the sounds of music, the ethical qualities of humans, the workings of government and the changes in history.

The cycle of yin from yang and yang from yin occurs cyclically and constantly. All opposites that one endures in life such as wealth and poverty, happiness and sadness and health and sickness can be explained by the dominance of one principle over the other, since no one principle dominates forever, that means all conditions are subject to change into their opposites.

Like the old saying goes, the pendulum swings the other way. For westerners it is sometimes hard to understand that ancient Chinese philosophies so to put this idea into a more American way to look at it, this idea is very much like American politics and presidential elections, it always seems when one party is in power too long the other party wins and wins big.

Chart of yin and yang classifications

 

Yin

Yang

 

Nature

 

Feminine

Passives

Receives

Dark

Soft

Expansive

Earth

Moonlight

Winter

Moisture

Negative

Water

Valleys

 

Masculine

Active

Creates

Bright

Hard

Contracting

Heaven

Sunlight

Summer

Dry

Positive

Fire

Mountains

Symbols

 

Moon

North

Sun

South

Organs

Liver

Heart

Spleen

Lungs

Kidney

Gall Bladder

Small intestine

Large intestine

Stomach

Bladder

Chart of the five elements and their associations

Element

Color

Number

Direction

Taste

Fire

Earth/Soil

Metal

Water

Wood/Tree

Red and Purple

Brown/Yellow

Gray/ reflective

Blue/ Black

Green

9

2,5,8

6,7

1

3,4

South

Southwest

West

North

East

Bitter

Sweet

Pungent

Salty

Sour

Everything in life is classified as yin or yang including food, organs of the body, weather, politics and diseases. Most if not all of Chinese medicine has evolved with the belief of yin and yang, if you are sick in one part of your body or organ than that area is said to be out of balance. You can balance that area and make it strong again and regain your health by paying attention to that area of your body. Everything is about balance. If the yang is too strong than the yin will be too weak. The body is healthy when in balance, when yin and yang hold each other in balance.

Yin and yang in diet

Macrobiotics is a way to eat and a way to live according to yin and yang. Trying to eat in balance. Live in balance. Some people have said that macrobiotics has actually cured their cancer and there are many proven stories of people curing cancer and other diseases through macrobiotics. Eating in balance is not eating too many yang or yin foods. Diseases are classified as either yin or yang. Eating too much ice cream, which is considered yin and expansive can cause an expansive or yin type of disease. A diet high in meat is considered too yang, rigid, contracting and can be the cause of yang diseases. Eating too much of yin foods will cause cravings for yang foods and visa versa. The body is trying to stay in balance, so when too many yin foods are eaten, the body wants to balance this by craving the opposite, yang foods.

Yin and yang in exercise

Tai Chi Chuan or just Tai Chi is yin yang exercise. Is considered a Chinese martial art, it is more like meditation in motion. Each movement flows into the next movement creating balance and harmony. Tai Chi can also restore health and heal and can be done by anyone of any age.

Yin and yang in life and business

Are you too rigid in life, closed-minded or at times feel like you’re not rigid enough, too flexible and floundering around. Your thoughts, your diet and your health are all connected. We’ve all heard you are what you eat, in a sense that’s exactly what ancient Chinese philosophy and yin and yang teach. Are there days when it feels like everything you did or thought was just right. Everything worked out. Those days you were in balance, your inner intelligence took over, you were in balance. You probably can’t think of anything you did special to cause this balance or maybe you can. Living in balance produces many more days like this.

There is much more to yin and yang, but simply trying to understand yin and yang and living in balance can help us in our every day lives. Like the old saying, moderation is the key to success or moderation is the key to survival.

© 2009 Sam Montana

See these articles for more information:

The basics of Macrobiotics

The health benefits of Tai Chi

Improve your life with feng shui

 

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