Balancing The Yin And Yang Within Each Of Us

yin yang balance

You might have heard of yin and yang before, but have you ever stopped to contemplate why this ancient Chinese tale is still considered one of the most important things we can learn in our lives? The yin yang balance every person should strive to attain often leads to more harmony, better self-awareness and improved mental health.

Owing to the fast-paced society we now live in, we often don’t get much time to reflect on ourselves while we’re out and about in our quest to find love. Ask yourself, when was the last time you made an effort to love yourself and to get to know yourself? A yin-yang balance helps you achieve just that.

So, what do yin and yang mean? How to balance yin and yang? Will it even help? Let’s find out a bit more about this important aspect of ourselves we tend to ignore.

What Does Yin And Yang Mean?

The yin yang philosophy is an ancient Chinese concept which tells us that two seemingly opposing forces may in reality be interconnected, interdependent and complementary. The physical manifestations of yin and yang include life and death, winter and summer, female and male.

Yin and yang energy manifests in the universe around us, and within ourselves as well. In the ancient Chinese text titled Tao Te Ching, written by Lao Tzu, the yin is described as the feminine, mysterious, receptive and passive force of the universe. On the other hand, the yang is the active force in the universe. Without one, the other ceases to exist.

More commonly described as feminine vs masculine, the very presence of yin and yang energy tells us that both of these forces must work together, in order to reach complete harmony and unconditional love, since one doesn’t exist without the other.

This is why it’s imperative to have yin yang balance yourself since there exists yang in every yin and yin in every yang. Even Carl Jung, the legendary Swiss psychiatrist believed that men are “compensated” by their subconscious feminine side, which he called ‘anima’, and that women are balanced by their subconscious masculine side he referred to as ‘animus’.

The yin and yang energy within each of us

‘Oh yes, the male and the female energy in each of us!’ we exclaim, nodding knowledgeably at the reference to the Chinese concepts of Yin and Yang. Yet how many people have we known or seen in whom the two energies are synergized, balanced? Do we think about our own Yin and Yang?

All of nature is imbued with bipolar energies – including us humans – and there is constant tension and synergy between the two poles. Taoist texts teach that nature seeks balance and harmony between these opposing forces, these competing polarities. If we do so within our own selves we too can know a fuller life, peaceful and productive. In doing so we also radiate such balance and harmony around us.

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The yin yang balance in me

I have often wondered about the two energies present in each one of us. I know that to truly love yourself, there must be a yin and yang balance. I am a woman, fully conscious of the Yin in me. Do I honor the Yang energy in myself? Permit it space? Or perhaps the real question would be to ask if I even acknowledge the existence of this ‘male’ within as an important and a natural part of myself?

No, I do not. For it would mean to give wind to the unfeminine, the mannish, the tight and the integrated. I am a woman, the Yin, and must remain so. I am a man, the Yang, and must remain so.

This internalization runs deep within us. The boundaries are well defined based on our gender. The message is loud and clear: stick to your side. A man too indulgent of his Yin is too ‘soft’, a wimp, not in control. He risks ridicule. A woman with too much Yang running amok is not a woman; she is a man in a woman’s body! Tight, calculative, dry. Don’t play, stay with what you are born with is what we’re told.

When I witnessed yin and yang of life

We are born with both and we can allow them their play with just a little awareness, no matter what we have been taught. I saw it in Jacob and Rose, my instructors in an acrobatic yoga retreat I recently attended. It came in waves, the realization, what I had been rejecting within, consciously or subconsciously.

Rose was Yin as she softly nodded and gave us space to battle our own fears with the gravity-defying positions that we had just failed at. She was Yang as she asked us delicately yet firmly, “Would you like to go again?” Inherent in her tone was the lack of an option.

She was Yin when she swayed with the music asking us to close our eyes, leave our bodies free and flow with the movement that the music asked of us. She was Yang when she based a man, twice her weight, on her feet and used her thigh muscles and acrobatic techniques to fly him on top of herself.

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Jacob, our male instructor, was Yang when as a rock under Rose he demonstrated the technique of how to be the strong base to fly the one on top over and over again. As Yang he was in complete control, flying men six inches taller than him, a lot heavier, giving them the confidence to rise themselves against gravity with only Jacob’s arms or thigh muscles as props.

He was Yang when he listed for us clearly defined steps, one block after the other, to reach the seemingly impossible flying positions. He was Yin when he took over his guitar in the evenings and sang gospels following our cue. His fingers strummed softly on the instrument as his brows dropped in complete surrender.

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The yin and yang living

As you saw with Jacob and Rose, yin and yang balance leads to harmony within oneself, clarity of decisions, and a confidence that only arises from being at peace with yourself. Yin yang, good and evil, night and day, they all go hand in hand. You cannot be rigid towards one and oblivious of the other.

It was a pleasure to see the bipolar forces of Jacob and Rose so beautifully held together in each. The Yin and Yang in each alternate and complement – to create and release, to build and destroy, to form and deform only to form again. In each, I saw the whole, the Yin and the Yang, the Moon and the Sun, the female and the male.

Is that where non-neediness and peace come from? Perhaps we are looking for our lost parts in the wrong place, perhaps it is within us. In how much Yang we resist, how much Yin we encourage – or vice versa. Think about your own Yin and Yang. Ask yourself: are they synergized? How well balanced are they? If not, which needs more space?

FAQs

1. What are the qualities of yin and yang?

The qualities of yin and yang differ on paper, but in their physical manifestations, they go hand in hand. The qualities of yin, the feminine, are peace, relaxation, darkness, passiveness, satisfaction. Yang, the male, is associated with qualities like activeness, fire, summer, extroversion.

2. What happens if yin and yang are unbalanced?

In ancient Chinese medicine, it is believed that a disbalance of yin and yang energy can cause major illnesses and ailments. In psychology, a yin and yang disbalance refers to not being at peace with yourself and not being comfortable in your own skin.

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