Healthy Food & Life: How to Balance Your Life by Understanding Yin and Yang
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How to Balance Your Life by Understanding Yin and Yang


Yin Yang

That everything has yin and yang and this is what causes the life energy, the qi (pronounced chee). They are opposing forces that when balanced creates harmony and balances your life. 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. Your body is healthy when in balance when yin and yang hold each other in balance.

Yin and yang are Chinese beliefs that go back many centuries. The first known writing about this was in the 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.

Yin and Yang is Balance


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 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 Numbers 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. Eat in balance and 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 this basic understanding of yin and yang come help us balance our life and live in harmony with the world around us. Like the old saying, moderation is the key to success or moderation is the key to survival.

About the Author

Sam Montana is a certified Food Over Medicine instructor from the Wellness Forum Health Center and certified in optimal nutrition from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Copyright © 2009-2018 Sam Montana
How to Balance Your Life by Understanding Yin and Yang

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