Yin Yang Balance in Everyday Life

Passive, introspective silent, dark, cool still, earth, water, grouding, are all yin aspects. Active, loud, extroversion, expansive, light, warm, space/universe are all yang aspects. We come across both aspects throughout our day. In the United States we have a strong influence of yang energy on our lives. Whether that is through working long hard hours, exercising at the gym, driving in heavy traffic, watching television with loud noises, or drinking coffee and energy drinks. Some yin aspects of everyday life would include taking a bath, receiving a massage, introspection and writing, a gentle walk in nature, seated meditation and deep, restful sleep. The act of balancing the two is important for health, vitality, and peace of mind. Whether a deficiency in Yin or Yang energy, we will have low energy, difficulty sleeping, and high levels of stress. We need a good foundation of earth/yin energy to keep our yang energy grounded. Without that foundation, the active stress of everyday life will have us confused, with an easily distracted mind and an over exhausted body. Some symptoms of deficient yang(and too much yin) energy include laziness, excessive sleep, spending too much time alone, depression, cold hands/feet, and overeating/lack of appetite(unhealthy eating habits). The act of balancing is what is important. You don’t have to achieve perfect balance, you only need to be aware when one area is becoming overpowering, and when to either become more active, or take time to slow down and look within. A common problem for people in modern times is to have too much yang in their mind, and too much yin in their body. The excessive yin body is from sitting at work, sitting watching television, sitting while driving, and then trying to lay down and go to sleep. Yet while the body is being passive, the mind is very active, watching fast paced television commercials, reading and responding to emails, Facebook updates, text messages, and trying to multitask to be more efficient. A great way to balance this out more, is to take 5 or 10 minutes to go on a quiet walk after work in the afternoon/evening. You can focus your mind on your breathing, be aware of every step you take, and allow your mind to quiet down, while your body gets some movement and exercise. Receiving a massage is also a great way to quiet the mind, while healing the body, reducing soreness and pain and allowing you to be more active. Here are some examples of how I’ve been using this yin/yang philosophy for balancing my own life. I recognize when I should be taking a yin/restorative yoga class versus a more strenuous Vinyasa class. When I need to do more movement exercises or when I need to practice a seated stillness meditation. Listening to my body, understanding when I need to rest to heal my body, and when I need to be more active to circulate and become more energized. Routine and habits are more yin, while spontaneity is yang. I observe when I’m becoming limited by my habits, and when I need to incorporate something new to get my creative juices flowing. I can feel when I need to eat more, less, or eat more cooling(yin) or heating(yang) foods. I notice when I need to consume reading material, or write from my own creativity. When I need to ruminate and brainstorm, or refine and publish my material. When I need to sleep in, or wake up earlier. When I need to travel and discover or stay and home and look within. Learning to balance, and not take judgment on myself when I get off center has helped to create peace of mind and increased creativity in my life. Here are two practices that you can use to combine yin and yang energy for health and vitality. One is a guided meditation(yin), and the other is a video of Qi Gong movements(yang) to combine and circulate heaven(yang) and earth(yin) energy. This combination creates a healing elixir of life, allowing a natural state of peace and well being. They both act to balance the energy within yourself, and will help you act on your decisions to be more active, and/or to take more time to look within and relax.
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