The Yin Yang symbol has been super trendy and buzzy in recent years on all kinds of products everywhere you look. While we love how this concept is becoming more wide spread we wanted to go deeper and give it way MORE historical context and meaning to help you understand the true power of this symbol. And how you can apply this theory to improve your everyday life mind, body, and spirit.
The Yin Yang symbol and theory has a long history that dates back to 700 B.C.E. in China to the I Ching (The Book of Changes) (1). Yin means dark or shadow (it's the black portion in the symbol). Yang means light or sun (it's the white portion in the symbol). They represent opposites yet complementary energies. Everything in the universe contains Yin and Yang and can be explained through the Yin Yang theory.
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Yin and Yang cannot exist without each other; they are never separate. This inseparable, interpenetrating, and interchangeable relationship is reflected in the form of the Yin-Yang symbol. The small dots within each of the two energies (represented by black and white) symbolize that there is always some Yin (black) within Yang (white) and vice versa. No matter where you bisect the diameter of the whole circle, each half will always contain some Yin and some Yang. Such is life... Just like each event in our day to day could be good or bad, but there is always the opposite within that event whether one realizes or not.
In the Yin Yang symbol the middle line between the large black and white portion is not a straight line is to indicate life and the universe is made up of ever changing energy, always moving towards one other transforming into one another.
Another great example is night and day which forms a Yin-Yang pair. Night is Yin and day is Yang. Night looks and is very different than day, yet it is impossible to have one without the other. Both create a totality, a complete whole. And day becomes night, and night becomes day. While at night the sun still exists and vice versa during the day the moon still exists within.
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Balance and Harmony
More than just Balance which is most widely understood with the Yin Yang symbol Yin Yang is actually more about harmony. When things are in balance, they are in perfect harmony as a whole.
This means the dynamic flow happens automatically and continuously balances and rebalances these energies. You can see the Yin Yang theory in the changing of the seasons too: the cold winter becomes the warm spring and hot summer, then gradually turns cool in fall to become winter once again. You can also see this perpetual balancing at work in a shorter time frame when a thunderstorm clears the air of an unusually hot and humid summer day.
You can see Yin Yang in our moods, in our body, and in our health. Our moods change constantly, from good to bad and everything in between. One mood never lasts forever, it is always altering and becoming. Our well-being is also effected through out the day, month, season and years. To self care and maintain good health we first must be aware of our exterior Yin and Yang and how they can affect us internally.
For example, in the warmer months such as summer it's better for us to consume cooling items such as cucumber and watermelon as their energy is Yin (cooling) vs Ginger is Yang (warming). If you're someone who is always cold (Yin) you may consider enjoying Ginger or goji berries more often. If you're someone who is always hot try Chrysanthemum which has a cooling Yin energy. If you are someone who is neither cold or hot you can mix cooling and warming foods together to create a harmonious dish or beverage to enjoy. For example, Chrysanthemum and Goji berry tea is a wonderful pair full of balanced nutrient and YinYang energies.
A good way to test if an ingredient has Yin or Yang or even more neutral energy is after consuming it how does it make you feel? Are you dripping in sweats? A big hot bowl of ginger soup can have that effect. Opposite of that try a few slices of cool watermelon and it can help you feel instantly hydrated and chilled in a hot summer day. Pay attention to your body and see how everything you consume make you feel. Over time you'll learn their energies, what you enjoy on an energetic level and how each could benefit you and your overall well-being.
Below we share some fun Yin Yang pairs to give you more understanding just how vast this simple symbol can represent.
Yin-Yang Pairs Exemplifying Two Universal Energies
Yin-Yang Pairs in Your Body
|Above the waist||Below the waist|
|Qi (energy)||Blood and bodily fluids|
At last, we created this Yin Yang flower symbol pin to act as a daily reminder for us all that life is ever-changing. There is Yin and Yang in everything and everyone. Nothing lasts forever, but to truly live in the present each and every day, and to stop and smell the flowers often.