The Yin Yoga website is a great resource for me. One of my favourite quotes is “All patterns are formed by contrasts. The pattern on a chessboard is formed by the contrast of dark and light. The pattern of your life, when reflected upon, has displayed a contrast of good times and bad”.
In Chinese philosophy and religion) two principles, one negative, dark, and feminine (yin), and one positive, bright, and masculine (yang), whose interaction influences the destinies of creatures and things. One cannot exist without the other.
When we wake up Yin is slowly becoming Yang, and likewise when we go to sleep, yang is slowly becoming Yin. The balance of Yin and Yang is not always exact, even when we’re healthy. The equilibrium is in a state of constant change, based on both the external and internal environment.
When we’re angry for example, our energy is more fiery and therefore more yang in nature. When we’re sleepy and tired, the yin side of our nature will dominate.
According to Chinese Medicine, the swing in the balance of yin and yang is very natural. It is when the balance is consistently altered, and one (be it yin or yang) regularly dominates the other, that our health is compromised, resulting in illness and disease.
Four Main Aspects of Yin and Yang Relationship
1. Yin-Yang are opposites
They are either on the opposite ends of a cycle, like the seasons of the year, or, opposites on a continuum of energy or matter. This opposition is relative, and can only be spoken of in relationships. For example: Water is Yin relative to steam but Yang relative to ice. Yin and Yang are never static but in a constantly changing balance.
2. Interdependent: Can not exist without each other
Nothing is totally Yin or totally Yang. Just as a state of total Yin is reached, Yang begins to grow. Yin contains seed of Yang and vise versa. They constantly transform into each other. For Example: no energy without matter, no day without night. The classics state: “Yin creates Yang and Yang activates Yin”.
3. Mutual consumption of Yin and Yang
Relative levels of Yin Yang are continuously changing. Normally this is a harmonious change, but when Yin or Yang are out of balance they affect each other, and too much of one can eventually weaken (consume) the other.
4. Inter-transformation of Yin and Yang.
One can change into the other, but it is not a random event, happening only when the time is right. For example: Spring only comes when winter is finished.
The dance world wasn’t all sequins and sparkles, although those little buggers do have a tendency to get stuck in all sorts of nooks and cranny’s..
The kundalini yoga world isn’t always full of love and free from ego, especially from so-called Senior Teachers, but the teachings are still relevant and pure today as they were many years ago.
Our families doesn’t always show their love and unconditional support even when they mean well with their actions
My social work career didn’t always promote compassion and empowerment for my clients as I worked within a system that perpetuated the vicious cycle of poverty, despite the system’s good intentions to do otherwise.
Life also gifted me with severe migraines to slow me down when I was not being mindful about what I ate, (specifically the sugar I consumed) and how I worked (often tirelessly for almost 18 hours a day). Yang was quickly transformed into yin. So quickly that I was often bed ridden for days.
And thus began the love of yoga for me. My over active life meant that I would not switch off enough to give my body and mind a rest. My yoga practice was energizing and would build physical strength, but I would not be able to relax enough to sit still during meditations.
The contrasting Yin and Yang within our personalities’ is often conveyed in our personal relationships, often to an amusing effect. It is in fact so easy to oscillate between the passive and active, the dark and the light, the funny and the serious.
Who likes being told how to drive? Yet on occasions where we simply think we know the streets better, we will often dictate best routes and shortcuts when our advice wasn’t necessarily sought.
Fussy about the way the dishes need to be done and the clothes need to be put away? It’s interesting then when your housemate or partner will point out the things that are important to them, like the mould in the bathroom you had failed to notice, or your papers strewn around the living room.
And in the darkness – there will always be the light for it has been said that “Winning builds character, losing strengthens it”. Tristan Davies