What is Yin and Yang anyway?

Most people throughout the world have heard of yin and yang, but very few people really know the unique origins of these incredible concepts. Yin and yang, or yin-yang, as it was originally known, was created in Chinese philosophy thousands of years ago, and has endured through the centuries because of its perfect way of describing everything that we see around us, including ourselves.

Yin-yang is basically the way that there are two forces that make up the universe; yin and yang. They are opposite forces, and for all to be well they need to be balanced. They are interconnected in everything, and in some cases when the balance is wrong, danger and destruction can happen. But yin and yang are not considered to be only philosophical ideals: it is believed that many of life’s natural dichotomies are physical reflections of yin and yang. For example, light/dark, high/low, hot/cold, fire/water, death/life, male/female, sun/moon, and many more. You can probably think of a natural opposite for everything that you see, and that is how yin and yang can be seen in the world. However, yin and yang are not necessarily opposing each other, but often one is required for the other one to exist. For example, you cannot have a dark shadow without light.

The effects of believing in yin and yang can be seen throughout ancient and modern Chinese culture, particularly within Chinese martial arts and medicine. Yin and yang are crucial within disciplines such as Taichi, because it is all about balancing the body and the mind fully to reach a state of relaxation as well as physical fitness. When it comes to Traditional Chinese Medicine, yin and yang once again feature heavily. Much like many other forms of ancient medicine where inner equilibrium is the most important core concept,  it is believed by traditional Chinese medical practitioners that illnesses within the body occurs when there is not a balance of yin and yang. Qi and Blood flow will also be obstructed causing local and systemic illnesses.

Yin and yang is in everything. With every push, there must be a pull. With every light, there must be some dark. That is the way that the world works, and that is the way that our bodies work too. With every stress, there must be a rest. With every toxin, there must be an antidote. By better understanding yin and yang, it is possible to achieve balance within the world, and within ourselves.

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