14.6.11

How to Create a Yin or Yang environment

Article

In ancient China, medicine, astrology, meditation and Feng Shui, all begin with the objective of achieving a balance between ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’. Yin represents the dark, the still, the quiet and the secluded. Yang represents activity, heat, warmth and socialising. The symbol for Yin and Yang shows a perfect balance in design; each element complementing the other.

Historically, the followers of Lao Tzu, known as Taoists, are acknowledged as the authors of the Yin and Yang symbol. The symbol itself expresses the concept of a universe with the two dominant forces of Yin and Yang, and their perpetual motion. The essence of Yin and Yang is that the world is ever-changing, and that the forces of Yin and Yang exist in every aspect of life. For example, it is impossible to understand heat (Yang) without understanding cold (Yin).

In relation to the home, it is recommended that focus be on a dominant state of Yin, to create a quieter, more calming personal space, as opposed to the busy (Yang) world outside. Yin qualities and features that help to achieve this include: soft furnishings, carpets, lighting; mellow colours and music, plants and artwork that are either comforting or relaxing. The Yin atmosphere also tends to suit the elderly. However, where children are involved, a dominant Yang environment is often more suitable with brighter furnishings, carpets, lighting etc.

In creating a Yin or a Yang environment, there are two dynamics that are worth remembering. If there is a dominance of one or the other, it will influence you to take on that quality (relaxed or active); and yet, at their extremes, Yin turns into Yang and vice versa. For example; if you live in an extremely mountainous, cold (Yin) region of the world, you will become very active, focused and resilient (Yang). However, if you take a holiday in a very hot (Yang) climate, you will become relaxed and lethargic (Yin).

In creating one type of state over another, a useful tip is to always bring a little of the opposite into that area to maintain balance. For example, if you occupy a bright (Yang) office, bring in a touch of Yin, such as a plant or relaxing image. A darker (Yin) room should also therefore have an element of Yang with something bright included. Yin and Yang can also be combined in the same object such as a cushion having a Yang colour (bright) but with a Yin texture (soft).

Attributes of Yin and Yang
Yin: cold, night, winter, slower, passive, dark, softer, spiritual, black, blue, flexible, feminine
Yang: hot, day, summer, faster, active, bright, harder, practical, white, red, green, rigid, masculine

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