most of the time when we think yin and yang we think of the
divided circle with a black and white sides and the little dots inside them, but what does it mean? Is it good and bad, or peace and love? And what purpose do those little circles have?
Last month I talked a lot about balance, but I didnt tie it into other concepts. In yoga Yin is detachment, and Yang is effort. Yin is the darker side of the circle, and yet in the middle of all that dark, there is still a small circle of light (effort). This goes the same for the light side of the circle (effort). In the middle of all the light there is still a cricle of darkness. But all of this is just a symbolic reference of what the effort and detachment are. For those of you who have been to a yin class it is easy for you too understand that even when you are doing the streatch and that you are not doing a lot of moving, you still are putting in effort, and even break a sweat somtimes. For those of you who do not practice yoga on a regular basis or have never been to a yin yoga class take a moment right now, whereever you are to sit still (read first then try) and close your eyes. Calm yourself and relax. In this moment of relaxtion, you realise that your heart is still pumping, your lungs are still breathing and your brain is still thinking. So even when you are at your calmest, there is still activity (now try). As a former competative diver I am used to being up on a platform or spring board and having every muscle in me tight. On the outside I was putting forth a lot of effort, but my breathing was calm and steady, and my mind was clear and focused. This is the same concept. In every action, there is inaction. In all efforts, there is detachment. There is one point in the middle of the symbol which in china they call it the Wu Ji or still point. In yoga we referto this as the "zen master". This point reprsents the stillness in the movement; the calm within the storm. Remeber though Isvaia-Pronidhana (complete surrender to ahigher power) shows that detachment is not the punchment, and that detchment does require effort.
There are different belifes as to what Yin and Yang represent but I have complied a list of some of the things I have learned that they can represent.
Detachment, Inactivity, Negative, Feminine, Passive, Intuitive, Dark, Night, Clod, Soft, Slow, Moon, Calm, Earth, and Descending. Dependign on if you personality tends to lean towards the yin side, you may find yourself to be visual learner, interested more in qualitative, and quatitative data. Storytelling, writing, and teaching may be passions of yours.
Effort, Activity,Positive, Masculine, Active, Logical, Active, Light, Day, Hot, Hard, Fast, Sun, Warm, Sky, South, and Rising. If your personality tends to lean more towards the yang side, you may be a more technical person, interested in spreadsheets, Data collection, Statistical analysis, metrics, and be over just a numbers person interested in facts and numbers.
Have anything you would like to add? Please comment below and let me know your thoughts.