What is Yin and Yang?
Yin Yang is a Chinese symbol that represents the balance of opposites in the world. Light and dark, fast and slow, boy and girl, happy and sad. These are examples of opposites that, when together, can form a whole.
The Yin Yang symbol is a circle with a curvy line through the middle. One side, yin, is white; the other side, yan, is black. The white yin side has a small black circle inside, and the black yan side has a small white circle. This shows how little pieces of the yin and yang are contained within each other to create understanding and harmony with the opposite.
The Yin Yang teaches an important lesson about relationships with different people, cultures and environments. Without light, we could not experience the daytime; without darkness, we could not have the night. When we observe the change from day to night, we realize how light and darkness need each other. Even if we prefer or identify with one side, learning about the other teaches us to appreciate all differences.
The Yin and Yang are also important in traditional Chinese medicine. In the human body, yin is associated with nourishing, cooling and relaxing functions. Whereas the yang is more energizing, warming and stimulating. The imbalance of a person's yin and yang can cause sickness. For example, too much physical exercise (yang) on a hot summer day (yang) without any cold water (yin) could lead to dehydration or a fever. This illness symptom indicates the body's imbalance of yang.