In Feng Shui, we are concerned with the flow of Qi or life energy in an environment. The goal of Feng Shui practitioners is to increase and change the flow of Qi in a home or other space to make it as conducive and nourishing as possible.
One way to understand energy is to look at yin and yang. This is one of the basic principles of Feng Shui. Yin and Yang are the building blocks for all energy we know in the world. Everything else results from these two energies, including the five elements, which you may be familiar with if you have studied feng shui or worked with a feng shui consultant.
What are Yin and Yang?
The concepts of yin and yang form the basis for many Asian methods, from Chinese medicine to ikebana (Japanese floral art) to martial arts. We can continue the list indefinitely. According to ancient Taoist cosmology, yin and yang describe the contradictory unity of duality. We humans live with these two aspects of life, the feng shui essentials. However, one cannot exist without the other.
Yin and Yang are often represented graphically by the symbol Tai Chi, which represents a circle with two tears, one of which is black (Yin) and the other white (Yang). In these two forms, there is an inverted point: a black point in the larger white and a yang point (white tear) in the larger yin (black tear).
In a sense, yin and yang are the ultimate examples of a non-binary system. Although they are contradictory, they can only exist together. In yin, there is always yang and vice versa. These two types of energy are interconnected and there is no separation between them. Even in the yin-yang symbol (Tai Chi), there is always a black dot on the white and a white dot on the black. Neither side is all yin or all yang.
Yin energy is slow, cool, moist, and dark. It is associated with curvature, immobility, and softness. The energy of the moon is more yin. The energy of the moon is more yin. Other descriptive qualities are invisible and relaxed.
An example of how yin and yang work together is a relaxing beach environment. The sand is soft and receptive and the atmosphere is calm and relaxing, which is yin. But you can also imagine the heat and radiance of the setting sun – that’s very young energy. So you can see that one cannot exist without yang.
The Yang energy can be described as fast, loud, active, and clear. We separate Yang by angles and straight lines. The sun is considered to be very young. Other descriptive qualities are observability and energy.
A good example of a very young space is a business floor on Wall Street. Here there are high ceilings, fast movements, and loud noises. However, imagine the same atmosphere on a Wednesday lunchtime compared to a Sunday. On Wednesday, it will likely be more active and younger. You can also imagine a commercial space in New York City and a trading room in a quieter, less crowded place. A trading room may be primarily yang, but it’s not just yang.
Yin and Yang in Balance
In feng shui, we can use their language to understand the quality of energy in our spaces and to see where we need more balance.
In general, look for relaxing places like bedrooms and meditation areas that are more yin in nature. This may mean adding black shades, minimizing electronics with blue light, and calming them down. Soothing and softer colors can encourage more yin activity.
Young spaces can be a kitchen, gym, or work area. These areas work best when you bring in more yang elements like lots of light (especially sunlight). Bring a current of good energy into the space with appropriate activity and liveliness. You can play fun music, even dance and sing!