Judy Bowen-Jones

Balancing Yin & Yang in Your Lifestyle

Living in Harmony with the Seasons According to the Wisdom of Chinese Medicine

About Yin & Yang

In traditional Chinese Medicine everything in the world can be explained in terms of the opposing and complimentary energies of yin and yang. Yang is dynamic, warming and expressive. Yin is calming, cooling and passive. In terms of the seasons, Autumn and Winter are yin in nature – the weather gets cooler and we feel the energy and evenings drawing in. In contrast, Spring and Summer are expressive, vibrant and yang.

Balancing yin and yang in our lives

As the seasons change it is helpful to look at the balance of yin (rest) and yang (activity) in our lifestyles. With pressures today, many of us have a lifestyle which is too yang.

Yang (overactive) lifestyle: Do you work long hours, skip meals or eat on the run, keep juggling work and family despite feeling exhausted, fail to rest when unwell?

Yin (passive) lifestyle: Do you spend a lot of time sitting, feel tired even though you’ve been inactive, exercise less than once a week, feel sluggish and low?

For good health we need to find balance between activity and rest on a daily basis. Working flat out Monday to Friday and sleeping all weekend is not a good solution! The best way is to establish a daily routine. If you commute to work and sit at a desk all day, walk to the station or to get something for lunch. If you need to go to the supermarket on the way home, use a parking space at the far end of the car park rather than nearest the door.

If you are always on the go, schedule some time each day for you to rest, relax and nourish yourself. When ill allow yourself sufficient time to recover. Minor health issues can lead to serious disease if you are not fully well before returning to work.

Good eating habits are important! Interestingly, in Chinese Medicine how you eat is as important as what you eat.

Tips for healthy eating:

  • Eat regularly, three meals a day – those who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight.
  • Sit down to eat in a relaxed environment. – eating on the run may cause digestive problems.
  • If you focus on your food (rather than your PC or the TV) while eating you will be more aware when you are satisfied and full.
  • Avoid eating too much cold food, especially in Winter.

In Chinese Medicine some seasonal health problems, such as Hay Fever, occur because our energy has become depleted during the previous Autumn or Winter. It is natural for animals to hibernate in Winter to build up their reserves for the Spring. Your boss may not accept this as a valid excuse for another ‘duvet day’. But in Autumn and Winter it is appropriate to adapt our lifestyles and get enough rest and nourishment, so we are fully charged to meet the energetic demands of the Spring