Updated: May 7, 2020
Yin and yang are two relative concepts. In other words, it’s how something appears in relation to something else. It depends on the circumstances, and of our perception of things. Something is "yin" compared to something else and in a specific situation, and might otherwise be considered "yang" when placed in a different situation.
Yin and Yang are based on a comparative understanding of how things relate to each other.
For example, in macrobiotics, we talk about fruits as Yin because they’re soft and sweet. Yin is the energy of expansion and sweetness. And we talk about salt or carrots as Yang, because Yang is the energy of contraction, downward.
The sun is like the Yang aspect (hot and heavy). And space and coldness is more Yin (expansion). Water is Yin, and rocks are Yang in comparison to each other.
When you compare an apple to a carrot, the apple is Yin and the carrot is Yang, but when you compare salt to a carrot, the carrot is Yin and salt is Yang.
Some people can be considered to have Yang problems. These "Yang" people would benefit a diet with huge amounts of vegetables. Yang problems are sudden (red face people, stroke, high sudden fever, heart attack, etc.). Infant mortality is also considered as a Yang problem (they get very hot, have an extremely high fever, and can die from that), and to balance the heat we feed the infant a lot of fruits and give them a lavender oil bath (lavender is very Yin).
The nature of Yin is like holding, it's the feminine nature, very nurturing, and therefore stores and maintains. Yang on the other hand is changing all the time; it’s throwing stuff in and out. Yin communicates internally, Yang communicates externally. The openness of the Yin is based on the contraction of the Yang.
And this is why in Yoga we want to contract the lower body, the large intestines (the anus being our lowest part), the perineum, and the genitals. The hips, the buttocks are also contracting. It’s an energy system that pulls in there, and tightens up the organs. The diaphragm pulls down because of that contraction. The other part of ourselves as a response, should be expanding and relaxing: it is the Yin response.
Real life example: If you go out on a hot day under a shelter, it’s not the same as sitting under a tree: because the shelter is blocking the Yang energy whereas the tree is generating Yin energy (the coolness of the tree). You’re cooling down instead of just avoiding the heat. Go out there on a hot summer day and make the experience yourself, and let us know how you felt...
YANG environment relates to:
YIN environment relates to: