The Yin Yang Theory and Feng Shui

Understand the feng shui use of the yin yang theory

feng shui yin yang symbol
The Yin Yang theory forms the foundation of feng shui. A good feng shui home or office needs a balance of Yin Yang energies as expressed in feng shui decor colours, shapes, images, etc. Alan Thornton/Getty Images

The Yin Yang theory is one of the main theories of all ancient Chinese schools of thought. The traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the ancient martial arts, feng shui, the I Ching, and the whole Taoism cosmology are all based on the dynamics of Yin and Yang.

According to this theory, everything in our Universe is composed of two opposing, but deeply interconnected forces - the Yin (feminine) and the Yang (masculine).

The interaction of these two feng shui forces creates the essence of life around us. One cannot exist without the other, as in their seeming opposition, they deeply support and nourish each other.

The best representation of the harmonious interaction of the Yin and Yang forces is the Tai Chi symbol (pictured here).

Expressed in feng shui colors, the Yin, feminine energy is black color and the Yang, masculine energy is white color. Energy-wise, Yin is soft, slow, relaxed, diffused, moist, passive and silent. Think of the rhythms and the essence of feminine energy - the softness of water, the mystery of the Moon, the blackness of the rich soil and the deep silence of the night.

The Yang force is expressed by a contrasting, opposite to Yin quality of energy. Imagine the fiery directness of the Sun, the aggressive speed of racing cars, the rock solid surface of a mountain, the focused energy of a laser beam. 

Yang is the fiery essence of the mid-day sun and Yin is the stillness and mystery of the night.

Because your home needs a balanced feng shui energy in order to support your well-being, it is important to understand the application of the Yin Yang theory on a practical, simple level.

YIN (passive energy) is the feng shui energy of relaxation that you need in your bedroom and in your feng shui spa bathroom. Yin energy is in the calm colours around you, in the soft music, in the soothing sound of a water fountain or the relaxing images of water.

YANG (active energy) is the feng shui energy expressed in strong, vibrant sounds and colors, bright lights, upward moving energy, tall plants, etc. You want to have a good presence of Yang energy in your home office, your kitchen, your front door, as well as at a good dinner party with friends!

The Yin Yang energies cannot exist in isolation; they define each other, as one is the condition for the other's existence. A good feng shui home has to have a harmonious expression of the rhythms of both active and passive energies.

In the Western culture, we tend to experience an imbalance of feng shui energies. We live in a constant flow of the very active, busy, Yang quality feng shui energy and often weak, or even missing Yin energy (the relaxing and nourishing one).

Creating a home that will reflect the feng shui Yin-Yang balance is very important, so it is worth spending some time looking at your home and sensing where you have a strong imbalance of these energies. Is your bedroom missing the relaxing Yin energy? Does your kitchen have too much Yin and not enough Yang?

There will always be one quality of energy that is stronger depending on the use of the space, but you need to have both feng shui energies.

Here are examples of the play of Yin and Yang energies in a good feng shui home:

Yin Energy in Your Home. Your bedroom needs the relaxing Yin energy in order to heal you, so it is crucial to let go of all the dominant Yang feng shui elements in the bedroom, such as the TV, the exercise equipment, or any office items.

While the Yin energy needs to be the predominant energy in your bedroom (think relaxation, cocooning, sensuality, sleep); you also need a slight presence of Yang (think red candles, arousing images, a light accent color to balance the deep colors, etc.) The same principle applies to your bathroom.

Yang Energy in Your Home. Your family room, living room, home office, and kitchen are definitely feng shui spaces that will benefit from a strong presence of Yang energy. Choose vibrant colors, lively music, and a variety of feng shui decor items to create an active quality of energy (happy family photos, bright books, fun games, etc.)

Even though the Yin, or relaxing element, is not the dominant element here, you still need to have it for balance. Introduce deep colours, relaxed and comfortable seating, as well as some images with soothing Yin energy.

Having a harmonious balance of both Yin and Yang feng shui forces in your home will create the quality of energy you need in order to live a healthy and fulfilling life.