Yin and Yang energies; how balanced are you?
Yang; our doing side
Last month, as we celebrated Mother’s Day, we explored our Yin energy: the feminine energy that resides in us all. If you missed it, click here. This Father’s Day month we will dedicate this newsletter to our Yang side; our masculine side that, like Yin, resides in both women and men. Our Yang side allows us to drive our lives with enthusiasm, complete tasks, stay focused and get things done. It’s the outflow of our energy.
When our Yang energy is low we start to feel overwhelmed, tired, listless, lacking in energy with zero motivation to accomplish what we set out to do. We lack confidence and self esteem.
In the Yin-Yang model, Yang (the white half) contains a seed of Yin (in the form of black dot). This is because Yin is also present in Yang and in the swirling symbol there is a dynamic flow of the two energies so they can balance and rebalance automatically and continuously. Both create a totality, a complete whole.
Knowing when you are off balance is knowing it is time to make the necessary adjustments to body, mind, emotions, and spirit so harmony and wellness can be regained.
How does this payout in a city like Hong Kong, which is predominately Yang?
In Hong Kong’s hustle and bustle, our Yang energy is continually called on to enable us to keep moving, keep sight of our goals and be at our personal productive best.
To live the life we want, be it in Hong Kong or anywhere else in the world, we must rebuild our creative and transforming Yang energy to keep our mental and physical functions energized and balanced.
Staying in Balance
There are many techniques for developing greater balance between the masculine and feminine energy. Here are some quick and easy tips to rebuild and replenish your Yang energy:
- Keep warm – Hong Kong’s heat and humidity and our sub-arctic aircon culture keep us from not wearing enough. However, continuous exposure to cold depletes our Yang energy. Bring your shawls and sweaters when indoors to keep your temperature stable and warm and set the thermostat of your air conditioners to a reasonable and more environmentally friendly temperature of 25C.
- Rest – Contrary to the old adage that ‘doing is opposite of resting’; enough rest makes the body much more yang. We need around 8 to 10 hours at night and, if at all possible, power naps during the day. Insufficient sleep (something many of us are guilty of) can make the body too Yin. Lazing around in bed all day, however, can also make the body more Yin but, given Hong Kong’s fast-paced culture, I’m yet to meet someone who has the luxury of a whole day under the duvet!
- Exercise – A little exercise, which tenses the muscles and causes deeper breathing, makes the body a little more Yang. Excess exercise, however, can overpower the body’s ability to recover properly in the necessary time. By over-exercising, nutrients are depleted, the adrenals are weakened, and our bodies become more Yin.
- Deep breathing and right nostril breathing – Stress and anxiety means shallow breathing, holding on and holding in. Deep breathing makes us more Yang by removing toxins, improving circulation and oxygenation of the body, and well as balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
Right nostril breathing activates the Pingala Nerve Endingin the right nostril, which relates to alertness and activity. Right nostril breathing is associated with the sun energy, which is a constant, masculine, yang, and hot. Breathing through the right nostril for five minutes can energize yourself and raise your blood pressure.
How: Sit in a comfortable position and close the left nostril with the left thumb, the other fingers are stretched straight up as antennas. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath and your energy. Begin to breath long and deep only through your right nostril only. Continue for three minutes.
Tip: Throughout the day, we predominately breath through one or the other nostril. Your body regulates your energy and emotional states by switching your dominate nostril every 90 or 150 minutes. When you want to switch your energy, breath through the nostril of your choice. Right nostril is Yang energy and left nostril is Yin energy.
- Include Yang foods in your nutrition – The most Yang foods are meat, lamb, chicken, eggs, poultry, fish, onion, garlic, and cooked vegetables. Plants that grow beneath the ground are more Yang, while those that grow up and above such as most fruit, are more Yin.
More Yang herbs and spices include ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, black & white pepper, peppermint, dill, sage, turmeric, star anise to name a few.
Think heartwarming Chai tea (one of my favorites), think Yang!
Foods to avoid
Consuming too many ‘cold’-type food or drinks can reduce your Yang. These are foods and drinks that are either cold or icy cold to the touch, raw, inappropriately cold to the season, or cooling or have a cold-increasing effect on the body. Room temperature and local produce are always a safe bet.
- Sunbathe –Enjoy plenty of warm sunlight. In Hong Kong you have plenty, just don’t let yourself burn, as besides damaging your skin over-exposure to heat can also be draining.
Male vs female energy
Many people are still closely identified with the energy associated with their gender (male or female), causing an unconscious repression of the seemingly opposing energy. The paradox is that both energies can exist simultaneously in balance, even while outwardly appearing to oppose one another.
Beginning to understand and integrate your own masculine and feminine energy is the start of healing the divide within you. The Yin/Yang energy always seeks balance, and healing is the process of getting out of the way and allowing it to happen. As we do, we allow for our spiritual development, energy healing, and greater holistic health.
Recipe of the month
Regaining balance and nourishing Yang energy through your diet
In natural healing, there is a belief that each physical imbalance can be addressed by eating foods that re-balance the systems of your body.
Yang represents the energy that is responsible for warming and activating our body’s many functions. It activitates your life force with power and strength.
Here’s a divine recipe called ‘Shakshuka’ shared with us by the wonderful Ayelet Idan, founder of Olive Leaf Hong Kong, to sizzle you up and bring out the Yang in you! Libyan Jews brought this rustic dish to Israel many years ago. It can be enjoyed straight from the pan with a big chunk of bread!
5 clove of chopped garlic
6 large diced tomatoes [or 1 1/2 canned tomatoes]
1 green pepper
1 green and 1 red hot pepper
2-3 tablespoon tomato paste
1 spoon ground cumin
1 spoon sweet paprika
Salt, black pepper, sugar
4-5 Eggs (one per person if you wish)
- Heat the oil and lightly fry the garlic; add the green pepper, hot peppers and cumin.
- Add the tomatoes and seasoning; cook for 15-20 minutes covered on low heat.
- Add tomato paste and water; cook for a few more minutes.
- Break the eggs and gently slide them onto the tomato sauce so they do not break.
- Turn the heat low and cook until the egg whites set.
To fully enjoy this delicious meal, Ayelet recommends you invite your friends and have a great time!
More about Ayelet: Ayelet was born and raised in Israel, where she holds fond memories of cooking as a young child. Influenced by her grandparents’ cooking and traditional cuisines from home, she founded Olive Leaf Hong Kong: a niche vegetarian/vegan middle eastern company, which offers delectable cuisine, cooking classes and events. Olive Leaf grew out of a desire to share her own food experiences and to promote vegetarianism and veganism at its culinary finest. Ayelet’s belief is that food should be fresh, tasty, healthy, simple and best shared with others. As well as private and group cooking classes, Ayelet offers wonderful dining experienes in the comfort of her home in Lamma Island. Visit www.facebook.com/oliveleaf.hk for more information.
13 June Meditation with Kirtan at IMI Central
In this unique blend of Kirtan, the usage of powerful yet gentle mantras, techniques and guidance Cristina aims to help you to develop a simple mindfulness or meditation practice.
26 June Meditation with Kirtan at IRIS Your Escape Festival
Manipura Wellness Practice was pleased to once again host
MEDITATION WITH KIRTAN at IRIS FESTIVAL.
Together, we continued our devotion to the healing powers of Kirtan.
We dedicate this event to all Kirtan lovers across Hong Kong and the Globe.
27 June Kirtan at Alive Wellness
Monthly devotional Kirtan sessions where voices unite for powerful healing to take place. Together we help our body soothe and release emotions through the powerful sounds produced by ancient sacred mantras.
Balancing Yin-Yang Competition
To complete our Yin-Yang series, we would love to offer you the opportunity to win and benefit from a customized Bach Remedy consultation worth HK $1,200.
Bach Flower Remedy sessions are a deep process of self-discovery and emotional awareness, allowing clients to understand and pinpoint the underlying emotions that directly impact their overall health and wellness. During this 1.5 hour session Cristina will identify the specific remedies – your customized personal mixture – that can help you in managing your emotional state, restoring balance, and laying the foundation for a powerfully beneficial state of mind.
For your chance to win, all you need to do is answer the following three questions:
- Name three techniques to balance our Yin?
- And, three techniques to balance your Yang?
- Tell us in no more than fifty words how you hope to benefit from a Bach Remedy session with Cristina.
Send Cristina an email with your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to benefit from a tailored Bach Remedy consultation on or before 15 July
Terms and conditions apply. Due to the nature of the session, this offer is available to Hong Kong residents only. The winner will be notified by email on 15 August. The session can be booked at a mutually convenient time from 15 September to 15 December 2016.