Chinese Taoist belief that the universal life force or energy
of the universe, known as chi, and everything in it is based
on a pair of opposite forces: Ying and Yang. Yin and Yang
are complete opposites but they are also interdependent and
cannot exist without each other.
The concept of Yin/Yang was first introduced in the second
century BC in the I Ching, which placed Yin and Yang behind
Chi on the existential pyramid of the universe. Below Yin
and Yang are the five elements of the natural world.
Together Yin and Yang outline the experience of life, which
is forever changing. Something is never just Yin or Yang but
a combination of the two extremes in different stages of flux.
There is always some Yin and Yang and visa versa. Yin is the
feminine embodiment of Chi, which represents and symbolizes
shadows, earth, night, the moon, dark, cool, calm, passivity,
downward motion and moisture. Yang is the masculine component,
which represent heaven, day, light, warmth, upward motion,
activity, fullness and dryness. The interdependence between
the two is symbolised in the tail or Yin/Yang symbol, showing
a two-tone circle with a dynamic curve and contrasting dot
that separates Yin from Yang. The line between the two halves
is not straight and abrupt, as transitions are never sudden,
but gradual like a waving curve. The dot of contrasting colour
is there to remind us that there is always some Yin in Yang
and some Yang in Yin.
Although everything in the universe is an interdependent combination
of Yin and Yang some things will be more one that the other
and this holds true for people too. The goal in Chinese philosophy
and traditional Chinese medicine is always to maintain an
equal amount of both, as too much Yin or too much Yang can
lead to disease and decay.