The Chinese have studied the energy of the human body for thousands of years, dating back to the reign of the Yellow Emperor, thought to have been 2790-2590BC. Central to the Chinese analysis of energy and it’s behaviour, is the the concept of Yin & Yang and Chi.
It is believed that in order to attain a long healthy life, the two universal forces, Yin (negative) and Yang (positive) must be in balance.
According to the principles of Yin and Yang:
Everything in nature consists of two polar compliments which are ever opposing and supplementing each other.
Everything in nature cannot ever be isolated from it’s relationship to others.
Everything in nature is a continual process of change. The basic law of the Universe is that nothing is fixed.
Everything in nature is a not absolute but relative ie:
To the frogs in the temple pool, the lotus stems are tall
To the Gods of Mt Everest, an elephant is small
Everything has it’s Yin & Yang aspect ie: the front of the body is Yin and has a slower activity – the back of the body is Yang and has a stronger activity.
Any Yin & Yang aspect can be further divided into Yin & Yang. Nothing is absolute. When these Yin and Yang forces interact harmoniously, Chi energy is produced and life is generated.
All life in nature is dependant on this same source of energy, Chi. It is the vital, fundamental energy that sustains life and vibrates within the 70 trillion cells in the body. When used in reference to our human body, it means the driving force behind all that we do, and our physical existence. The Chi network is likened to a transportation system. If there is blockage at any major point, this causes an overload somewhere else. Blockages can be caused from many factors ie: muscular strains, injuries, postural patterns and internal tensions.
The Yin Chi is the root of life, circulating the energy in the meridians and links the mind, body and the nervous system. It is this Yin Chi that we tap into with our Yin Yoga Postures. Yang Chi is the manifestation of life. These external functions of Chi are to protect the body by forming a shield on the surface.
Chi is also responsible for the circulation of energy in the meridians and for the optimum functioning of the organs. These meridians act ‘like rivers of energy’ irrigating the organs and tissues with vitality. Chi capillaries are branching sub-networks which spring from the meridian channels permeating every tissue and cell in the body. This network interlaces the entire human body.
A balanced meridian system promotes physical health, emotional calm and mental clarity for health and well being
In a healthy body Chi freely circulates throughout these pathways with an appropriate level of energy supply to nourish every part of the body and maintain the normal function of the body’s activities. Whenever there is a deficiency or excess in either the Yin or the Yang, the body becomes unbalanced. It is believed that most illnesses are caused by the abnormal distribution and circulation of Chi on the Yin side of the body.
Modern meridian theorists and researchers, and in particular the groundbreaking work of Dr Hiroshi Motoyama over the last forty years, place these ‘Rivers of Energy’ within the water rich, fascial network of the body. Fascia is the connective tissue that permeates the entire body, holding every part of our body together.
By specifically targeting the fascial network in a Yin Yoga practice we are stimulating the flow and balance of Chi. The long held postures in a Yin Yoga session, not only stimulate the flow of Chi but also assist in removing stagnation, balancing the meridian energy.
Yin Yoga, The Quiet Still Practice
I have heard that in ancient times there were so-called Spiritual Beings
They stood between Heaven and Earth connecting the Universe
They understood and were able to control both Yin and Yang, the two fundamental principles of Nature
They inhaled the vital essence of life
They remained unmoving in their spirit
Their muscles and flesh were as one
This is the Tao, the Way you are looking for
The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine
Thought to have been written about 4,000 years ago