The concept of Yin and Yang

One of the authentic and probably the most accurate definitions of Feng Shui is that it is an art of proper placement of cities, houses and graves - in accordance with the flow of Ch'iWhen energy - Ch'i in the soil and environment is strong and plentiful, it will have a positive effect on people living there, providing them good health and prosperity. At the other hand, lack of energy - Ch’i and stasis of its flow might make people’s lives more challenging, influencing not only their health but also relationship and wealth.

Basic Feng Shui principles: the concept of Yin and Yang 

Basically, it is believed that Ch'i (energy) is arising from the interplay between Yin and Yang and that these two principles with the same power could move human beings and the heaven above. According to Zhuangzi, “Yin in its highest form is freezing while Yang is its highest form is boiling. The chilliness comes from Heaven while the warmth comes from the Earth. The interaction of these two establishes He (balance), so it gives birth to all things. Perhaps this is the law of everything yet there is no form being seen.”(Zhuangzi, Chapter 21). 

The influence of Yin and Yang is not hard to observe, but it is not as easy to define their conceptual meanings. Yin and Yang are two polarities that permeate the universe, making everything going through waxing and waning phases, but in the same time, enabling constant equilibrium of all things. 

Yin-Yang theory originates from the fourth century BC and it explains natural phenomena as ''a continuous rise and fall of opposing yet complementary forces''. Yin is usually labeled as a female principle, cold, dark, quiet and slow, while Yang is labeled as a male principle, dynamic, bright, warm and quick. These two principles not only depend on each other but they are in constant interaction, always fluctuating towards dynamic balance. 

Yin and Yang characteristics



















in the shade

in the limelight















Yin and Yang in External & Environment 

Yin and Yang might be viewed as expanding and reverting breath of nature. Yang is active during daylight, while Yin rules over night; Yang is active in spring and summer, while Yin dominates in autumn and winter. In nature and Feng Shui, Yin is associated with Mountains (as non-movable), while Yang is associated with Waters (as movable). An IDEAL location should contain both Mountain and Water, as ideal site should display the harmony that originates from interplay of Yin and Yang. 

There is no limit in practical application of Yin and Yang concept in Feng Shui. Location-wise, abandoned and neglected places, graveyards and other places of sorrow, ill-health, decay and death are usually related with Yin principle, while active and open areas are related to Yang principle. In the same manner, low places might be viewed as more Yin (as they gravitate more towards Earth), while high places could be viewed as more Yang (as they are closer to Heaven). 

Even Feng Shui practice has its own Yin and Yang ‘’departments’’; for example Yin Feng Shui practice is designed towards finding the best burial spot, while Yang Feng Shui practice is directed towards finding the best possible places for residential and commercial purposes.

Furthermore, as the most busiest part, downtown is always more Yang then suburbs; since energy in the suburbs is more calm and relaxed, suburbs could be qualified as more Yin and therefore more suitable for residential purposes. Residential areas are in general more Yin, while Commercial parts are – more Yang. 

However, no matter how we categorize the prevailing energy of the certain area or spot, the dynamic overall balance of the two principles always exists. 

Yin and Yang inside the property 

Yin and Yang are very important in Classical Feng Shui application. Knowing that the entrance is the most Yang part of the property is and that the most Yin place is the farthest spot from the entrance, it becomes possible to design the property layout and put the proper function at the best possible place. 

Therefore, as a Bedroom requires more Yin energy (for Yin is related to sleep and rest), we would aim to put master bedroom in the secluded and quiet part of the property, possibly at the rear side. At the other hand, since Living Room is considered as more Yang (we meet people there, it is a place for social encounters) it should be placed in the vicinity of the entrance, as the most Yang spot of the property. 

The principles of Yin and Yang could be applied in Feng Shui in so many ways, including fine tuning of the property and choosing over some important residential or commercial features. For example, certain directions are more Yang than the other ones, and when used for sleeping, it is very likely that the person could develop sleeping issues (waking in the middle of the night, having hard time to fall asleep, etc.). In the same way, as we should choose more calm - Yin locations and directions for sleeping, for desk facing and commercial properties in general, we prefer choosing more Yang locations and directions, in order to boost efficiency and productivity.  

Yin and Yang in context of health and overall balance 

The early medical text known as The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, provides a lot of examples of Yin and Yang in a context of human health. 

Five Yin organs of our bodies are the kidneys, liver, heart, spleen and lungs and they control the storage of vital substance and Ch'i. At the other hand, the gallbladder, stomach, small and large intestines, urinary bladder and triple burner — they are all Yang and in charge of digestion and transportation of food. 

In general, all storage is a primarily Yin function, while transformation is primarily Yang function. As with everything that exists, Yin and Yang in human body do not exist in isolation but their constant mutual exchange keeps human body in the state of (dynamic) balance. 

Prolonged exposure to extreme weather conditions (cold/hot, dry/wet) could also affect our Yin or Yang, but  we can disturb our balance in any moment simply by taking extremely hot or cold food or beverages, by eating late at night when Yin dominates or avoiding breakfast in the morning when Yang is rising. Also, if we deprive ourselves of enough rest and sleep (Yin), it can affect our efficiency and activity (Yang). It is not easy to maintain balance, but it is certainly worth our effort…


Althea S.T. is Classical Feng Shui and Ba Zi Life Dynamics consultant,Mentor, Speaker & Educator.

Her services includes:
• Residential and Commercial Feng Shui Consultation
• Ba Zi Chinese Traditional Astrology Consultation for personal guidance & counseling
• Date Selection for important personal and business events
• Workshops, corporate talks and lectures / FB Classically Feng Shuied / Mail:

Each element has its own characteristics, i.e. corresponding shapes, objects, colors, sounds and emotions; elements govern not only landscape, surroundings and internal features, but also different body parts, organs and bodily functions. Therefore, mastering Five Elements qualities is crucial for good Feng Shui practice. Since we can categorize every landscape feature and/or building into Five Elements concept, for Classical Feng Shui practitioner it becomes possible not only to diagnose potentials of the existing property - but also to foresee the occurrence of probable future opportunities – or problems. Moreover, mastering over Five Elements concept might open up the chance for us to introduce necessary changes toward establishing overall harmony and that is how Five Elements hold the keys to good life of the residents and business.

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