The Yin Yang symbol, also known as the Tai Chi symbol, originated in ancient China and is used in many Asian cultures. In the symbol, the Yin and the Yang are oppositely graphed to form a full circle, representing two opposite but mutually existing elements of the universe. The most famous example of the yin yang symbol is the national flag of South Korea, which is also known as the Tai Chi flag. Even the inspiration of the popular singer combination, the Yin Yang Twins, comes from this ancient symbol.
The concept of Yin and Yang is central to ancient Chinese astrology, traditional Chinese medicine, and ancient Chinese philosophy. Its influence permeates almost everywhere in the oriental culture.
Kung Fu or Wushu
Chinese Kung Fu or Wushu is a form of martial arts that make good use of yin yang theory. In almost all styles of Chinese Kung Fu, strength and gentleness are believed as two key elements, with either the former or the latter favored. At the highest level of Chinese Kung Fu, gentleness can over-come strength. Chinese Tai Chi Chuan is one style of Chinese Kung Fu that exemplifies this.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
In the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, diseases are caused by yin yang imbalance, due to either an overabundance or a scarcity of the Yin or the Yang in the human body. Chinese acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are both great examples of traditional Chinese therapy that treat disorders and restore the dynamic balance of yin yang.
Religion & Ethics
Ancient Chinese believe that the nether world of ghosts and souls exists along with the secular world of human beings. The former is referred to as the yin world, while the latter is referred to as the yang world. From the concept of the two worlds, it is easy to understand why the yin is often associated with evil and darkness and the yang always represents justice and brightness.
In Chinese astrology and Chinese horoscope, the stars and planets are categorized by yin yang. For example, the sun represents the yang and the moon is the yin. The cycle of night and day is a result of the alternation of the yin and the yang.
The yin yang concept is also deeply rooted in the Chinese calendar. The well-known solar period in the traditional Chinese calendar is a day marking one of the 24 divisions of the solar year. And interestingly, the ancient Chinese lunar calendar is referred to as the yin calendar, to be distinguished from the western calendar – the yang calendar.
Chinese Feng Shui is another great application of the yin yang concept and the Chinese astrology. Based on the patterns of yin and yang and the flow of energy (chi or qi) that have positive and negative effects, Chinese Feng Shui decides the arrangement and orientation of objects, such as graves and buildings. The research and practice of Chinese Feng Shui has never been so popular as today.
Gender & Sex
The existence of the female and the male in the world can be regarded as another example of the Chinese yin yang concept. The female is the Yin, while the male is the Yang. The two are both independent and complementary. The Taoism applied the yin yang concept to form ancient Chinese theory of sex: a process of collecting the Yin or the Yang to maintain the yin yang balance.