I love doing 40-day challenges. The newest one is a week in and will end on my 40th birthday. I am adding ying and yang activities into my day to enhance my cardiovascular health, stay calm and balanced, and feel great for my B-day. We are going to discuss different ying & yang activities and foods that support you to keep your chi balanced.
The ying-yang symbol represents the interaction between two opposing forces: dark and light, cold and hot, soft and hard, feminine and masculine. Almost everything, from food to environments to individuals, can be described as having both ying and yang properties.
The goal is balance and quality of whichever practice you choose. Every good ying practice has a little yang in it, and vice-versa. The two sides are not static but a process that supports and cooperates with each other.
Typical Ying activities include:
Walking, gentle swimming, gentle yoga, Tai chi, Pilates, & your beach cruiser on the boardwalk
Typical Yang activities include:
Running, Weight training, Martial Arts, Basketball, Endurance Training, & sand volleyball
Some foods and cravings can cause imbalances in your body. You need to be aware when your body isn’t “acting” like it should. Some people don’t even know how good they could feel.
You want to switch back and forth between ying and yang foods if you are experiencing any of these chronic symptoms.
Symptoms of Ying Imbalance:
- Tendency to feel chilled
- Urine tends to be clear
- Dresses warmly, likes heat
- Loose stools
- Pale complexion
- Preference for warm food/drinks
- Slow metabolism
- Soft, fleshy muscles
- Rarely thirsty
- Tired, sleeps a lot
- Health worse in cold weather
- Quiet, withdrawn
Symptoms of Yang Imbalance:
- Tendency to feel warm
- Tendency to be talkative
- Uncomfortable in hot weather
- Urine tends to be dark
- Fever blisters, canker sores
- Dresses in short sleeves
- Tends toward ruddy complexion
- Headaches, nose bleeds
- High blood pressure
- Bleeding gums
- Thirst, craves cold drinks
- Restless sleep, disturbing dreams
- Impatience, irritability, anger
In traditional Chinese medicine, it’s not just the nutrients in a food but also the “hot” and “cold” of certain foods that can make you feel better? And it has nothing to do with the temperature at which they are served. Incorporate the foods listed below to find more balance in your day. For example; to get your digestive juices firing, add lemon water in the morning or if you run hot and constipated, try cucumber in your water.
Yang foods (hot): Cayenne pepper, dried ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, chili powder, horseradish, lamb, trout and whole green or red peppers.
Yang foods (warming): Cherries, coconut, lemons, raspberries, cauliflower, mustard greens, onion, coffee, garlic, fresh ginger, chestnuts, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, chicken, shrimp, mussels, lobster, turkey, yogurt, butter.
Yin foods (cooling): Apples, bananas, pears, strawberries, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, Swiss chard, celery, buckwheat, sesame oil.
Yin foods (cold): Papaya, watermelon, grapefruit, tomatoes, asparagus, cucumbers, summer squash, romaine lettuce, seaweed, barley.
Neutral foods: Neutral foods are believed to be nourishing to everyone—and don’t increase the yin or yang balance in the body. Neutral foods include apricots, figs, pineapple, beets, cabbage, carrots, olives, pumpkin, string beans, yams, eggs, oats, almonds, peas, peanuts, rice, beef, oysters, pork, whitefish, salmon, sardines, herring and saffron.