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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 254

Thoughts: The Yin and Yang of Your Body

Units of time, such as days and years, have distinctive yin and yang properties. And knowledge of these daily and seasonal patterns can help keep you in synch with the rhythms of time and equalize the life energy flowing through your body.

A single day is perhaps the smallest unit of time in which we can see the ebb and flow of yin and yang. At night, yin is at its strongest. Night is a time of rest, and the moon, darkness, coolness, stillness and quietness all display yin nature.

The rising of the sun signals the beginning of yang time. This is a time of birth; if you are a heavy sleeper, getting out of bed early in the morning may be akin to “going through labor”. As the sun rises higher and the temperature increases, yang becomes more and more dominant and things tend to become more active. Afternoon is a time of growth. Eventually, yang reaches its peak and, from that point on, yin starts to regain its force and things start to wind down.

For humans, evening is often a time of relaxation or entertainment. This is the harvest time, where we enjoy the fruits of what we have worked for. Finally as yin becomes more dominant, things return to the state of rest late at night. This daily oscillation of yin and yang is the base of yearly, seasonal change. After a long winter, flowers break through the surface of the ground and begin to grow. The dead yellow grass is replaced with fresh green grass, and new leaves appear on the trees. Farmers sow seeds and the crops begin to sprout up. That’s why the word ‘spring’ means to leap or bound.

Spring is the time of birth, where yang energy is full and abundant. Accordingly, people who have high blood pressure have to be especially careful in the spring. High blood pressure is more likely to cause stroke in spring than any other season.

In summer, plants grow very quickly and trees full blossom. The intense yang energy present during summer takes on the quality of (and is symbolized by) fire - the dispersed, dissipated state of energy. The blood circulates faster in summer due to augmented yang energy. But many people work or sleep in air-conditioned spaces, which act as a kind of artificial yin environment. Too much cold air can obstruct chi (life force) and cause health problems. Therefore, to prevent this imbalance, energy should be circulated through light exercises intense enough to make you break a sweat.

Autumn is the time of maturity and harvest. In this season, chi is gathered and solidified - the trees bear fruit, the flowers produce seeds and the farmers harvest their crops. The yin energy present in autumn takes on the characteristics of (and is symbolized by) gold (metal). This maturing energy of autumn is said “to fall down”. Therefore, fall is another name for autumn. People can easily become depressed because of the falling nature of autumn energy. It is recommended that those affected practice active, moving meditations like Qigong or tai chi, which can help to circulate the energy for a sluggish body.

In winter, all beings in nature tend to rest. Just as the nutrients return to the roots of the trees, so the life energy in the human body accumulates in the abdomen. Therefore, heavy exercises that force you to consume much energy should be avoided in winter. If you use up too much energy in winter, you may be susceptible to illness in spring. It is best to go to sleep early and get up late during winter as this will help to accumulate needed energy in the body.

By Jaseng Center for Alternative Medicine. Source:

Challenges: Our lives are based on what is reasonable and common sense; Truth is apt to be neither - Christmas Humphreys

Triumphs: Birth and Death is a grave event; How transient is life!
Every minute is to be grasped. Time waits for nobody - Inscription on a Zen Gong

What I Ate Today:

Food fest 1: A grapefruit and orange juice.

Food fest 2: Strawberries.

Food fest 3: Spanish Rice and Beans with Avocado (perfect after a gym workout!) Ingredients: Rice, Red Kidney Beans, Onion, Garlic, Tomatoes, Water, Olive Oil, Paprika, Coriander (Cilantro).

Food fest 4: Another avocado :)

Recipe: Recipe for Spanish Rice and Beans with Avocado is on

Exercise: A 1 hour workout at Big Al's Family Fitness. I worked out abs, legs, butt (did some squats!) and shoulders. Then I stretched in the sauna. I also rode my bike today to and from the gym and walked to and from the store :)

111 days to go!!!

A painting by Jim Thompson

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