Essential oils for balancing Yin & Yang

You’ve probably seen the yin/yang ‘Taijitu’ symbol at some point during your life, but do you know what it means?  If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of yin and yang, it is Chinese Tao philosophy based on the idea that opposite energetic forces complement each other to create wholeness and balance.  Philosophy says that we need both aspects to be balanced in order to live a healthy life, and so it is useful to explore how we can ensure our yin and yang energies stay in harmony. 

When we aren’t balanced, we might have a deficiency or excess of either yin or yang energy, and this idea is often seen in principles of Chinese medicine.  For example, if we have an excess of yang, we may get a fever, and if we have an excess of yin we may develop water retention.  Knowing more about yin and yang energy can therefore help us to keep more balance which can help keep our wellbeing in check!

Quite by chance, as this is published, I’ve been in Bali, studying Yin Yoga, which is one of many different holistic modalities that can help us balance our often very yang Western lifestyles!  Yin and yang are, of course, much broader than yoga, but you might have heard of ‘yin’ in this yoga form – it is basically a softer, gentle yoga in comparison to the faster paced yang classes.  You may not have heard of ‘yang,’ though, so it might be useful for me to describe the two different energies before we begin.

Once you know what yin and yang energies are, you’ll be able to balance these yourself - we’ll explain how to encourage harmony between the two energies so that you can feel more balanced – and we’ll give you some handy hints on how to use essential oils to help, because as you may know, aromatherapy can also support a balanced equilibrium!

Yin and Yang : the different energies

Yin is described in Taoist concepts as stable, unmoving and hidden aspects.  Yang is the opposite: changing, moving and revealing!  There is never one without the other, but the whole of life can be described in terms of its yin and yang aspects.  Here are some examples of yin and yang energies in life:

Yin energiesYang energies
ColdHot
StillnessMovement
DownwardsUpwards
CalmExcited
QuietLoud
NightDay
DarkLight
MoonSun
FemaleMale
EarthHeaven
Moistening

Dry

Now, the important thing to remember is that both yin and yang are needed to create balance – and that they are not static or in any way independent energies: they work together!  However, we can classify them in this way just to see where our energy might be moving.  We can experience a deficiency or excess of one of the other, and it is then that we may want to balance it out with whatever we need more of.  For example, if we are over excited, anxious, stressed, or if our lives are busy – which is quite common in Western society, which has become very yang - we may want to consider balancing that yang energy with some form of yin practice, combined with yin-balancing essential oils!  So, what might help?

Balancing Yin deficiency and Yang excess

Let’s start with how to balance our yin deficiency and yang excess energy, because often this is the one we struggle most with in modern society.  With the ongoing battle between work-life balance, modern stresses and strains can mean that it is difficult to find calm and quiet as we are constantly on the move.  This can result in anxiety, busy minds, illness – and many other stress related imbalances.

Finding a yin practice to balance this energy can really help to alter the over-yang energetic flow.  We have already discussed trying yin yoga, which is a very inwards-diving space of quiet contemplation with little movement, but gentle allowing of softness.  This can really be useful!  Other practices that be helpful in harmonising yin energy can include meditation, reflection and journaling from the heart, sleep, reading, cool bathing, or having relaxing treatments – such as reiki – particularly in the evening!

Yin harmonising essential oil blends

Of course, integrating more of the above yin balancing practices can help balance yin deficiency and yang excess, but there are also essential oils that you can integrate into your life to help you harmonise your energy!  As we mentioned, there is nothing that is entirely ‘yin’ without yang, as they are not independent of each other, but there are oils that are ‘more’ yin balancing than others.  So, which oils can help?

  • Vetivert
  • Rose
  • Geranium
  • Chamomile
  • Melissa
  • Ylang Ylang

Some blend ideas and tips that can support are shown below – if you’re feeling imbalanced in this way, then why not give them a go?

  1. Inhale the Yin: Our first tip is for daily use!  Diffuse a beautiful blend of 3 drops Rose, 3 drops Chamomile and 2 drops Vetiver in either an electrical diffuser or candle burner.  Do this in the evening before bed, which is a yin time - you might want to incorporate this with a yin practice of some kind, like yoga, meditation or reading.
  2. Bath Balance: Another tip is to take a cooler-than-usual, but relaxing, bath with scented salts!  Mix 3 drops Geranium, 3 drops Melissa and 2 drops Ylang Ylang into half a cup of Epsom salts, and add to the running bath – again before bed time.  Relax into it and allow yourself to be still!
  3. Yin Spritz: try using a yin spritz throughout the day to help calm your mind.  Add 15 drops Chamomile, 10 drops Rose and 5 drops Geranium into 100ml Lavender Hydrolat in a spray bottle and spray yourself and your aura as needed.

These beautiful blends can be really helpful in rebalancing the flow of yin and yang, so give them a try - and get creative!

Balancing Yang deficiency and Yin excess

Of course, there’s also the possibility that you might be feeling a yang deficiency and yin excess.  If you’re feeling lethargic and fatigued, it could be useful to consider adding more ‘yang’ into your balance.  I realised this when I was suffering with severe fatigue a few years ago, and found that when I added gentle exercise back into my regime (as I felt I could), I started to rebalance.  I actually studied Vinyasa Flow yoga, and found that my fatigue ironically disappeared the more yang energy I cultivated!

So, great examples of ‘yang’ practices include exercise that gets your blood pumping, a faster or stronger style of yoga, planning some exciting projects, getting some sunshine or eating spicy foods!

Yang balancing essential oils blends

The more ‘yang’ balancing essential oils are listed here, and tend to be more stimulating, heat-encouraging oils:

  • Cinnamon
  • Juniperberry
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Black Pepper
  • Lemon

Here are some tips on how you could use them:

  • Yang Massage:  It’s a great idea to try and get the circulation going if you’re trying to cultivate yang energy, so why not give yourself an uplifting massage?  Mix 2 drops Juniperberry, 2 drops Rosemary and 2 drops Black Pepper into 15ml Grapeseed oil and apply in brisk strokes to the skin in a direction towards the heart!  You could body brush before you do this to really help get the lymph moving too!
  • Yang Diffusion: Want to support a yang activity?  If you’re exercising, why not diffuse a complementary blend in the background?  Try 2 drops Cinnamon, 2 drops Ginger and 2 drops Lemon to boost your yang!
  • Yang Inhaler: If you want to encourage and motivate yourself on the go - whilst balancing yang – try mixing an inhaler blend to carry with you.  Add 1 drop Thyme, 1 drop Rosemary and 1 drop Lemon to the cotton pad inside the inhaler and sniff it as needed throughout the day to stimulate your senses!

You’re sure to feel more ‘yang’ after these – enjoy!

Balancing oils for Yin AND Yang

As a final note, there are many oils that fall right in the middle, having both yin and yang properties – and these are great for balancing the energy in combination with the above oils.  These oils are:

  • Lavender
  • Frankincense

Remember – essential oil choice is very much an intuitive thing, so you may find yourself drawn to some more than others.  This is your body’s way of telling you what it needs, so all you need to do is listen!  Stay self-aware -:are you finding yourself drawn to more yin or yang oils?  Does this correlate to how you are feeling, energetically?  Follow the feeling and select the oils that will help!  Incorporate whichever oils feel best to you! You’ll be back to harmony in no time! 

Browse our range of essential oils and select your favourites for balancing your yin and yang.

Nicole Barton
Consultant Aromatherapist

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