Yin & yang and yoga

We all know the yin and yang principle by now. They are Chinese concepts that represent two opposing forces that together form the whole and complement each other. Yin and yang are therefore complementary to each other. You can incorporate this into yoga, because this principle also stands for balance and that is what yoga stands for in general.

What is yin and what is yang?

Yin is the feminine and is seen in combination with the dark moon, which turns away from the sun. Yang is the masculine and is seen in combination with the bright sun. They are usually depicted in black and white and are actually trapped together in a circle.

Yin = feminine, below, cold, water, moon, black, dark, fat, hate
Yang = masculine, above, warm, fire, sun, white, muscle and bone, love

How does it manifest?

  • It is a dynamic process that will never stop.
  • Yin and yang are connected to each other and if one increases in value (for whatever reason) the other slows down.
  • Nothing is without both, something can have a more emphatic side, but where yin is dominant, yang is also present… and vice versa.
  • It is believed that everything in the universe is connected to the dynamics of yin and yang principle.

Translation to yoga

Knowing the above, it is now about how you can translate this into yoga exercises. In any case, it starts with exercises you need to do before the morning (yang) and exercises you need to do before the evening (yin) to get into the mood of the moment.

After all, yang is light, the day, activities and that means that you should do exercises that stimulate you during the day. Yin represents darkness, night and rest. This means that you should do exercises just before going to sleep and receive your calm yin energy for the night.

Yang exercise back roll

The back roll is ideally suited to stimulate the governor vessel (an important meridian). Alertness and clarity of mind is what it will yield.

  • Lie on your back, raise your legs and grasp the back of your knees with your hands.
  • Bring your chin towards your chest as much as possible.
  • Now gently roll back and forth over your spine by “throwing” your legs back (roll until your shoulders touch the ground).
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles as much as possible during this exercise.

Yang ankle lock

  • Sit upright with your back straight and your legs extended in front of you.
  • Spread your feet slightly apart (no more than hip-width apart).
  • Then grab your big toes with your thumb and index finger (if you can’t stop, try to get as far as possible).
  • On an inhalation, lift one leg (stretched) and move the leg slightly outward.
  • Follow the leg with your eyes and leave the other leg straight on the floor.
  • Now breathe deeply into the lower abdomen eight times.
  • On an exhalation, return the leg to its original position and continue with the other leg.

“All in the eye of the beholder – Some of the most destructive forces in the world (Fire & Water), can also have the power of beauty.” Martin R. Lemieux

Yin and the water stretch

Good for bladder and kidney energy and good for anxiety.

  • Sit up straight with your back straight and your legs extended in front of you.
  • Spread your feet slightly apart (no more than hip-width apart).
  • As you inhale, stretch your arms above you.
  • As you exhale, bend your upper body forward and grab your smallest toes (preferably with your legs straight, but they can also be bent slightly.)
  • Hold on for a moment, because the combination of fingers and toes should bring peace. Experience this.

Yin and the zen moment

Take your time for this exercise, remove all tension from your body and that takes time, give it time! It can take up to 15 minutes.

  • Sit on your knees and your buttocks on your feet or sit cross-legged. Make sure you sit relaxed.
  • Place your hands in an open position (with the palm up) in your lap and your ring fingers and pinkies touch each other.
  • Now close your eyes and breathe deeply and calmly. Try to direct your breath to your insides, your core (approximately in the middle of your abdomen).
  • Focus on your breathing and every time you feel like you’re going astray, refocus on your breathing.
  • Hold until you are completely relaxed.


There are many yoga exercises, just a few in the morning and a few in the evening and you will already benefit from them. You don’t always have to own it for hours at a time to get results. But if you do it, do it in peace.