Monday, June 11, 2012

Yin Yang Space Designing
Balancing Your Lifestyle with Universal Energy
© Mary Jane Kasliner, AAS, BS, ACFSI, CP, RYT

Knowing the effects of yin and yang in different parts of your home goes a long way when choosing design features.

Nothing is wholly yin or wholly yang but rather a blending of the two dynamics. In other words, everything has some yin and some yang. This is what keeps energy in check and balanced. We see the shifts of these great polarities in nature all the time and on a daily basis with the time of day and seasonal changes. The position of the sun in the morning sky moves from the east to southeast and reaches its peak at noon emitting an energetic yang type of qi. As the sun moves its position in the sky during the afternoon hours, a yin qi energy imbues the space.
We all know that the sunnier side of the home activates our own yang energy and calls for activity while the shady side of the home seems to engage our quieter side, relaxation and yin activities. Once we understand the core components of how these interdependent polarities shift energy in nature, we can then apply these same principles to design.
Yin &Yang in Home Design
Take notice of everything in your space from the architectural shape, windows and ceiling heights, to the finer details of fabric, colors, patterns and materials. Most people tend to lean towards one polarity, and by doing so, create an imbalance in the space and their personal lives. The key is to inject a bit of both polarities (yin and yang) into the interior design to invoke a state of balance and harmony. Once you can recognize and understand the difference between these polarities in design you can have fun altering the qi energy of your home to balance your own personal qi.
Building shapes that are irregular and angular take on a yang quality. The greater the number of windows and size will also reflect this polarity. Ceiling height that exceeds 12 feet will shift the polarity to a yang dynamic. When these building features are present, then adding texture, drapery, moldings and downward artwork is necessary in order to balance the overly active qi.
Patterns that contain wavy shapes, arches, clouds or spirals are softer and yin in value. Square, angular, zigzag, diamond or star shapes take on a harsher yang feel. Taking note of the types of patterns that you choose for your home is important. Mix it up a bit and pull these opposites in alignment for a more balanced feel and aesthetic appeal.
Color has the greatest impact on the yin and yang within a space. It is able to do this by the sun's reflection of that color back into the room. Therefore, choosing the right hue goes a long way when designing a room with good qi flow.
Color also has a way to cause emotional reactions by people. By and large, your brighter colors (red, orange, or yellow) tend to make us feel more yang or active. On the other hand, pastels, muted colors, greens, blues, and earth tones shift the polarity to yin and exude a calmer energy. A good rule to follow is to keep the brighter colors in your active rooms (family room, kitchen, office) while calmer colors in the quieter rooms (bedroom, meditation area). Remember, a splash of yang color (red or purple) in artwork can be very effective in changing the energy for that space.
Depending on the material make-up of objects in your space will determine the movement of energy. Hard materials such as stone, ceramic, granite, slate, stainless steel, marble or glass will cause qi to accelerate. Softer materials like wicker, rattan, wood, upholstery, bamboo and carpets will soften the qi and slow it down. Choosing the appropriate materials for the purpose of the room will effectively balance the space and avoid any confusion for the human body.
Window Treatments
Modern architecture tends to design overly large windows that may span from ceiling to floor. If the ceiling is greater than 12 feet, then you are talking about a great deal of yang energy imbuing the space. To balance, choose drapery that runs the entire length (floor to ceiling) and has the capability to be drawn during the evening hours. Window coverage that is lined with softer fabrics will gravitate towards the yin polarity, while shutters and blinds shift to the opposite pole.
Stone statues, mirrors, wrought iron, and hardwood furniture represent yang qualities and bode well in social areas. Upholstered furniture, tapestries, floor pillows or large cushions soften the energy and invite the human body to sink into the furnishing and just let go.
Natural lighting and incandescent lights cast a uniform light source balancing the energy over a wide area. Using uplighters creates a yang effect by driving the energy upward. This works well in areas that do not receive enough light, especially in the northwest and north side of the home. Low wattage bulbs and candles work best in the bedroom. Strive for a calm yin feeling in this space to prepare the body for rest and relaxation.
Yin and yang are two interdependent polarities that drive the forces of the Universe and the human body. With an understanding of these polar opposites you can adjust your space accordingly and reap the benefits. Knowing the effects of yin and yang in different parts of your home according to room purpose and sun position goes a long way when choosing proper design features from a feng shui perspective.
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Mary Jane ~ Feng Shui Master & Yogi