What’s at each end of the spectrum?
In its extreme, Yin is dark and enclosed, a space where energy stagnates. Extreme Yang, on the other hand, is bright and open with lots of energy moving through. Neither extreme is ideal; light is good, but too much of it makes a home feel overexposed. By the same token, we want a home that feels sheltering and safe - but going too far in this direction makes a space feel claustrophobic and oppressive.
The key is a lively balance: simply trying to avoid the extremes will result in a dull, in-between space that feels bland, but also stagnant, as well.
The Best Of Both Worlds
Finding an active balance
What we’re ideally looking for is a building that contains both relative opposites: the enclosed, protected and softer spaces of Yin for bedrooms and cosy corners, and Yang, bringing light and openness to active rooms and work spaces.
Yin energy is still, relaxing and nurturing, associated with walls and heavy furniture. A bedroom needs to be more Yin to allow us to get a good night’s sleep. Yang energy is enhanced through open spaces, windows and doors. An entrance, office or family room need to be relatively more Yang - open and lending brightness to our activities.
Going to extremes
A home that is too Yin lacks life force; it feels dark, stagnant, cramped. It may be a place filled with clutter, or have furniture that is too large for its surroundings. The closed-plan Western homes of the 1950s epitomise an excess of Yin: they are a bit lifeless and sterile, lacking vibrant Yang energy.
Too much Yang, on the other hand, is a common issue with modern open-plan living. Lounges are placed in the middle of the room, there are large expanses of glass, a minimum of walls and too many openings. Such buildings may look attractive and are great for entertaining, but people often feel unsettled and irritable when spending extended periods of time there. They suffer from a lack of good Yin - a cosy corner or space to relax.
A balanced building has contrast. It has a pleasant outlook, large windows and doors through which life energy can enter. However, each building and room also has areas that are more enclosed and whose purpose is to contain that energy. Beds, lounges and seats are placed where people can benefit from this collected Qi, while looking out and connecting to Yang.
If the energy is right, people are comfortable.
Creating a comfort zone
There is another dimension to the right balance of Yin and Yang – the energetic dimension. Every home has a unique distribution of energies, which give it its individual feel. This arrangement of energies is unique, and determined by the building’s construction, age, and exact compass orientation in interaction with its design.
There are 144 possible energy charts in total, plus further variations. When designing a building, an energy chart can tell us where to place the Yang features, windows and doors, and where there is good Yin to place walls for beds and lounges. In existing homes, it informs us where to open the window and where to place furniture for maximum support. Such knowledge is invaluable to ensure the best possible Yin Yang balance in a home, and can be provided by traditionally trained Feng Shui consultants.
The ideal equilibrium is ultimately a living one, and getting it right will ensure that your house or unit is a pleasant, healthy and functional home that puts occupants and visitors at ease. It’s a wonderful way of making your space truly feel like home.
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