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.
Jaseng Center for Alternative Medicine is one of the largest integrative medical facility with 10
medical practitioners and it is a branch medical office of Jaseng Hospital of Oriental Medicine,
which is the largest oriental medical hospital specializing in non surgical treatment of spine and
joint condition. Please visit our website for more info at