Awaken The World Through Enlightened Media

Featured Posts

The Healthy Application of Yang Energy – Donna Quesada

Masculine and Feminine


That the world has been mired in male dominance for most of modern civilization doesn’t require substantiation. But little by little, through the undaunted efforts of women, from the suffragette movement to the second wave of feminism in the 60’s, women were given what men had long taken for granted, from the right to vote, to the right to divorce, and even the right to hold a credit card.

I’ve been thinking about the social climate that has followed in the wake of these movements, especially as it relates to the balance of masculine and feminine energies.

The social climate is more often than not, an extension of the inner world of all the individuals that make up society. So, to make sense of these things also requires the contemplation of our individual mindsets. It’s all related, since cultural conditioning shapes the way we think and the way we think makes up the tenor of society as a whole. It’s a circle, where everything is connected.

Over all, it seems that in our struggle to liberate women and overthrow the feminine stereotypes, we have yet to find a harmonious balance between the masculine and feminine energies that live within us and around us.

Yang Energy

Having taught eastern philosophy all my adult life, I began to look at this in the context of eastern wisdom.

In our quest to challenge male supremacy, what we have really been doing is confronting the preeminence of “Yang,” or male energy on planet earth. But have we inadvertently dismissed its importance in the process?

Yang is the energy of fire. Where the Yin is the earth and its moon, the Yang is the sun. Its season is summer. It makes things grow. Its way is through action and movement. And like the sun itself, it is strong. You can’t miss it. Unlike Yin’s subtlety, it is direct. We need it, but too much of it will burn and dry out the landscape.

This is true, whether we’re talking within the context of climate and farming, or our own internal landscape, where too much Yang results in things that are associated with “heat,” like dry skin, inflammation and certain allergies. But too little results in things like poor circulation, lethargy and depression. Our bodies are microcosms of the universe.

We are all composed of the two opposing energies of Yin and Yang, which are never in a state of perfect 50-50 balance because there is always movement. So, harmony is key. On any given day, one may be stronger than the other, but then they’ll shift. It’s the ultimate cosmic dance… where one will take the lead for a while, before handing it off to the other. In this way, they complement each other, rather than compete for dominance.

Thus, Yang’s fire is a necessary thing… in our bodies, and in nature. Some tree seedlings even require it in order to germinate. Small fires cook our food and heat our homes. But big fires are catastrophic. We need just the right amount.

Similarly with all of Yang’s traits. Yang is directed outward, while Yin is inward. Yang’s action takes the form of directness in all areas. Where Yin contemplates, Yang speaks up. We need both. And like the fire, too much of either one morphs into the toxic version of itself. For example, speaking up is good. A bit of anger channeled appropriately can also be good. But when either is uncontrolled and fueled by untempered rage, it can become aggressive. Two raging people becomes war.

This has been the default in our world. Aggression too often takes the place of peaceful negotiations, while different versions of the same problems go unsolved. The few exceptions, such as the movements led by Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela, didn’t end well for either one.

I feel this is evidence of a perverted manifestation of Yang energy in the world. You can also see it in the emphasis on action and doing in our personal lives—both “Yang” characteristics— at the expense of the quieter practices of contemplation and introspection. It was time for the pendulum to swing, so as to restore balance in our world. But are we going about the restoration process in a healthy way?

I have observed that in our quest to “fight the fire,” of male dominance, we have been using the very same tool…fire. So, we have literally been fighting fire with fire, until the fire got so big, that the world is just a hotbed of savagery.

The point is that, in our need to challenge the reign of Yang in the world and in our lives, we have only accentuated its dark side.

The Good Yang

It would be silly to try to have Yin without Yang or vice versa. Yet, in our fight to equalize the playing field and lessen the tyranny of male power, we have pushed away the importance of Yang energy, even in the context of our individual bodies.

Although Yang is traditionally defined as “the masculine,” and Yin, the “feminine,” women and men are composites of both Yin and Yang energies. Men have gotten a bad rap as a result of centuries of unchecked tyranny on earth. But that’s like blaming the entirety of any group for the atrocities that its country committed during WWII. The ordinary folks of today probably don’t know much about the inner politics of WWII and for that matter, the ordinary folks of that era may not have known much… they were working and raising families and knew only what the news media of the time would have them know. In a similar dynamic, we tend to blame all men today for yesterday’s crimes, even though many men are rallying in support of women’s liberation on all fronts.

The point of all that is that men aren’t villains. For centuries, even millennia, Yang ruled… but what the problem was, was that it ruled at the expense of Yin… So, we restored Yin. We celebrated women. And we made a bad guy out of the masculine. But now, to get the masculine energy back in a healthy way, we have to look at the ways that Yang energy is vital to a properly balanced body and a properly balanced society.

What would that look like? Here I propose three different means by which healthy Yang may be developed and actuated: Breath, conscious communication, and creative movement. These three methods may be done alone or in groups… for example, in classrooms, camps, or retreats.


Again, the way of Yang energy is through action. In Yoga, the heart of all healthy action begins with the breath. It seems almost too simple, yet most of us are not taught to breathe in schools. Its importance can not be overstated, since if we breathe properly, we maximize our power in whatever we do. This is why in childbirth instruction methods, such as Lamaze classes or The Bradley Method, women learn how to breathe in order to better endure the labor process. It is why singers and athletes learn how to breathe.

There are dozens of various breathing practices that would help all of us in any given situation, for example, before giving a speech, before having a difficult conversation, or simply to relax more deeply when it’s time to rest…

On this point, I love what Bono says about it in his book, Surrender:

Air is stamina

Air is the confidence to take on big challenges or big opponents.

Air is not the will to conquer whatever Everest you will encounter in your life, but it is the ability to endure the climb.

Air is what you need on any north face.

Air is what gives a small kid on a playground the belief that he won’t be bullied, or if he is, that the bully will have the air knocked out of him.

In eastern teachings, healthy breathing starts with the solar plexus. This is the place in our belly where our vital energy is stored. In Chinese, it is known as the Tan Tien. In Japanese, it is the Hara. This mysterious place is associated with fire. The expression “fire in your belly” is no coincidence. This is why many breathing techniques require the active pumping of our stomach muscles, so as to encourage deep diaphragmatic breathing, which awakens that fire. Fire is power. But we don’t want to overpower. When done correctly, the different varieties of diaphragmatic breathing awakens our willpower, our confidence and our courage. Not enough results in fear and insecurity.

Many of my videos right here on Awaken focus on different breathing techniques which begin by breathing from the belly. But for the moment, try placing one hand on your belly while you take a nice, long deep breath in. Can you feel your hand move outward with that breath? Hold the breath in for a moment, and then let it go when you are ready. Do this a few times and notice the feeling of relaxation that replaces the tension in your body.

The first time I participated in a “conscious communication circle” was in my early twenties at a Yogic training program. We began each weekend by sitting in a circle. One person would begin sharing whatever he/she felt like sharing, with one condition… no cross-talking. You can share whatever it is you feel like sharing, whether it’s problems with your kids, your spouse, or your job. Or some good news in your life. Maybe there was no news at all… just random thoughts. What made an impression on me was that in conscious communication circles, there is no retort, as in ordinary conversation, where the impulse is always to run commentary or give advice in response to what someone has said.

Here, you listen. Just listen. And then the next person goes. And so on. It’s healing just to speak and be heard. Speaking in this way, along with the conscious listening on the part of the others in the circle, is a healthy application of Yang energy. It takes what’s on the inside, and through the small act of putting it on the outside…through communication, it becomes restorative.

Creative Movement

I remember when I went to my first school dance as a kid. Everyone was so self-conscious. It’s as if dancing itself felt awkward and most kids were too shy to move their bodies. It’s no small feat to push pass that boundary.

Although I was a professional dancer for many years during my early twenties, while putting myself through college, it wasn’t until…again… a Yoga retreat that I first experienced the practice of conscious, creative movement in a group setting. What I found through that experience was that when you give yourself permission to let go, you simultaneously discover and embrace your own unique rhythm.

Creative movement also replaces self-consciousness with self-confidence. It fosters the ability to move and flow with life. And it encourages self-expression in a way that goes beyond words. It pulls you out of your head and into your body, which in itself, is deeply healing. It provides an artful way of processing emotions in a totally self-contained style. It pulls you out of your ruminations and is therefore a beautiful application of Yang energy.

Awaken Body

Awaken Mind

Awaken Spirit

Source: AWAKEN


Related Posts

Get your Life Transforming Become Unshakeable Free Ticket Here