Exercise for Yin Deficiency

Woman leading group of people in tai-chi position, low angle

Yin and yang are principles found in Chinese philosophy. which hold that the universe is united by the single principle of Tao, also known as the “Great Ultimate.” All perceivable opposites within the universe can be reduced to one of the opposing forces -- yin and yang. Yin is responsible for cooling and moistening the body, a deficiency may lead to dry skin and mouth and digestive disorders.

Yin and Yang

The two fundamentals of yin and yang relate to pathology, physiognomy -- related to facial features and expression, anatomy and principles of treatment. According to Barbara Escher, AOBTA CI., as women grow older, their yin begins to lower as they go through menopause. This can result in frequent waking during the night and night sweats. Less yin may also show in women’s characters as they become more assertive and sometimes more easily agitated.


Other symptoms of yin deficiency that may affect both men and women include thirst, without feeling the need to drink a lot, persistent dry mouth, constipation, little urination, restlessness, anxiety, mild fever, fatigue, skin eruptions, insomnia and sore eyes. Escher also explains that there are five common forms of yin deficiencies. These are kidney yin deficiency, heart yin deficiency, skin yin deficiency, lung yin deficiency and stomach yin deficiency.

Tai Chi

Tai chi, also known as tai chi chuan, comes from the Chinese and means "supreme fist." It is a gentle system of marital arts that focus on slow movements accompanied by regulated breathing. Tai chi focuses on agility and emotional balance rather than on martial art as a sport. It is considered a good method for balancing yin and yang because its movements and breathing exercises remove blockages of energy at the meridians, enabling chi to flow freely.

Yin Yoga

Yin yoga can also help to rebalance yin and yang. It works to stretch the connective tissues at the joints of the lower spine, hips and thighs – the yin parts of the body. Poses such as the frog, shoelace, butterfly, swan and sleeping swan are all performed on the floor and held for between three and five minutes. These postures help rebalance the yin by increasing joint flexibility, improving organ function and relieving stress.

Yoga Poses

Perform the frog pose by lying face down on your stomach. Bend your knees, allowing your heels to rest on your buttocks. Lift your body from the waist as you reach behind yourself and grab your feet. Hold the pose for five to 50 breaths. Use mental imagery with the butterfly pose. Sitting on the floor in an erect position, draw your feet toward your groin area. Touch the soles of your feet together and hold your feet with your hands. Flap your arms and folded legs up and down like butterfly wings, slowly increasing the speed and then gently slowing down. Breathe normally throughout the exercise. Both of these exercises help restore your yin.