Get Stronger By Creating Inner Balance

Tai Chi, Yin Yang: Creating inner balance

The concept of Tai Chi is a great way to understand how life works, inner balance and the essentials of maintaining high physical, mental, emotional & spiritual well being.

Life emerges as a balance between the Yang energy (death force/anabolism/tissue destruction) and the Yin energy (life force/anabolism/tissue regeneration). Our shape, form, health, vitality, mental clarity, level of consciousness, and energy (energy: capacity to perform work & capacity to maintain our form) is a reflection of how well we have balanced the death cycle (Yang) with the life cycle (Yin) within our body-mind structure.

taijituAnything you do that elevates your heart rate, respiration rate, temperature and speed of movement is destroying your body. That’s a good thing because without this outward moving energy (Yang) there would be no action. Yang is the pushing force that helps us realise our dreams & goals, whether they are to be fit & strong or build a successful business.

Hopes and dreams; the seed of living

By the way… I hope you have dreams & goals. As the old saying goes “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there”. A “dream” (a goal, motive or objective worth achieving) functions as a compass in our lives, allowing us to establish core values in order to know when to say “yes” and when to say “no”. Once you have defined what you want to experience in your life, you will have a system for guiding your energy toward the accomplishment of your stated “dream”. Unfortunately, most people haven’t created clarity about what they want, thus they are lost in limiting & critical thinking. As we’ll discuss next, this makes them overly catabolic (Yang) which diminishes their capacity to become anabolic (Yin).


How Yin & Yang is manifested in a human being

The human body is constantly experiencing death & regeneration. About 2 million blood cells are dying every second; the surface skin cells turn over every 3 days; the bone cells change every 3 weeks; the whole body cells are completely substituted within 7 years. This “death” cycle needs to be adequately supported by the “life” cycle. What we need is inner balance.

Specifically, the “life” cycle includes: Hydration, Nutrition and Sleep. These are the 3 “Yin” foundation health factors that we need to manage on a daily basis to counterbalance the destruction from the 3 “Yang” foundation health factors: Breathing, Thinking and Movement.

Breathing, thinking and movement

yinBreathing brings in oxygen, a corrosive element (remember, metal rusts as it’s exposed to oxygen). This activates the engines of metabolism in the body, creating “fire” that enables the body to divide & expand its resources & energy. This is the very reason why you are able to get up from bed in the morning, get the children ready for school, deliver a presentation, go to the gym, try to prove your point to your spouse etc.

Thinking and Movement utilise the nutritional resources of the body to be facilitated. Carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, enzymes and co-factors are all being used to enable you do that deadlift, work in your garden, plan for the future, and study for your exams.

Hydration, nutrition and sleep

Hydration, Nutrition and Sleep provide the “water” to control the “fire”, slowing & cooling you down.


They multiply & accumulate your resources & energy, regenerating & rebuilding your body-mind. Thus, you have the ability to catabolise yourself once again the next day.

As you can see, Yin compliments the Yang and together create what we experience as life.

The disease of the modern world

Unfortunately, many of us are conditioned to “do” more and more. We have the mentality of pursuing more, having more, achieving more, learning more… Nobody seems to value “being”. We are too much “up in our heads”, lost in our EGO-dictated desires to the extent that “doing no-thing” feels uncomfortable. And this is the reason behind the last decades’ exponential increase of obesity, addiction, and disease.

dietThe more we catabolise ourselves, the more we need to anabolise them. It is sad that many of us not only break down our body excessively, but are also completely confused on how to replenish it effectively.

Marketing campaigns & brutally profit-driven corporations have contributed to this ill mentality of “this-for-that”. Do you want 6-pack abs? Buy this powder and take another 2-pack for free! Do you have heartburn after eating? Take this pill. Is your hair falling off? Take this vitamin supplement etc…

What’s a holistic lifestyle?

Part of my job as a Holistic Lifestyle Coach is to help people enlighten to the lies so commonly spread in this modern world. What you need is to live according to nature’s dictates (Yin/Yang). All you need is to drink adequate high-quality water, eat real food, make sleeping a priority, learn to breath properly, exercise according to your vitality levels, and get honest with yourself about what you truly want (that demands of you to take the time to get to know yourself through self-time and introspection).

The following diet & lifestyle plan will enable you to maintain high energy levels, vibrant health, mental clarity and emotional well-being. True health is simple. Being serious enough (to experience it) is in your own choice. I hope you have the courage to make the changes necessary.


If you want to know more about living well and eating correctly or have any questions about the diet follow the link to my website and get in touch.

Diet & Lifestyle Plan

Hydration: Nothing is a substitute for water! If you can’t see through it, it’s a food (milk, juice, coffee, tea, energy drinks, alcohol etc.). The average human needs to drink half his or her body weight in water in ounces a day (or use this equation to calculate approximately how much water you need to drink in litres:

Bodyweight (Kg)  X 0.033 = Litres per day

Remember this is a minimum! If you sweat more, you’ll need to drink more. If your urinate rate is considerably increased, you are most likely consuming “naked water” – Health-giving waters in general have a hardness of 170 mg/litre or greater and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) of 300 mg/litre or greater. Water with less than 300 mg/litre TDS is “naked” water and often causes excess urination, disrupting optimal hydration. In that case, add a pinch of unprocessed sea salt to every litre of water you drink to provide needed minerals and electrolytes.

Some rules of thumb

Nutrition: Aim for a healthy diet of unrefined, unprocessed foods and keep your intake of “the 4 white devils” to a minimum – sugar, white flour, table salt and pasteurised/homogenised dairy. Buy as much ORGANIC as you can afford, putting a priority on animal products.

Sleep: Get to bed by 10:00 p.m. and get up at about 6:00 a.m. Your physical repair cycle begins about 10:00 p.m. and runs until about 2:00 a.m. Your neurological/hormonal systems do most of their repair cycles between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. Get to bed so your body can be strong for the next day!

Breathing: breathing is something we do around 25,900 times a day. Make sure you do it correctly: during inhalation the belly & ribcage expand at the 2/3 of the intake. Chest expands only at the last 1/3 of the inhalation. To exhale, just let go.

Thinking: Get plenty of quiet time. How and what you think has a profound effect on your body. Focus on creating WHAT YOU WANT with your thoughts; not the things you don’t want!

Movement: It doesn’t need to be a hardcore workout, just get some regular movement! Remember, train not drain your body! To help you build your own practice, here are six “work-in” exercises examples: slow walking, breathing squats, Tai Chi/ Qi Gong, yoga, zone exercises and, of course, kobudo training.

About the author

Stefanos Matrakoukas is a Holistic Lifestyle Coach. He supports individuals to implement & manage the principles that build health, vitality and well-being through diet & lifestyle coaching, corrective exercise & functional training, and self-development mentoring. He is the founder of CAUSE BASED APPROACH; a brand that runs events, talks, seminars & workshops that educate on physical, mental, emotional & spiritual well-being. Find more at

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