Yin and Yang in Henna Designs

Yin and Yang in Henna Designs

10419491_10152202101513175_6415459935107774385_nIf you follow me on facebook or Instagram, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been doing a lot of yin and yang based patterns recently. This is partly to do with the high number of birthday parties I’ve done lately, but also partly because they feature in one of my most popular design books (Party Girl).

The yin and yang design consisting of two comma shapes (one black, one white) wrapped around each other with dots of the opposite colour inside them is familiar to most people. It features heavily in Chinese design as well as the ‘hippy’ end of Western design. You can see in these designs I have adopted a flower theme and turned the dots into flowers and the yin and yang into the centre of a flower.

As a teenager I loved drawing yin and yangs, and this free pdf will show you the technique I used until I could draw them without a template:   How to draw a yin yang

In Chinese philosophy, yin (shady side) and yang (sunny side), (or yin-yang)  are concepts used to describe how opposite or contrary forces are  complementary and interdependent in the natural world. They give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Examples of this include:10363388_10152202203143175_153079379022711812_n

  • light and dark
  • high and low
  • hot and cold
  • fire and water
  • life and death
  • male and female
  • sun and moon

These examples are thought of as physical manifestations of the duality (being dual or two) of yin and yang and this duality lies at the origins of many branches of classical Chinese science and philosophy, traditional Chinese medicineChinese martial arts, baguazhang, taijiquan and qigong, as well as in the pages of the I Ching.


The black side with the white dot in it, is characterised as slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, and passive; and is associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity, and nighttime.


The white side with the black dot in it, is characterised by fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and aggressive; and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime.

10375077_10152201347818175_157502236783908389_nThe relationship between yin and yang is often described as follows:

  • the movement of the sun and moon
  • sunlight playing over a mountain and a valley
  • other movement where what was obscured is revealed, and what was revealed is obscured.

Yin and yang in Henna design

With yin and yang’s long heritage and wealth of meaning, as well as it’s simple striking form, its no wonder it is such a popular design element for henna. You can buy ‘Party Girl’ for these and many more designs, and why not pick up a kit as well!

561908_10151609465793175_1964035906_nWould you like to see how I pull together my yin and yang designs in henna? Check out these you tube videos of me in action!

Yin and yang design 1 application in henna

Another yin and yang design application in henna

Do you like drawing yin and yangs? Why not have a go and show off some of your yin yang designs in the comments below?


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