As the days shorten and the leaves fall from the trees, autumn arrives. In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), autumn is a time to harvest our energy and take time to pause, slow down and be still.
What wisdom does TCM give us this time of year? And how can we maintain our physical and emotional balance during the changing seasons?
Autumn is associated with the lung and large intestines energetic meridian channels. The healthy cycle is associated with the lungs drawing in chi and the large intestines letting go what we no longer need. These two partner organs may go out of balance during autumn. If we don’t take time to honor the natural rhythms on and off the mat, we may feel sad, disconnected and out of touch with our feelings.
Aligning with the cycle of ingestion (lungs) and letting go (large intestines), here are some insightful questions to ask ourselves.
What is it that’s holding me back?
What am I afraid to let go of?
Personally, the insight for me relates to the changing nature of life; things always change. I tend to cling to the good things in my life and not want them to change, for example, grasping in my romantic relationship or not wanting my corporate job to change in any way. Having these rigid desires and unrealistic expectations can set me up for disappointment. A wise woman once said to me, the higher your expectations Sheana, the lower your serenity - how very true!
I do ponder the impermanence of life and can often find serenity remembering this is all part of the master plan and the best I can do is go with the flow. But really, this type of acceptance is like peeling an onion. The peeling continues...
Yin yoga has been helpful in helping me slow down and ponder the nature of life and my misguided beliefs. My yin classes provide a safe container for this type of internal inquiry as we hold the poses for extended periods, explore sensations, emotions, and feelings that come to the surface. We practice inner listening and often ‘realize’ the untrue stories we tell ourselves which keep us in our discomfort. Each yin pose can be like a mini-exploratory and healing session.
Doing a simple Yin Yoga sequence can help support the tender lungs to function more smoothly this autumn. Check out my 10 minute sequence here.
The target tissue is the upper arms and shoulders where the lung and large intestines meridians intersect the connective tissue. See pic below which outlines the lung and large intestine meridians.
The sequence brings fresh life-giving chi to the upper body and help the lungs receive pure chi from the heavens on the inhale. Please do this 10 minute sequence a few times a week to help these organic processes flourish within you. Or see you in class for a deeper dive.
This pic shows quarter dog pose to stimulate the lung and large intestines meridians. Medicine for this time of year to support the cycle of ingestion (lungs) and letting go (large intestines). See how-to here.
Wishing you an insightful season of harvest. May you find what is it that’s holding you back. May your expectations be realistic and your serenity high. I look forward to welcoming you in class or at my upcoming Yin Yoga workshop to balance the body for autumn.