• Nicky Dye

Bye Bye Flip-Flops; the Autumn Element

I'm feeling Autumnal. There's a chill in the air and the seasons are changing. It's time to put the flip-flops away and embrace the falling leaves and changing colours of Autumn.

Cooling temperatures at the start and end of the day signal the end of the high yang energy of Summer and the beginning of turning inward. There is a sense of quieting as the leaves fall, creating space in the trees. Autumn has a downward movement, as nature starts to decay and rot (the associated smell is pungent and odour is rotten). Plants and trees drop the seeds that will ensure the continuation of their species.

The More you Breathe, the More Space you Create

In Chinese Medicine, this season is linked to the Metal Element and to the lung and large intestines. It is all about breathing in and letting go. Have you noticed the back to school feeling? Getting organised, back into the routine, clearing clutter and tidying up the garden. Children like to sort out their pencil cases and receive new timetables for the year ahead. It's time to bring things to a conclusion, and to get rid of anything that is upsetting or annoying, leaving you with a sense of clarity and a clear mind.

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

In the human body, the Metal Element manifests as the minerals and trace minerals that are essential for the maintenance of health and life. Minerals originate in the soil, hidden in the earth. The symbol of Metal is the knife, used to cut away anything that is no longer needed, to conserve energy.

Moving on to the organs, the lung includes the whole respiratory passage from the nose to the lungs and regulates all physiological activity, while the large intestine is responsible for completing the absorption process initiated in the small intestine and eliminating waste. The lung also lubricates and nourishes the skin and controls the space between the skin and the muscles to allow for perspiration; in this way, the skin is a direct reflection of the health of the lungs. Autumnal tai chi and yoga practices focus on opening and closing, letting go with twists and forward folds, and breathing practices such as alternate nostril breath and 3 part breath.

As the sun lingers lower in the sky, a beautiful cathedral light is created, lighting up dust particles and creating an ethereal feeling. In Chinese Medicine, we are connected to spirit through the lungs, through the "breath of heaven". When Metal is perfectly balanced, there is ease with both the spiritual and the corporeal sides of life.

Let's nourish our souls with warming foods and ginger tea as we transition into the cooler, yin months ahead, and enjoy some music...

The Playlist - songs and their Autumnal element

The End of Suffering by Gary Malkin - ending that which no longer serves you

Smells like Teen Spirit by Tori Amos - the sense of smell, the odour is pungent (just saying!!)

Dust by Hana Oceans - body to ashes, the cathedral light of the sun's rays on dust particles

Breathe Me by Sia - healthy breathing, healthy skin

White Flag by Dido - the colour white

Tears Dry on Their Own by Amy Winehouse - the emotion of grief and letting go

Missing you by Charlie Straw - the emotion of grief and dwelling upon the past

Vincent by Ellie Goulding - missing, shadows, a passing

Breathe by Alexi Murdoch - the lung meridian line

Metal & Dust by London Grammar - metal element, minerals, circle of life

Let it go by James Bay - the health of the large intestine is related to the ability to let go

Angel by Sara McLachlan - Metal, the balance between spirit and body

Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton - feeling of descent, decay and loss; the emotion of grief

An Ending by Brian Eno - letting go

Nuvole Bianche by Einaudi - the colour white

Lung by Vancouver Sleep Clinic - lung meridian

I am co-hosting a Seasonal Strala Treat on the Autumn Equinox, Sat 22 Sept - Strala yoga flow sprinkled with Tai Chi, followed by deep relaxation with Tibetan Singing Bowls, co-hosted by Christine of Yoga Mango. You are very welcome to join us. Email nicky@loveyogabird.com to book.

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