Journey Through Autumn & The Seasonal Playlist
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Autumn is associated with the Metal Element and the organs of the lungs and large intestine. In the human body, Metal manifests as the minerals and trace minerals that are essential for biochemistry and the maintenance of health and life. The lungs allow us to breathe in life; the large intestine encourages us to let go of attachment. Interestingly, people with deficient lung qi often have problems with constipation.
Autumn yoga practice takes the form of chest-openers for respiration, clear instruction and alignment cues for clarity and structure, and space to feel. Inhale space, exhale let go. Autumn also invites us to ponder impermanence and also our own value and self worth.
Foods That Support Metal
White foods are supportive of Metal, such as cauliflower, garlic, onions, leeks, parsnips, white potatoes, artichokes. The more pungent they are, the more cleansing they are for the body. Importantly, when there is an invasion of the lungs from an external pathogen, such as COVID-19, pungent food can help to disperse the invasion (but if a person's lung qi is weak, pungent food is to be avoided). Make a leek and potato soup with onions and garlic, or aloo gobi. Pear soup with cinnamon, ginger and honey is a delicious lung tonic; pears clear heat and moisten the lungs. Ginger or ginseng tea are also a good choice for lungs, as are herbs such as basil, rosemary, fennel, anise and dill.
The sense of smell, the colour white, the sound of weeping, the odour rotten, and the emotion of grief are all associated with this season.
Journey through the Seasonal Yoga Playlist
An Ending, A Beginning by Dustin O'Hallaran
This moment, as soon as it comes into being, is ending. The seasons naturally unfold; the end of the uprising yang of Wood and Fire and balanced Earth give way to the beginning of the downward, quieter yin cycle of Metal and Water. Acceptance and non-attachment are helpful qualities here.
Let It Go by James Bay
Like the leaves let go by the trees, we too let go of what no longer serves us. A metal knife cuts away what is not needed, leaving what is still required. The Metal Element is associated with two organs, the large intestine - and its important role of elimination, physically and emotionally, and the lungs.
An Autumn Yoga practice focuses on chest openers to open the lungs and breathe deeply, strengthening our immune system. The lungs regulate all physiological activity
Toasting good memories, "to the ones here today and the ones that we lost on the way". It is believed that we are connected to spirit through the lungs. Metal is perfectly balanced, at ease with both the corporeal and spiritual sides of life.
A Moment To Myself
The social yang expression of Summer, gives way to the harvest of Late Summer, and moves into the quieter, replenishing aspects of yin. Time to dial up the self care, and settle into less hours of daylight and cooler temperatures. Take a podcast to your bubble bath!
The Metal Element is also associated with the emotion of grief - allowing space to feel emotions in a balanced way.
In Autumn, everything is falling, the leaves, the temperature, the angle of the sun. As the leaves fall from the trees, space is created. Plenty of space to breathe.
"There's always some reason to feel not good enough" - Metal is associated with value and self worth.
Seasonal Yoga is on every Thursday at 530-6pm online. Go to my website to book.
See you on the mat!