As the season transitions, the Earth takes in the bounty and nutrients from the summer harvest to prepare for the darker months of winter and eventually the new growth in spring. This is the time when trees and plants send their energy back into their roots and drop their leaves to the ground to make compost.
Similarly, we can take this time to look within and harness our intuition to find greater strength and courage. Our nourishment transitions from watery summer fruits and vegetables to heartier winter squash, dark leafy greens, and root vegetables as we begin to focus more on grounding energy. This is also the time to harvest medicinal roots for drying or tincture.
During this time we seek a new balance in life, letting go of bad habits and finding more harmony, joy, and appreciation in life. Making time for both work and rest, we can feel more connected to ourselves, to our friends and family, and to the earth.
Glennie Kindred writes in The Alchemist's Journey about using the alchemy of separation and union to understand the equinox. Acknowledging that what may be seen as disconnection or two separate parts - yin and yang, dark and light, unconscious and conscious -are really two parts of the same whole. The element of air can be used as this connective, uniting force and can be experienced as breathe or prana. The breathe is shared by all living beings - humans, plants, and animals - a constant exchange and communication that unites us all.
In Chinese Medicine, Autumn is linked to the element of metal and the lung and large intestine meridian lines. The element of metal is about organization, communication, setting limits, and protecting boundaries. When the lung and large intestine meridian are in balance, we can easily let go, assimilate emotions, clearly communicate, and be open to new ideas.
Sarah Power writes in Insight Yoga, "Just as minerals of the earth provide nourishment for the soil, and as most structures rely on metal for reinforcement, lung chi nourishes and bolsters every cell in the body. Metals conduct electricity, just as the breath conducts chi."
In your yoga practice, try to experience the new seasonal energy with fluid movement and ujjayi breath, allowing the sound of your breath to guide posture and remind you of the alchemy of union. Incorporating balancing and grounding postures like Tree and Warrior III will physically align the body with these seasonal qualities.
To balance the lung and large intestine meridian lines, practice heart-melting pose, seated forward bend, butterfly pose, child's pose, sphinx pose, snail pose, fish pose, and supine twists.
- Readings by Glennie Kindred including Earth Wisdom and The Alchemist's Journey
- Insight Yoga by Sarah Powers
"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into the trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves" - John Muir