In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we are transitioning from the Earth Element of Late Summer, to the Metal Element of Autumn. This transition marks a turning inward, a move from extrovert yang to introvert yin. The first frosts descend or fog appears, leaves drop, days shorten.
For many, Autumn is a special time, full of vibrant colours in nature, dewy spiderwebs and cathedral light. It is a time to put on jumpers and woolly socks in the evenings, while we enjoy the comfort of warm temperatures during the day. The move to Autumn provides more space, more time to breathe.
Allow the leaves that are falling from the trees outside to inspire you to settle down into yourself.
The Metal Element is associated with the Lung and Large Intestine organs and their energy channels. These meridians travel along the arms from the chest out to the hands and returning to the face. Try tracing these lines and trying some acupressure points: the Lung meridian begins in the pecs, (press here to open the chest, allow for deeper breathing and letting go of emotional holding), then rises up to the clavicle before crossing the shoulder joint and moving down the front face of the arm and forearm, through the place where the radial pulse is felt, ending at the outside corner of the thumbnail. Its partner, the Large Intestine, begins at the corner of the nail of the index finger, travels through the webbing of the thumb and forefinger (press here to alleviate stress) and along the edge of the forearm, along the side of the upper arm, across the shoulder, up the side of the neck and around the mouth before finishing at the side of the nose of the opposite side of the body (press here for sinuses).
Here are some fun facts about the Metal Element and its associations:
Resonances: Fall, Decay, Space, Light, Cool
The Sense: Smell
The Colour: White
The Sound: Weeping
The Odour: Rotten
The Emotion: Grief
Gifts of Metal: Acceptance, Non-Attachment, Acknowledgment, Value, Balance, Sacredness, Instinct.
I like to theme my weekly yoga classes according to the seasons and Chinese Medicine. I believe in that way, we can all be more connected to the environment we live in.
Skin is the tissue associated with Metal; the lungs provide breath which nourishes the skin. Many skin conditions, such as dry skin, eczema and psoriasis, can be improved by breathing correctly and learning various breathing techniques under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher. Skin conditions reflect what is going on deeper in the body and the symptoms on the surface are a by-product of the body's detoxification.
Here are a few tips to support your health and wellbeing:
For anti-inflammation: eat white veg & fruit (including cauliflower, garlic, onion, leeks, parsnips, turnips, mushrooms, white potatoes and artichokes, white peaches and nectarines). Garlic has awesome properties too - it is a natural antibiotic, supports cardiovascular health, and has been shown to have cancer-preventing properties. I recommend pear soup with cinnamon, ginger and honey as a delicious lung tonic.
To prevent the spread of viruses; wash your hands often.
For healthy bowel motility: consume a Vitamin D supplement and eat oily fish; don't hold on when you need to go; engage in physical activity; massage the abdomen.
If you are interested to learn more about how I can help you through a Chinese Medicine approach to yoga and lifestyle, please book a free discovery call. I can't wait to talk to you.