Just as nature changes with the seasons, so do our bodies. Like the weather, our bodies transform with the rhythm of nature. A beautiful parallel with our ability to adapt to change, to our own rhythms, and to synchronize them with the rhythm of nature. The more we practice it, the more our listening skills become refined and our ability to live with change becomes smoother. This guide is here to guide and support you through the seasonal phase of autumn.
Traditionally, autumn begins with the harvest season - when we harvest what was planted in spring and save it for the colder winter months ahead.
After summer (yang), when we tend to be social, productive, generous and active, autumn calls us back to our inner world. Autumn marks the beginning of the cycle (yin), when darkness takes over from daylight. Autumn is an opportunity to eliminate excess yang from the body by resting and spending more time in quiet, and then, as temperatures drop, to start warming up the body.
Autumn is also synonymous with letting go, as nature transforms before our very eyes, the vital energy of trees moving from leaves to roots, causing leaves to turn from orange to brown and eventually fall. As the leaves change color and fall, the old "dead" leaves return to the soil, enriching it for the coming year's harvest.
The autumn season mirrors the seasons of:
THE WANING MOON
THE PREMENSTRUAL PHASE
Living in alignment with seasonal energies means seeking balance with their respective energies, and we can often learn about the phases of the other corresponding seasons as reflections of them. This helps us to better identify and remedy any imbalances that may be causing discomfort or problems in our bodies.
Turn inward and listen to your emotions
In traditional Chinese medicine, the autumn season corresponds to the metal element, the color white and the organs of the lungs and large intestine, which are associated with sadness and mourning. Physically, when we are in harmony, the lung receives pure energy as we breathe. When the lung's energy is unbalanced, the body begins to stiffen. This is when we're more susceptible to infections, allergies and congestion.
The colon is the second organ of the metal element and is responsible for eliminating what no longer serves us. However, in addition to physical waste, we also need to eliminate mental and spiritual waste. So connecting to our breath and ensuring good bowel elimination will give us greater clarity of mind and a better immune system during the autumn season.
Deep, conscious breathing
One of the best ways to strengthen the lungs is to breathe deeply. It sounds simple, but most of us don't breathe as efficiently, which can have consequences for our memory, energy levels and immune system.
Go for a walk outside, soak up the beautiful autumn colors and breathe in the fresh air. Fill your lungs and belly with each INHALE, and slowly and quietly empty the air with each EXHALE. This will strengthen your lungs and help you achieve mental clarity and emotional tranquility.
What to eat
What you eat also has a big influence on the health of your lungs. In autumn, eat less refreshing foods (such as salads and raw foods). Heartier soups and stews are preferable at this time of year. You'll benefit from eating more sweet potatoes, cabbage, pears, nuts, rice, cinnamon, leeks, beans, asparagus, broccoli, greens, apples, plums and grapes, as well as moderate amounts of pungent foods like garlic, onions, ginger, horseradish and mustard, as these are also good for the lungs.
The lungs and colon work hand in hand, one absorbing the pure, the other eliminating the waste. But if waste accumulates, we're more likely to feel stubborn, depressed, isolated and dissatisfied - feelings generally associated with autumn and winter.
It's time to strengthen your immune system for winter!
Herbal teas, dry saunas and warm clothes are the best way to acclimatize and welcome autumn. The aim is to warm the body from the inside out and eliminate excess moisture that may have built up over the summer.
Radish tea is an excellent addition to your diet in early autumn. Consuming it helps to dissipate summer heat and eliminate mucus and moisture that may have built up. It improves appetite and digestive functions, and acts as an anti-inflammatory for the lungs. But any astringent herbal tea will do.
Finally, autumn calls us to slow down. Reassess our priorities and give ourselves some well-deserved rest. The call to sleep longer is felt especially until the spring equinox.
A good exercise for getting into a "parasympathetic" state of rest at any time of day is our favorite: lying with your legs up against the wall!
- Lie on your back with your pelvis as close to the wall as possible
- Place your heels hip-width apart and pull your toes inwards towards you
- Place your lower back on the floor and keep your pelvis in contact with the floor
- Tuck chin in slightly to lengthen back of neck
- Gently raise your arms as high above your head as possible (without pain)
- Connect to your breath and lengthen the spine (from the crown of the head to the pelvis)
- Hold for 60 active seconds. + bonus: lie here, release tension and breathe deeply for another 2 to 5 minutes.
I wish you a very gentle and introspective autumn season.