As the weather cools and we begin to draw our energy inward, Autumn gives us the opportunity to pause, reflect and process. In Yin yoga each season brings its own energetic quality, element and organ system. Autumn is ruled by the metal element, the lungs and the large intestines, it’s the season of transformation associated with cycles, the rhythm of the breath and releasing.
Metal is the most malleable substance because it can be transformed and re-transformed many times over without ever losing its integrity, it comes from the deep layers of the Earth and symbolically represents the discovery of our own self worth and value.
Our Lungs transform the air we breath into the oxygen necessary for our bodies to function, they open into the nose, and are directly connected to the skin and body hair which are part of our immune system and work very closely with other organs in providing and maintaining a sense of homoeostasis in the body.
As nutrients enter the large intestines, they are later eliminated as waste that our bodies no longer need. In Autumn we witness the same process in nature, as trees shed their leaves in preparation for the cold winter. Nature teaches us to let go and release what we no longer need, it shows us that it’s time to slow down, reflect, observe and move with an awareness to create the space for transition and growth.
Sadness or grief can surface at this time, in the Yin practice we delve into these emotions to release them and to arrive to a place of acceptance and a state of ease. Just as the decaying leaves add rich nutrients to the soil, we also need to nourish ourselves with this gentle and compassionate practice.
Autumn Yin connects us back to ourselves, to generate a gradual and healthy transition to the coming darker season. We just need to trust and let ourselves fall into Yin.