After the extreme heat of summer and late summer we are now entering the cool autumn season, a time of letting go and making room for the new. In Chinese medicine, autumn is the season of the metal element. The lung meridian is the Yin aspect of the metal element controlling breath and energy and assisting the heart with circulation of blood. Metal season is the ideal time to nourish ourselves and to strengthen our immune system, it’s also time to draw our energy inwards as we begin to slow down.
The lungs open into the nose and are directly connected to the skin and the sweat glands which are part of our immune system, maintaining homoeostasis in the body. During this time of year we are more likely to experience asthma, allergies, colds, flus and skin-related issues.
The emotion connected with the lungs is sadness, and it is not unusual to feel grief, irritation or resentment. Use your yoga practice to explore these emotions, breathe into them and learn to let them go. From a yogic perspective, there are no ‘bad’ emotions however we want to ensure that emotions move through us, rather than getting stuck in the body. Working with breath exercises (pranayama) teaches us to explore our emotions, to feel them and to release them.
Autumn is an opportunity to strip away what is false, toxic and stale in our lives, and in turn to reveal what is true and valuable for our highest purpose. Life is always changing and it’s helpful for our wellbeing to move with its natural flow. The metal season reminds us to remain flexible and adaptable as we prepare for the challenges of winter. Now is a good time to clear away clutter, finish off projects, cook fresh wholesome meals, breathe in the smells of nature, slow down, do one thing at a time, making sure that we make time for our yoga practice and begin to increase the amount of pranayama and meditation to our practice.
The deeper you breathe, the longer you live. The bigger your lungs, the stronger your heart. Deep breathing expands your lungs and stretches your awareness to the edges of the universe.