Autumn Air

Autumn can be challenging. There is an increasing stillness in nature as winter draws near. The last of the summer fades and new growth lies dormant. Many of us feel the urge to slow down, despite our busy schedules, and to keep pace with nature. As the leaves glow and fall and the temperature drops these changes around us can be a gentle reminder to think about what we can let go of and what we want to conserve. Are we holding on to any emotions that are no longer helping us? Is there something on our schedule that we could exchange for a calm, clear space?

In Chinese medicine and Taoist theory the season of autumn is associated with the lungs, and also with the skin and large intestine. You could try this simple Autumn Air exercise to energise your lungs. Take yourself into nature; your local woods, a park or your garden. Wrap up warm. Stand still, feeling the earth beneath you. Relax your body, smile, and notice your breathing. Notice the sensation of the breath flowing in and out through your nostrils. Follow your breath. Can you feel your ribcage move, your abdomen gently rise and fall? Feel the coolness of the air as you breathe in, and the warmth it has been given by your body as you breathe out.

Take a deep breath in, really filling your lungs. Visualise the colour white and breathe in the energy of courage and uprightness. As you breathe out, let go of any feelings of sadness and isolation. Breathe in again, filling your lungs with courage, uprightness, and the colour white, letting go of sadness and isolation on the breath out. You can spend as much time as you like on each stage or create your own way of connecting with your lungs.

Autumn at Walden Pond

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