Are you feeling sluggish, depressed, lacking focus, and regretful?

According to the Chinese Five Element theory, the body is made up of the same five primary elements that exist in nature – Wood, Fire, Metal, Earth and Water. Each of these elements relates to different organs, and effects physical and psychological parts of our makeup.

In autumn the metal element is strongest, so activating the meridians (energy channels) of the lung and large intestine brings balance to these organs, helping us release all things not serving us and making room for more growth.

Autumn Yoga by Spirit Yoga - Sweetman's Lane in Millstone, NJ. Hdr by Joisey Showa Fotos

The lungs

The lungs control breath and energy and assist the heart with blood circulation. Breathing controls cellular respiration, so when we aren’t breathing sufficiently, we have low vitality and insufficient metabolism. In Chinese Medicine it is believed that the lungs also control our skin (our pores open and close) and the lungs adjust body temperature through perspiration and shivering. Breathing controls the autonomous nervous system; this relationship is what yoga and meditation is based on. Breathing forms a link between the body and mind and can be used to keep the two in harmony.

Lung imbalance can cause symptoms like, sadness, despair, anxiety, grief, allergies, nasal congestion, shortness of breath and bronchitis.

“Suffering comes from resistance.” ~ Buddhist quote.

Autumn is all about releasing what is old and not working to make way for the new, but sometimes we really resist change. Generally discomfort is a result of conscious or unconscious resistance to whatever is going on. Ending resistance ends discomfort. Because a lot of resistance is unconscious, it can take quite a long time to accomplish this, though it can also happen in an instant.

Meridians for the lungs

The lung meridian begins deep in the solar plexus region and descends to meet the large intestine. It winds up past the stomach, crosses the diaphragm, divides and enters the lungs. It then passes up the windpipe to the throat and surfaces in the hollow region near the front of the shoulder. It passes over the shoulder, down the front of the arm along the outer side of the biceps, and continues down the forearm to the wrist just above the base of the thumb, and finishes at the corner of the thumbnail.

This is an excerpt out of the book, Autumn Yoga: 20 Poses for the Lung and Large Intestine Meridians available on Amazon. This e-Book also contains many links to video clips so you can practice along with the teacher, guaranteeing you get the most out of this informative yoga book.

Books in the Yoga for the Seasons range:

Spring Yoga 
Summer Yoga
Autumn Yoga
Winter Yoga

Article by Martine Ford