A Seasonal Spirit House: 10 Tips to Adapt to Autumn
Sunday, November 30 2014
A homemade spirit house in the Northeast of Thailand is surrounded by a blanket of crispy leaves. This is the dry season: a time of trust and courage, a time to give thanks, to let go and to rest. The energy of autumn is brittle, rigid and descending as it prepares for the depths of the slow winter months. In Chinese five element theory, autumn is the season ruled by the metal element and its corresponding characteristics. Metal connects to the organ of the lungs, skin and our immune system. As a result, in this season we are more susceptible to allergies, nose and throat irritation and dryness. Health and balance is easily maintained by tuning into the season, listening to our body and adapting our lifestyle to nature.
Here are ten simple ways to enjoy autumn with optimum health:
- CLEAN OUT - Get organized and clean out the closet to get rid of old dust.
- REST AND RELAX - Limit stress and don’t take on new projects during this time of descending energy.
- NOURISH - Balance out the dry climate and seasonal allergies with lots of rich liquids like red clover tea and nutritious soups. Limit dairy intake (it causes inflammation).
- SMELL - Burn peppermint or wintergreen oil in an aromatherapy diffuser to open the lungs.
- SOAK - Soak your feet (or body) in warm water with Epson salt, chamomile and lavender oil to keep them soft and hydrated.
- FEEL - Keep dry skin moisturized with natural oils like coconut, almond and sesame. Even better, treat yourself to a warm oil massage.
- MOVE - In exercise don’t be hard on joints as they may be dry and more susceptible to injury. Qigong and taiji chuan are excellent form of exercise to boost the immune system; combine holding postures that build strength like horse stance, with flowing movements to lubricate the joints and tissues.
- PLAY - Notice if you have become stiff in character. Do something spontaneous and flexible to counterbalance the metal season’s sharp edge.
- MEDITATE - In meditation, emphasize the exhale, the surrender phase of the breath letting go of the metallic tendency to become stiff and controlling.
- LAUGH - The most powerful medicine to combat autumn’s solemn grey sky is laughter. Laughter fuels the fire of the heart, a very important element used to balance out the coming frigid months.
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