No matter what side of the hemisphere you find yourself on, the seasons are changing! Even in climates where seasonal shifts are subtle, our bodies need time to slow and adjust to changing weather, natural light, and nature’s rhythms. Whether we are moving into a period of cooler temperatures and less daylight or warmer days and longer nights, this is a perfect time to tune into what your body – and nature – is asking from you!
Each of the seasons can be related to an element in Chinese medicine:
- Fire = Summer
- Metal = Autumn
- Water = Winter
- Wood = Spring
- Earth = Late Summer and the transitional time occurring between the seasons
As we are in a period of transition from one season into another, the Earth element is at its most prominent. With this, nature, and our bodies, ask us to pay special attention to our stomach and digestive issues. We may crave different foods as we move from winter into spring and/or summer into autumn. For those of us looking at warmer days, we may begin to crave fresh fruits and vegetables while those entering into the colder months may crave things like stews and roasted root vegetables.
Our bodies may need either more activity or more rest depending on where we are in nature’s cycle. As spring kicks into gear, those of us who have been hibernating throughout the winter months may find ourselves with a surge of energy and a need to get outside to shed layers – literally and figuratively. For those coming off the hot, sultry days of summer, there may be a need for the body to rest, cool down, and restore in order to prepare for the long restful period ahead.
As we meditate and move through our asana practice, we may choose to focus on the Manipura, or Solar Plexus, chakra – a place of guidance and powerful transformation. As the changing seasons can be disruptive to our systems, focusing on Manipura chakra can give us a sense of stability and power that we might feel is lacking. As you meditate, you can breathe into this area of your body (located just above the naval and in toward your spine) and envision bright yellow light filling that space. Select postures that enable you to open and tap into this area with core work (for generating heat) and subtle backbends (to open up that space in the body).
It is also time for us to listen…really listen to what is happening around us. We may feel inclined to hold onto the last days of summer and still tapping into the fire that dominated for the last few months or we may resist the idea of a longer winter with water dominating our ways…but, if we are patient, and we hear what Mother Nature is telling us, we will have the ability to nourish our body, soul, and mind in the way it desires.
What is your body craving during this time of transition? How can you best feed your body, soul, and mind during this time?