Autumn begins its descent down the back of the body as the leaves of autumn reflect the potentials of spring. After everything shoots up, heavy on the vine and full of summer’s ripened bounty, the seasons flip, and all things being their descent earthward. This is a preparation dialogue and autumn is a time of gathering, cataloguing, and storing the bounties of summer.
The lungs hold the magic of participation. The arms are extensions of the lungs and mediate your heart with the world. Being the one organ you can access consciously through the breath, the lungs are the key unlocking your internal world and rewiring your autonomic nervous system. The breath extracts prana: the ions, ores and minerals that rain down in the form of cosmic food. The gland that extracts this magic is the thyroid, the throat, the ability to spit up what you need to get out and swallow the gold that you worked for. The lungs feed the kidneys, who then feed the liver, who feeds the heart, which then feeds the spleen, all to feed the lungs again. Just like the seasons it happens again and again and with repetition we see pattern, from pattern we have the choice to remain in this wheel or shift out of habitual patterning. It all starts with our ability to breathe the breath, knowing the breath will always breathe us. When you breathe, you manipulate time. Breath rate is inversely linked with life span and anything that breathes deep and slow has calm waters, a nervous system that is personally soothed, with a center that is stable.
In autumn you want to pump your lungs like bellows. Utilizing pranayama practices is a great way to pump up your lungs so you can take a final fill upon entering the cave of winter. Twists are also great for autumn, for as you twist you revolve around yourself, refreshing your internal world, creating space in your rib cage so that eventually it is not just your lungs breathing, but the pores of your skin, your spherical nature expanding out on the exhale and concentrating itself on the inhale. As your whole being breathes you are revitalizing every cell of your body, ensuring porous muscles and a pliant mind and eventually a stable seat for your meditation with grace.
Drawing by Kat Villain.
Up next in this series: A Hunkering Into Winter’s Cave