The fall Equinox marks the beginning of the harvesting and composting phases of the year. Equivalent to the changing foliage that will soon surround us, we too will embark on the cycle of drawing our energy inward, exploring the growth that took place over the summer, and shed what is no longer is necessary.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, fall is associated with the lungs and large intestine organ systems, which govern the respiratory and elimination function of the body. These systems are powerfully symbolic for the natural giving and receiving cycle of life. The lungs accept oxygen and later release it as carbon dioxide. Similarly, as food nutrients enter the large intestines, they are later released as waste.
These 3 yoga poses offer an opportunity to gain perspective, insight, and clarity after the year's growth phase before moving into its dormant period. These poses stimulate the lung and large intestine meridian pair through the interplay of extension and contraction along the upper torso. Remember to move slowly, always respecting your physical and mental edges. *
Butterfly Pose: (3–4 minutes) Draw your feet together, allowing your knees to bend wide. As you begin to release the spine forward, close your eyes and allow yourself to be led by sensation instead of what the shape looks like. Once you’ve found a comfortable place to land, see if you can find stillness for the next 20–30 cycles of breaths. To come out of Butterfly, slowly extend your spine back to upright and extend your legs. Move slowly and carefully as the sensations intensify in the legs and lower back.
Child’s Pose (4–6 minutes) Bring your knees together and draw your hips back toward your heels, rounding the spine forward and relaxing the shoulders. Soften your entire body here and breathe into the back of your lungs. Find stillness for the next several minutes, making any adjustments you need to be comfortable. When you are ready, begin your transition back to a seated position.
Seal/Sphinx Pose (3–4 minutes) From your belly, prop yourself up onto your forearms to open your chest. Stay for a few breaths before going any deeper. You can lower your forehead to a block or keep the head upright so that your neck remains in line with the rest of the spine. Close your eyes and stay for another 20 breaths. To come out, slowly release to your forearms then take your elbows wide, resting your forehead onto your hands. Hold a neutral spine for a few breaths before pressing back to Child’s Pose.