Thursday, October 22, 2009

Asanas for Fall

Asanas for Fall
In Chinese Medicine, Fall is the season for the organ pair, lung and large intestine. Looking at the function of these organs our lungs are responsible for bringing oxygen (Prana) into the blood through the breath and removing carbon dioxide. The large intestine is the organ of elimination. It reabsorbs fluid from food stuffs in the final passage before elimination. The end of the colon is part of the pelvic floor providing support for mula bandha.

This organ pair also has emotional and spiritual qualities. The lungs positive qualities are lightness, buoyancy, and contentment (santosha). They also represent being emotionally available and full of hope and optimism. The negative qualities of the lungs are grief, suffering, low self-esteem as well as sadness and depression. The large intestines positive qualities include the ability to let go of what is not needed, non-clinging (aparigrhaha) and an overall fluid quality at our base. On the shadow side, the large intestine reflects clinging, hoarding, unable to let go. Being unable to move and change direction in life, a slowness or sluggishness in action and thought can also show up.

Our yoga practice can help with this season of change. Sunsalutes, twists, gentle back bends and inversions can all help re-align us this Fall. Pranayama practices can also support the lungs to stay stretched from the inside. It is more about the intention we put forth with the asana than the asana itself. Think about what message you want the asana to tell your cells.

Pictured here is Jatara Parivartanasana, revolved abdomen pose. It is wonderful when you use a bolster to support the legs to practice letting go while feeling the deep layers of the abdomen. You can focus on reaching the chest open and taking deep breaths opening up to staying fluid throughout your whole being. twist

Put the bolster off to one side of your legs. Bend your knees close to your chest in a tight fold, spread your toes. Turn your abdomen to lay your legs on the bolster, keeping your feet active, release your legs. Stretch your arms wide and investigate what turning your head away from your legs does for your chest. Take deep breaths, focusing on the exhale.

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