SEASONAL SELF-CARE BLOG
Return to Essence this Fall
Posted on October 11th, 2015
Autumn invites us to let go, lighten up, and distill our beings to their essence. Tune up the metal element this Fall with practices that help you clear out the clutter in you mind and define your intention with clarity.
Uttarabodhi Mudra (Mudra of the highest enlightenment)
Crystal clear light, vast blue skies, and crisp, cold, clear air—ahhh Fall, my favorite season is here! According to Chinese Medicine, Fall is the Season of the metal element. The stage in our yearly cycle, when all of nature is in a process of contraction, decay, and decomposition-returning all matter to source to fertilize the seeds of Spring’s rebirth.
Through a process of releasing and refining, the metal element transforms matter to pure essence. The Autumn leaves, brilliantly ablaze, offer their last bursts of vitality before drying up and dropping back to the earth. In the end, the essence of the tree remains, a sculpture carving a line drawing in the vast sky and the unseen roots below, stabilizing, grounding and nourishing. The sap of the tree draws into the interior of the tree and sinks back to the roots. In Fall, we also pull inwards, slow down, and become more internal to refine our being as we move towards the stillness and rest of Winter.
Fall is the time to cleanse and organize the clutter in your home, release the agitation in your mind, and clear out the chaos in your life. It’s time to shed the non-essential, resolve and release unhelpful habitual thoughts and emotions, and let go of unhealthy relationships and patterns. By releasing the non-beneficial, we create space for recognizing the essence of who we are and clarity for our intentions.
But letting go is not easy, we resist it. Often we don’t want to change. We want to hang onto Summer, our youthful yang energy, the fullness of the day. We get fearful of the dark, the time and space needed to nourish the new. The stillness and quietness is unsettling and a sort of anxiety sets in as we head towards the fallow Yin time of Winter. We are used to constant stimulus, distraction, and busyness. But this nonstop activity and productivity with little rest, leaves us depleted, stressed out, and burnt out. In the Fall we often need supportive practices to help us as we undergo these elemental processes of letting go, releasing, and surrender. Seasonal yoga, food, and lifestyle practices can help us attune our internal rhythm more with the natural cycles and deepen our connection to ourselves and our environment.
Fall is a good time to nourish the internal practices of meditation, mantra, and mudra to quiet the agitation in the mind, deepen concentration and open insight. Try practicing Uttarabodhi Mudra this Fall to nourish the metal element and the lungs and large intestines, our Fall organs. Place your index fingers together facing upwards and thumbs together facing downwards. Interlace the rest of your fingers together. Breathe and enjoy! This mudra helps open the lungs to expand the inhalation as well as stimulates elimination through the large intenstines. As conductor of electrical and energetic impulses, the metal element enhances our ability to draw in prana (vital energy) from our environment, connect with cosmic energy, as well as recharge our inner source of wellbeing.