For the past seven months, I have been taking a course with Sacred Plant Traditions. Every month we focus on a different system of the body and relate it the Chinese Medical Philosophy of the 5 elements. This week we enter Autumn and in the Chinese Tradition, this is the season of the Metal Element. The metal element rules the lungs and large intestine. This is one of the reasons why it is beneficial to cleanse during the fall season of the year. It is the time to release that which no longer serves us.
The Chinese system combines the lungs and the large intestine. The lungs are another of the elimination organs of the body. We spoke a great deal about asthma, a respiratory dysfunction which can be improved with dietary changes. How fascinating is the human body in how delicate, intelligent and powerful it is! All of our systems are so magnificently interwoven.
In addition to cleansing the colon this month, try this simple practice to eliminate and cleanse the lungs.
1. Lie comfortably on your back with your knees bent. You may want a blanket or pillow for your neck and head.
2. Place your hands palms down on your belly. Elbows resting comfortably at your side.
3. Gently close your mouth and begin to draw breath in through your nose.
4. Inhale and draw the breath all the way down to your lower lungs - the area around your diaphragm. Draw the breath to the front, sides and back of the body. Release all of your breath fully with your exhale. Practice bringing breath to this area of the lungs for 3 - 5 rounds of breath, without discomfort.
5. The draw the breath to the breast area and the area underneath the armpits. Feel the breath spreading in a 360 degree direction around the chest, underarms and shoulderblades. Practice bringing breath to this area of the lungs for 3 - 5 rounds of breath without straining your breath.
6. Finally, draw the breath into the upper chest, above the nipples into the collar bones. Practice this for 3 -5 rounds.
7. Bring the breath back to even uncontrolled, conditioned breathing.
8. Slowly roll to your right side and come to a seated position for a few moments before standing.
Notice the effects on the body, breath and mind. See if you can continue taking long slow deep breaths for the rest of the week. When you feel stressed or distracted this week, bring your attention to your breath and take 3 -5 long slow deep easy breaths. Notice the effects.