As we head deeper into autumn, we may find that our energy is changing. Nature withdraws and becomes more yin – turning its energy inwards to strengthen and restore. Our bodies, too, need to adapt and change with the seasons. They are part of this world, not separate from it, and so they appreciate the nurturing aspects of the inward turning energy. If we fight that need by becoming more active instead of less, we create strain – and that will weaken the body rather than strengthen it.
Listen to your body because it is listening to you
Please take care of your body and listen to what it needs. Maybe it will not appreciate the cooling foods of summer so much now. Instead, it may relish warmer, moister and a little more unctuous, food more often. Soup, anyone? According to traditional Chinese health advice, and to Ayurvedic understanding, the autumn can be drying on the body. This can particularly affect the lungs, and to some extent the skin. A tendency to a dry cough or some itchiness may be a sign of this. Pears, incidentally, are said to be a very kind fruit for our lungs. Sipping warm water at times throughout the day (or, better, yin-yang water1) can help balance the body, too.
Spirituality includes flesh and bones
Being kind to the body is an important aspect of spirituality. Your body listens to the messages you give it. If we cannot be kind to ourselves, it is difficult to cultivate compassion and kindness for others. Not to be confused with indulgence, this is about living from the heart, fully and completely. Let’s celebrate autumn and indeed every change of season as it comes, and be happy and peaceful. The world needs us to be just that, particularly now.
- Yin-yang water is said to be very balancing for the body at any time of year. It is easy to prepare – simply add boiling water to cool or room-temperature water, 50-50. Drink it while it is still warm. Some people like to fill a flask with it to use during the day. ↩