You wouldn’t think these two have much in common, yet they are both about taking and releasing. They sustain us and enable us to maintain equilibrium in the face of challenges. If we can’t breathe well or digest well, all body systems function poorly.
Compensation for not breathing well are, over time, an enlarged heart, over inflated lungs, increased susceptibility to infections and progressive loss of function. Lack of good digestion leads to decreased energy, decreased mental sharpness and progressive loss of function.
We are entering Autumn, the season of the lungs. In Traditional Chinese Medicine this is associated with the emotion of grief and its expression. As Summer, the season of activity, winds down we find ourselves in this transition of digesting our experiences. Did we take time to balance what we wanted to do with what we needed to do? Did we take time to be in Nature and reconnect to Mother Earth? Were we able to fill our hearts with joy?
In this process of ‘digestion’ we use our breath to sort out those things we wish to keep and release those that no longer serve. How does one let go? By using our breath. How does that work?
First, set an intention about the issue(s) that needs to be released. Next, take a few, slow deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. After a few breaths, picture the thought(s) flowing out with each breath, like a slowly deflating a balloon releasing its’ contents into the world. The idea is not to deny or try to shape these thoughts, but to allow them to go out into the world for their next evolution. After doing this a few times, take a couple of deep cleansing breaths. As you begin to breathe in, imagine taking in new energy and lightness, filling every aspect of your body. Do this several times. Afterwards, take a couple of deep breaths and give thanks for this opportunity to heal. Sit quietly and feel any subtle shifts in energy.
Breath and digestion, sustaining and releasing. May you walk in balance this season.