During the Autumn season, the energy within nature and the body begins the downward movement leading into Winter when the energy is at its deepest. Like a metal shield, the energy will contract, condense, and have great strength. The Autumn season is governed by the lungs. This is a good time of year to strengthen the breathing capacity with internal exercises like meditation, Chi Kung, Yoga, and Tai Chi, as well as external exercises like running, biking and swimming. The lungs are paired with the large intestine, so it is also a good time to clear mental and physical clutter and let go of unnecessary stuff.
Like an iron shirt, the lung Qi forms a tight superficial energy network throughout the entire physical structure. It communicates with the skin and governs the opening and closing of the pores. In Chinese medicine this mechanism is called Wei Qi, When the Wei Qi is strong, the body is able to eliminate viruses very efficiently by the pores opening so we sweat. When the Wei Qi is deficient, the virus will go deeper into the lungs and cause problems like cough. This tight matrix will also make us less susceptible to air borne allergens like dust, mold, and pollen.
The virtues of the lungs are physical, moral courage and fortitude. As we quiet down and breathe rhythmically, we tap into the primordial universal breath, and this identification gives us courage and fortitude. When we breath shallow, we feel anxious, deflated and weak.
In daily life, we tend to take our lungs for granted. Even though government regulation helps air pollution, particles in the air still cause a weakening of the lung Qi as well as the Wei Qi. This will lead to more allergies and catching colds. It is important to take a hard look at the environment where you live and evaluate the air quality, Smoking is another serious problem. Our lungs have enough of an ordeal with pollution, so adding smoke to the mix is not very wise.
The kaleidoscope of color bursting during Fall foliage gives us insight to the power of the Metal element. The strong yang colors of yellow, orange, and red make us want to get outdoors, rejoice, and play. At the same time, we consolidate our thoughts and action, and move forward courageously with our goals and plans.