Late Summer - The Fifth Season
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are five seasons instead of the four we recognize here in the West. The additional season is known as late summer and begins in the third week of August. It is a transition time between the busy (yang) summer season and the slower fall (more yin like) season. It is a time to rest and relax after all the activities of summer. Child's pose and reclining Butterfly pose are good ways to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system which then triggers the relaxation response. In Child's pose, we are on our knees with our hips to the heels and the forehead to the floor in front of the knees with the arms either extended in front of you or by your sides. In reclining Butterfly, we are lying on our backs with the soles of the feet together and perhaps a pillow under each knee with our arms by our sides.
The organs associated with the late summer season are the spleen/stomach pair; both of which are associated with our ability to digest food and use it for the health of our physical bodies. Poses that are good to do to stimulate these meridians are Dragon pose or low lunge for the stomach meridian and Dragonfly for the spleen. In Dragonfly pose, we sit with the legs spread as far apart as is comfortable and fold forward keeping the spine relaxed.
The season is also a good time to go barefoot outside and try to connect and absorb the energy from the earth. Perhaps also consider incorporating a walking meditation into your day; focusing on the earth beneath you while you walk and repeating a mantra as you go. Meditation and mild exercise are two other great ways to stimulate the relaxation response.
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