Try This Yoga Sequence If the Change in Seasons Is Freaking You Out

Have you been feeling fatigued, anxious, or stressed? It might have something to do with the time of year. We’ve officially reached late summer. It’s a time of change for us, and it’s the fifth official season in Chinese medicine.

According to the Chinese Five Element Theory, each season corresponds with one of the five primary elements found in nature: wood, fire, earth, metal, or water. These same five elements govern the function of specific organs, so imbalances in any of the elements can adversely affect our physical and psychological health.

Late summer, which begins at the end of August and lasts through the autumn equinox, is ruled by the earth element. This short season signals a transition from outward-focused, active yang energy to introspective yin energy. During this period of rapid change, we must slow down and remain centered to prepare for what lies ahead. For many of us, that means returning to school or work.

Chinese medicine does not separate mind and body. The earth element governs the stomach and spleen, which are digestive organs that turn nutrients into energy. When our stomach meridian is balanced, we feel calm and composed. An imbalance, on the other hand, is characterized by anxiety, overthinking, and depression. Improper function of either the stomach or spleen may cause us to feel foggy, sluggish, and weak.

Yoga can be used to activate the earth element meridians to combat fatigue and regain balance. Poses like Sun Salutations, twists, and inversions target the belly, spleen, and lungs to stimulate healthy digestion. The resulting increase in blood flow delivers oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, which helps to regulate and replenish energy.

In this transitional season, finding balance is about taking the time to nourish our bodies, especially the digestive system! Below are a few simple yoga poses to incorporate into your home practice that will support healthy digestion, relieve stress, and release stagnant energy.