Preparing for fall
by Lilian Kluivers
Easy exercises and advises to strengthen you chi during summer and fall.
Seen from the holistic system from Chinese medicine, all the elements and all the Seasons are connected to each other. Every Element nourishes the next one. Every season nourishes the following one. This is called the Shen cycle.
How could you implement this knowledge in your life, right here and right now?
Understanding the Shen cycle means understanding that:
Summer is – besides a Season of its own – also at the same time a preparation for Fall.
Taking good care of yourself in Summer, when the Fire-element is most active, means you will experience Autumn more energetically. You will feel nourished during Summer at the same time.
So how can we start nourishing our chi right now?
First of all, be happy! Laughter and joy are related to the Heart, belonging to the Fire-element of Summer. An awesome way to nourish the chi of the Heart is spending lunchtime or dinnertime with friends. Since lunchtime – from 11:00 am till 3:00 pm – and dinnertime – 7:00 pm till 11:00 pm – are considered to be moments when the energy of Fire is more active, according to the Chinese Clock. These are the best times of the day to spend with people you like and have fun. So take your agenda and make some appointments to look forward to.
Another advise from the Yellow Emperors Classic of Medicine (Ch. 2) is to stay physically active, to prevent the pores from closing and the chi from stagnating. Excellent Do-In exercises during summer are movements where the arms are included, since the Fire-meridians all run through the arms.
Practice for example the next exercise daily:
- Interlace the fingers.
- Stretch the arms up, palms facing up, during an exhalation.
- When inhaling, lower the arms in front of the chest.
- Repeat for at least 10 breathings.
- This exercises opens the chest and stretches the meridians that belong to the fire element.
- Also tapping the whole body is a great exercise, for all seasons.
In addition, I’d like to recommend to meditate daily. You could even follow instructions from a book if you have no routine yet. Meditate at least for some minutes. Regular meditation is a very effective way to calm the Heart energy.
And the last tip: take it easy at the end of Summer. The last two weeks of every Season are connected to the Earth Element. It’s best to enjoy some relaxed days to prepare your energy for the next season, Fall. And enjoy the energies of this new Season in their fullest potential.
Lilian Kluivers is a shiatsu therapist and Do-In teacher and teacher trainer. She runs Do-In Academy, an international education that aims to help people use the wisdom of eastern medicine in everyday life. Lilian is an author of two books about Do-In published in The Netherlands and Belgium, she is working on an English translation of her book about Do-In.