When the seasons change, especially from the spring into summer and from the summer into the fall we seem to get more out of balance than during other seasonal transitions. It might even feel like at times you’ve been hit with a metal rod on your head while at other times you find yourself looking for both inner and outer bearings to get through this period.
Our first routine response when the more unpleasant sensations are arriving is to push them away. But since we live under the law of gravity we are also being made painfully aware of that anything we push away usually comes back and hits twice as hard from all the momentum gained.
So, why not just grab that metal rod and check it out? What is it? What is it trying to show us, to teach us? First of all, we are transitioning into winter. It would not be wise to be pushed from the warmth, the openness, the flowery dresses and brightly colored surf shorts straight into icy cold, winds biting the cheeks, down coats and Uggs in one go. The contrast would be too big. We are built for balance, for equanimity. Your life might not feel like that and it might sound nuts, but yes – we are built for balance, for equanimity. Just like nature.
THE ELEMENT METAL
The element of Metal is there to transition us from the Fire element of Summer into the Water Element of Winter. I like to picture it as the metal of the ice skate being created and molded in the fire of summer, prepared to slide on the ice of winter with poise and strength.
A great yoga asana to be used for building this strength, balance and awareness while simultaneously allowing to just be and have a laugh as well as we play with the law of gravity, I always find Vrksasana or Tree Pose, to be;
Start off with getting used to standing on one leg first by feeling both rooting and even sinking into the floor. Now, lean more into one foot until the other foot lifts off the floor by itself (the law of gravity ☺).
As that very foot sinks more and more into the floor your knee will bend by itself. Just go with it allowing for more sinking of the foot and more bending of the knee until you feel that you have totally transitioned into that place of being on just one foot. Your other foot will now be hanging almost freely in the air. Reach down while your hips move backwards to gently grab the ankle of the loose hanging foot, positioning the sole of that foot on the inner thigh of your standing leg. Exhale and root both feet – one in the floor and the other into the inner thigh. Observe how this creates the length of the pose and the “tree” grows both roots and a crown simultaneously.
You can place your hands in prayer position or Namaste on your chest or elongate them over your head on either shoulder with or with palms facing each other. For this very season I would keep them in Namaste as this aids the opening and widening of the chest, creating more space for your lungs to exhale and release old gunk to make space for the new clean air coming in.
When you feel it is time to change legs, you very gently place the foot back down, sink into that side and move the same way into Tree Pose or Vrksasana on your opposite side.
The feet are the first parts of our bodies to grow old and weak, and Tree Pose will allow your feet to stay young, strong and alert hence making it one of the most important postures to practice. Another great bonus for this easy pose, which you can practice in less than 5 minutes anywhere you can find a floor!