Transitions are the most important part of the journey…

Here in Durango, the trees have given their final blast of marvelous color, the leaves slowly drifting downward. The light rises later in the morning, the warmth of the sun feels more faded and distant - sitting further south on the horizon. These are the shifting transitions of Autumn: the yang qi of nature turns inward again, descending from the glory of summer, returning to storage and preparing to sleep through the winter months.

We know in Chinese medicine that what occurs in the external natural world is also occurring on the internal realm of our body. It is best to follow this natural wisdom and apply these transitions to our own life: be still, get enough sleep, eat nourishing and warming foods, savor these transitional days of Fall.

Perhaps you feel it in the air, you see it in the changes of the weather, you feel a subtle shift in your body: Autumn is upon us and it is a time for transitions. As we pass between the nodes of our Fall equinox and move towards our winter solstice it is a time of transitions. We can only hope that these come with ease, with grace, with attention and with practice, awareness.

In qi gong practice, we are taught that the transitions between the routine postures are perhaps the most important aspect of the work. It is these transitions and how we compose ourselves during these moments that really show what we are made of: how do we handle the in-between time? Do we maintain our composure and focus to the task at hand, calmly striving toward our next goal on the horizon?

So I offer this simple advice:

  1. Practice your transitions
  2. Maintain your awareness during this time of year
  3. Allow yourself to relax, turn down the busy-ness of life
  4. Walk slow
  5. Contemplate
  6. Bring your attention inward: preparing for the winter to come
  7. Eat squash soup
  8. Cook and consume bone broth
  9. Savor the transitions within and without
 Autumn descent

Autumn descent