In Chinese medicine, there are believed to be 5 elements which correspond with 5 seasons. These elements are said to be reflected within our emotions, experiences and tendencies. Working with the energy facilitates movement along various channels and pathways in our bodies. Stuck places, emotions and habits gain freedom and a sense of healing. Metal is the element of the lungs, and there is a saying about metal in autumn when it is in high tide; that we have the opportunity to become alchemists and turn our metal into gold with kindness and benevolence. Otherwise we can rust. Benevolence and kindness are the positive emotions that are associated with metal, grief and sadness are the negative emotions associated with metal.
Vitality teacher Michael Gould tells of his experience.
After separating from my wife Keri after 33 years of marriage in 2016 I was filled with feelings of loss, grief, fear of the unknown, and loneliness. My daily yoga practice and meditation helped me deal with these feelings somewhat, but I still felt the pain of my changing life circumstances. I knew that at my age, as I learned from Maggie in her Zen yoga classes, my lungs were at high tide, and stimulating that energetic area in my body would likely help. I also knew that my natural breathing pattern was short on my inhales and long on my exhales, so I needed to increase my inhale awareness to take more healing breath in. Still, something was missing in my practice, causing my grief and sadness to linger.
I found Kundalini, kriya, pranayama, and meditation practices to be the missing links in my personal quest to becoming well and happy. In September of 2017 I attended my first Kia Miller Kundalini immersion in California, and followed it up with two more back to back this past April. I’ve incorporated these newly learned techniques into my personal practice, experiencing amazing results. Kriya, with its mudra, breath, and focus allowed me to increase my lung capacity on my inhales, and greatly alleviated the sadness and depression I was feeling. I have woven this into my daily asana and meditation practice which built up my courage, letting go of the pain of loss in my life.
As I studied more Kundalini I realized the intelligence of the order in the practice. Kriya: to break the momentum of habitual negative patterns that come up. Pranayama: to focus on the quality and location of prana (energy) in my body. Meditation: to come to stillness. I achieved a relaxed state of being with any feelings without being triggered by them. All of this was consistent with many of the yogic teachings that I have studied throughout the years, along with Buddhist meditation practices that resonated with me. So, I knew I was on the right track. As I included more of the Kundalini practices into the great physical release of my personal vinyasa flow practice, I began to slowly integrate Kundalini techniques into my vinyasa flow teaching, hopefully in a way that resonates for those who come to my classes.