In Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, it is believed that everything we ingest becomes part of our constitution. We ingest air, food, water, ideas, and we use our senses to do this. Therefore whatever we take in to our bodies, be it through our mouth, sight, skin or hearing, in essence, makes up who we are as humans.
The lungs and the large intestine have the same quality of drawing in nutrients from the outside world and letting go of waste. Our lungs which have two lobes on the left and three on the right are said to be the first to assimilate the chi ( or energy) from the outside world and draw it in to our body to be mixed with the chi or our internal landscape.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine there is an emotional quality that is a associated with the lungs. If our lung Chi is strong we are able to handle life’s difficulties with tenacity and if the chi is low it is said that we may not be able to express grief well, alternatively we may be unable to lift ourselves out of minor depressions.
If we are to remain balanced and stable emotionally we should look at stabilizing the energy of the lungs and it’s Yang counterpart the large intestines. Any pose that stretches or compresses the skin and organs around the upper chest, collar bones and arms is said to help balance the chi in the lungs. Also, as the lungs are one of the first lines of defense against respiratory disorders, working with the lungs can fortify them, setting us up for a healthy autumn and winter.
Here is a brief sequence to stimulate chi in the upper body
Lie on block and gently tap between breast bone with your first and second finger to stimulate Thymus gland
Lie on belly do sphinx or seal
Shoe lace with cow face arms
Twist with hand over head