The Five Element or Five Phase theory serves to inform our qigong view of life and nature. The fifth phase of this theory occurs during the short season called “Second Summer,” those last warm days of September or October, and the times of change a week or so before and after the solstices and equinoxes. The element that corresponds with these unique time periods is the Earth element. The associated organ is the spleen, which includes the pancreas and stomach.
The fifth season always occurs during times of significant change. Times when we may feel less balanced and in need of more support. Focusing on mindfully adapting with the changes around us is an effective way to stay balanced, centered and grounded. It is also important to pay extra attention to your digestion by nourishing yourself with foods in season and from local growers, reducing worries and spending time outdoors. Here’s some ways you can take better care of yourself and easily harmonize with Earth phase.
Steer Clear of Refined Sugar
Be kind to your pancreas (and whole body) and steer clear of refined sugar during Earth phase. You can still enjoy the natural sweetness of grains, rice, and millet as well as root veggies such as sweet potatoes and carrots. If you want more sweetness, focus on sweet vegetables and fruits that are in season as they can aid in strengthening and soothing your pancreas.
Nurture Your Digestive System
Like your pancreas, the spleen and stomach are very important in how you digest food. Treat them well by avoiding greasy food as it hard to digest. Begin letting go of cold/cooler foods and add in more seasonal warm foods that are baked or stewed. You’ll feel better if you eat at regular times and eat moderate amounts. To further nourish yourself internally during Earth phase, spend more time outside with loved ones who help you feel at peace and loved.
Spend More Time Connecting to Our Precious Earth
This is the time to feel your feet touching the ground, connecting with the earth. Spend time in nature, walk on the grass, go to the beach, or go hiking in the mountains. Gardening is another great way to connect to the earth as you touch the soil and nurture and tend to plants.
Cultivate Trust to Let Your Mind Rest
The emotion associated with the Earth phase is overthinking and worry. Too much of this can lead to digestive problems. To preserve the health of your digestive system, be even more vigilant about what you consume mentally to help reduce worry. You can turn your focus from worry to cultivating trust. You only need trust this moment to get some relief from worry. Lastly, try to take more breaks from your screens (other than your Zoom qigong class of course!).
The Earth is our best stabilizing force. Embrace Earth phase to nourish yourself, enjoy the beauty and wonder of Earth, and let your mind rest. Qigong for Life offers a variety of classes to guide you through each phase of the Five Phases. Visit our Calendar to check out our current class and workshop offerings.