Seasonal Yoga With 5 Ways to Prepare for Autumn
Off to school and work for the new season creeps in with Labor Day. My pool just closed, and I walked my son to his first day of school this morning. My first class with Temple University started last Wednesday. With the new season and all that comes with it, Yoga can be a fantastic tool to help us adapt to the cooler days ahead and deal with lifestyle changes that come with less sunlight. In Ayurvedic traditions, it is important to do detoxing that will help our bodies align with nature for the coming season (Ritucharya). These strategies include Asana, Breathwork, and Meditation along with some light dietary shifts moving toward warmer and more digestible foods. The fall is all about warming ginger soups made with squashes and pumpkins and enjoying the harvest from our gardens. Don’t forget to start drinking some good warm tea to start your day!
Detoxing between seasons is not always about doing some kind of juice blowout, feeling hungry and perusing Hot Yoga. It can be really effective to slow down the mind and practice a more restorative asana routine along with some breathing practices and meditation. These routines do not have to consume your whole day but can be done in small sessions to accommodate any schedule. Getting into the Fall months means not forgetting to nourish your mind, body, and spirit in times of change. We all need and deserve time to connect to the beauty of nature in the Fall.
Here are a few Yama Yoga Store suggestions to help you align yourself to the Fall season.
- A Ritual: I love to bring in the new season on a cool night with a bonfire. I often will write a list on a sheet of paper of things that I want to let go of and ritualistically pitch it into the fire with a meditative prayer. For me, changing my routine involves ceremony or I might kiss any ideas of change to the wind. This prepares me for the new. It is a letting go of the Summer routine without crying (ha)
- Concentrate on Asana: Try Yin or Restorative Yoga instead of Ashtanga. Implementing gentle twists and inversion postures into your asana practice while letting go of some of the more vigorous postures can be very helpful for some practitioners in moving forward to the new season. Twisting postures (supported Twist Pose) or Matsyasana (supported Fish Pose) will help to stimulate the digestion and start to promote activity in the digestive organs. This is an essential part of natural, healthy, and sustainable detox. Try gentle postures that are warming and promote healthy blood circulation like Legs up a wall with 10 Deep Breaths or Wide Leg Standing Forward Fold with 10 Breaths, Supported Half Frogs Pose and of course, Childs Pose.
- Autumn Inspired Pranayama Breathing Exercises: The most powerful tool in Yoga and Meditation is the breath. The breath aids us to connect our bodies and mind with spirit. Breathing practices are essential in the reduction of stress and promoting a calm and centered mood. Focus on simple Pranayama techniques, such as Full Yoga Breath and Maha Pranayama (link for instruction). Both of these breathing practices will inspire you to have better breath awareness while gaining the benefits of increased oxygen and the calming effects felt from doing this kind of practice.
- Meditation: During autumn, I like to practice guided meditation at night to help me get a more restful sleep. I am a “light sleeper” and deep restorative guided meditations help me stay asleep and wake up refreshed. I use CD's, Insight Timer and YouTube. Some guided sleep mediations have added benefits like Chakra balance and anxiety reduction. Michael Sealy, Jason Stephenson, and Joe Rhodomoyer are all very good with meditative and hypnotic guidance. A great practice for Autumn is Trataka (Candle Gazing). Simply light a candle and watch it dance without judgment. Feel the benefits after only 2 minutes of this practice. Build to greater lengths of time.
- Earthing into Fall: Don’t forget to ground and touch the earth. Hug a tree and go barefoot as much as possible and get into nature. Practice your Yoga routine outside with a towel mat! This helps you to ground and motivates a connection between you and the earth.
Between now and September 21st is the best time to focus and implement progressive changes in your routine for the incoming season. Think about what Autumn means for you and reflect. Get into the flow of Autumn blessed with your most energized self. We would love to hear how you will be bringing in the new season! Write to us in the comments section.
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Sat Nam ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ
Soorya Kirti Kaur