The seasons are changing, so why not change up your yoga routine?
It’s that time of year! The leaves are changing colors, the days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting cooler. Despite the excitement in the change of seasons, Autumn is the time of year when many of us can actually feel a bit ungrounded, overwhelmed, and out of balance. This is according to Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga. If you’re looking for ways to adapt your yoga routine to this change in energy, read the helpful tips below.
By Kirsty Gallagher
1. Slow it down.
In order to sustain you during the autumn months, your yoga practice needs to be slow, mindful and deeply grounding. It also really helps to practice at the same time every day. Slow, deliberate movements will help you calm the chaotic Vata mind, making you feel more grounded and connected to your center and to the earth. Move through slow rhythmic rounds of Sun Salutations, pausing for a few breaths in each pose, and stable standing poses such as the warriors to help you feel strong and present.
2. Find some balance.
September brings with it the Autumn Equinox, a day of balance where both night and day are the same length. Tune into this energy by bringing balance into your life on and off the yoga mat. On the mat, include standing balancing yoga poses. Balance and stillness of mind go together, so if the mind is too active, these poses will help you feel steadier and more balanced. Off the mat, look at all the areas in your life that may be out of balance, and make any necessary changes.
3. Breathe more deeply.
Autumn is the time of year when the air is most crisp and clear, so breathe it in! This is a great time of the year to start a Pranayama practice, or to just take the time to notice the quality of your own breath in day-to-day life. Learning how to breathe properly can reduce stress levels, increase immunity (perfect for the coming colder months!) and help you welcome more prana (life force energy) into your life. Just 10 slow, deep, conscious breaths a day breathing from your belly, up into your front, side and back ribs all the way up into your collarbones will make an incredible difference.
4. Let it go.
Take inspiration from the trees as they let go of their leaves without any kind of a fight! In your yoga practice, sink in to deep yin poses, especially seated poses, since Vata energy is focused around the hips and abdomen. Stay in each pose for 8-10 deep breaths, melting in and letting go of any tension or stress and anything else you no longer need. Use this quiet time to inspire, support and strengthen yourself; use it to also let go of anything that is not working in your life. Take a deep breath…and just let go.
5. Find stillness in silence.
As the nights are getting darker earlier and nature is drawing her energy inward, it is natural that we should do the same. This is especially helpful in staying grounded and balancing the irregular, fast moving Vata. Take extra time in your Savasana to surrender and ground. Make yourself warm and comfortable with any blankets and props you may need (consider using an eye pillow), and allow yourself to drift into bliss. This is also an amazing time to begin a meditation practice, drawing your energy inward to your center to find quiet stillness and peace.
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All images courtesy of YogiApproved.com.