As Summer draws to a close, the Autumn equinox brings balance back to the phases of light and dark. The evenings draw in, and our mornings become darker. This season is all about shedding that which no longer serves us. Following the guidance of nature and starting to slow down, focusing our awareness inwards and coming home to yourself. It’s time to nurture, settle, and soften. So how can we use our yoga practice to reflect the changes in the season?
Autumn gives us chance to slow down and surrender. It invites us to slow our practice down and focus on nourishing our mind and our body.
Slow down – Yin over Yang
We’re not saying you need to stop the vinyasa practices, but if you don’t already, now is the perfect time to introduce a Yin or Restorative practice into your routine. As the world around us starts to slow down, so should our practice. Taking more time to settle into our postures and giving the body the time it needs to relax and restore. Use the time to focus on yourself and what you really need, and what you are ready to let go of. Just like the tree’s shed their leaves, we too can release what we no longer need.
Build heat from within
As the weather gets colder and wetter, it can be hard to motivate ourselves to get up and move our bodies when we feel so cold and stiff. But we can bring the heat and the fire within. Adding static, strength building postures into your practice will help to build internal heat within the body. Working on strengthening postures helps to build the inner resilience we need to weather the storms that the colder seasons bring.
Asana to create inner heat in the body;
- Boat Pose
- High Plank
- Side Plank
- High Lunge
Take rest when you need it
This season is about slowing down, as we say goodbye to the heat and the yang energy of summer, Autumn encourages us recognise when it's time to take rest. Throughout your practice, practice compassion and kindness with yourself and take a child's pose whenever you are called to rest and reconnect. There's no prize for staying in a downward face dog, if you lose your flow of breath then pause and come back. Childs Pose allows us time to self soothe, draws our awareness back to our internal space, and brings us back home to our own inner sanctuary.
Keep it cosy
If you can’t make it to your favourite hot yoga studio, create a cosy sanctuary space at home. Bring cushions and soft blankets into your space. Light a nice smelling candle or incense, and use a lamp, fairy lights or a Himalayan salt lamp to create a warm and cosy feeling. Use any props you need to make your practice more comfortable such as a bolster, blocks or straps. And don’t forget a blanket for a blissful savasana!