This summer we’ve paddled and flowed, ridden the waves and stayed cool with dips in the ocean. We flourished in the heat and reveled in the sun. The mellowed out influence of those lingering summer days was certainly blissful, but as we step into the cooler autumn air, those lengthy days are now drawing to a close. The winds of change are blowing in our direction, and that makes for stormy seas and cooler mornings for the paddle out. Of course no matter what season we’re in, we can always endeavor to keep that peaceful ebb and flow of prana. However, there is a noticeable shifting of gears as fall’s transformation reveals itself and we are asked to look within ourselves to find a balanced state of being.
One way to realign, ground and find stability during this time of intense change is by looking at the teachings of Ayurveda. Often called the healing sister science of yoga, the ancient practice is literally translated from Sanskrit as ‘the wisdom of life’. Autumn is known in Ayurveda as predominantly "Vata" in nature (the dosha governing the ether and air element). Stepping out into the elements, have you started to notice your skin and hair feeling a little dry? Perhaps you’re responding to stress with anxiety or fear. Or maybe you just feel spaced-out and disconnected. We may choose to create an authentic sense of steadiness and predictability in our lives just by slightly altering our daily habits. After all, it’s about the personal, inward journey. A wonderful way to approach the fall is by welcoming in a more soothing yoga practice. Here are a few ideas that we practice at Longwave…
We can maintain a more grounded composure by pinpointing our focus during practice on warmth and fluidity through unhurried, intentional movements. Create a strong, stable foundation by grounding down into the feet. Build your connection with the Earth by lengthening each breath fully and completely. Imagine yourself flowing through warm tide pools or quicksand as you gently travel from posture to posture. Move from your hara, or power center, just below the naval and engage the muscles toward the bone. Concentrate your drishti, or focal point, on or below the horizon. Stay present with every breath, and let every breath guide your movement. Be mindful of over-exertion and depletion, taking rest when needed. Take time to establish a routine, nourish your mind-body connection, and relax fully.
This Autumn, we will delight in the leaves changing colors from green into vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows. We will play in the cooling waters and surging swells. And we can unroll our mats and find gratitude in slowing down, turning in and connecting. So grab your warm pumpkin spiced chai, take a deep breath and say “Hello, Fall. I’m ready for you.”