This September clearly and decisively cycled into fall. And just like that, we have found ourselves in a transition into the darker months. Maybe it’s the mountain girl in me, but I welcome the change of the seasons. It’s as though my body, mind, and energy have fully experienced all that summer has offered. And when the transition occurs, I find my arms open to fully embrace the change and a desire to return to the roots of my yoga practice.
This desire to return to my practice is a natural response to the changing season. Culturally, fall brings a sense of return. Perhaps this means a return to school or a return to “normal” work hours. Maybe this is a return to the inner gaze, as opposed to the outpour of energy in the summertime. No matter the shape or experience of return, the lightheartedness of summer has passed. Now, we can take steps to return to balance throughout autumn and into winter.
We know from yogic philosophy that opposites create the opportunity to seek union. It is this moment of balance—the unified existence of the opposites—that crafts the full experience of what Is or the So Hum. Part of that experience for many is fall’s tendency to create a sense of feeling scattered, hurried, and filled with the winds of change. At the same time, this sense of frenetic-ness is the very call to establish deep roots of sustenance.
If we look to Nature for the cues, she will willingly share her secrets that lead to the roots of sustenance. For instance, she reminds us to take time to feel the grounded support of the Earth under our feet and the cool wind in our hair. Mother Nature asks us to follow the guidance of the sun, and retire a little earlier. She encourages us to enjoy the increasing dark hours to replenish the body with sleep. Her harvest adjusts our diet to be full of the grounding and nourishing vegetables of fall’s abundance.
Fall’s roots of sustenance encourage us to return to balance after the intensity of summer. In fact, the fall equinox is Nature’s overt reminder that we must seek balance. It is said that on the fall equinox the world and its creatures are in perfect harmony. Enjoy this day of peace between opposites: light and dark, sun and moon. Gracefully, allow your pendulum to swing from summer to winter. This is the time to draw your gaze inward and assess your efforts. Use this natural time of slowing down to distinguish where exactly in your life you would like to ground. Allow your focus to pull in and grow roots like a mighty Oak into the earth.
Balance is always a choice. And as teachers we not only guide others to find balance, but we must choose to practice the daily ritual of seeking balance as our genuine experience. Yoga is our directional compass. Armed with tools thousands of years old, the science will not fail you. As you celebrate the fall equinox personally, perhaps, you find balance by recommitting or returning your daily practice and study of yoga. Lay the ground work for winter with conscious and intentional preparation. As such, you will be rooted in your commitments and intentions and can share that authentic balance with those you teach.
Similarly, in the classes you teach throughout fall, welcome students back to their mats and encourage their recommitment. Plan classes that pacify the increasing vata, and ground students by offering intentions of focus, security, and deep peace. Return them to the stability of the autumnal Earth with grounding asana practices. Give time in practice to celebrate an abundant harvest where students may reflect on the fruits of their labor. Offer them the stillness to further cultivate their intentions, to stay nourished, and to remain sustained.
As we celebrate fall here at Longwave Yoga, we count our blessings in knowing each and every one of you. My heart is full knowing that great souls, like yours, are in the world making it a better place one breath at a time. I remain in awe of the growth I witness within the walls of the studio, and I am deeply humbled by the efforts I see our teachers make to share the gifts of yoga throughout our community.
It’s with deep gratitude that I say thank YOU for making this year’s harvest colorful and abundant.