As the seasons change, we become more susceptible to stress, illness, and a general feeling of ‘bleugh’. Autumn has a different energy compared to Summer, and it’s important to realise and respect this as we work with our bodies.
Autumn brings with it colder weather and darker nights, but also the chance to re-charge our batteries as we take time to recover from all the Summer adventures. Autumn is also dominated by the Vata dosha, which governs the energy of change and movement in the body. The qualities of Vata are dry, cold, rough, and irregular, and when these qualities are dominant, we’re particularly likely to feel easily overwhelmed and scattered. The predominance of the energy of Vata means it’s time to develop a practice that grounds us, builds heat, and calms our nervous system. Here’s a few tips to think about when building your Yoga sequence:
- Increase strength and resilience to see you through the Winter months
- Boost your immune system
- Up your endorphins and happiness levels
- Take time to observe how you’ve developed throughout the past year, and realise if there’s anything you’re still clinging to that could be let go of now.
- Be mindful. Awareness of nature; the colours, smells, textures and tastes that arrive at this time of year helps us to be a lot more present. There’s so much happening around us to notice and be thankful for!
Ardha Matsyendrasana / ‘Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose’
Twists are thought to be ‘detoxifying’ as they help to massage the internal organs and encourage the muscles of the back to both strengthen and release. When we’re feeling anxious, the muscles of the upper back especially tend to hold a lot of tension, so use this twist to bring some life back into the spine, and energy to the back muscles.
Strength and stamina are two things we’ll need to see us through the colder months. When colds and flu are flying around, having a strong body (and actually, also a strong mind) will help keep us healthy and vibrant. This posture also builds heat in the body, which is much needed to combat the coldness of Vata and Autumn.
This backbend works on so many levels to improve our wellbeing in Autumn; for one thing, it’s fun, which is especially important for boosting our endorphins at this time of year. Secondly, backbends un-do that ‘Winter hunch’ that gradually begins to creep in at this time of year, opening out the heart, shoulders, lungs and back.
Padmasana or Sukhasasa / Lotus Pose or ‘Easy Pose’
A comfortable seated position and a few minutes a day can do wonders for our peace of mind. Take some extra time for your meditation practice, and turn your focus towards how you feel from day-today. Be aware of how your actions effect your wellbeing, and observe how your body changes with the seasons.
Stay healthy, happy and vibrant throughout the Autumn by including these postures in your daily practice!