I love autumn (“Fall”), a time of dramatic transformations, beautiful colours, bountiful harvests, oh and long boots and snuggly jumpers! However, as the temperatures fall and the evenings draw in, I notice a change in energy, the energy of summer slowly begins to fade away and is replaced with a need to slow ourselves down, to rest more and to do less vigorous activities. Just as nature is experiencing change, so are we, it becomes harder to motivate ourselves to exercise, often preferring to curl up in the evenings, watching a movie rather than going to a yoga class or the gym!
I know exactly how you feel, we all feel like that sometimes, but there are 3 things I do which help me transition from hot, balmy summers in to the cooler months of autumn & the harsh reality of winter.
First, be aware of the changing seasons, actually acknowledge the shift in energy, Mother Natures and you own, take time to understand how you physically & mentally respond to dealing with these changes. Maybe you get tired & run-down, get more colds & virus's or maybe you become more stressed & argumentative at this time of year. However your body reacts to this change treat yourself with kindness, allow your body to be nurtured and show yourself some love & compassion.
When exercising try not to fight against these seasonal changes by performing challenging or complex yoga sequences instead acknowledge and accept how your feeling and nurture these feelings with a more balanced practice. If you are feeling rundown don’t ignore these initial warning signs & continue with your hectic lifestyle, it will only increase your stress and anxiety & your immune system will weaken and fatigue & illness may set in. In other words, listen to your body & look after yourself, so that you can in turn look after those around you (i.e.. your kids who will pick up every bug going in the playground!!)
Instead of constantly challenging yourself, try to include more grounding poses within your practice, these will help stabilise your body & your emotions. Try to focus your attention towards your posture, keeping your heart space open and not allowing your shoulders to slouch. Try practicing Trikonasana, commonly known as Triangle Pose, for a few minutes each day, to help open up the chest & heart space. During Autumn Trikonasana is my favourite posture, it develops my strength, balance & flexibility & provides me with a sense of well-being by grounding me to the earth. As well as relieving stress and helping me to be calmer with the kiddies(!) it also warms my body up & gets my heart pumping so I feel the endorphins kick in without having to push myself too much when my body needs a bit of down time.
I try to draw my attention inwards a lot more at this time of year which I believe helps prepare my body & mind for the shorter & colder days of winter & as a result my practice becomes far more reflective. I am also very aware to eat seasonal foods, the traditional science of Ayurveda teaches us to change our diets according to the seasons and I strongly agree with this philosophy. My body needs a lot more nourishing this time of year far more than just the wonderful salads of the summer months so roasted seasonal veggies are always a welcome accomplishment to any meal in my house at this time of year.
Therefore to summarise, having acknowledged that the closer we come to winter the slower and more gentle our practice should be, try & make minor adjustments to your yoga practice and to the foods you eat so that you can hopefully improve your physical and mental well-being in the colder months. Essentially making only a few small changes will help with the transition from summer to winter.
Now pour yourself a cup of hot cinnamon tea and welcome in those beautiful autumnal days! :)
Good Luck, I hope this helps xx
Like this article? Subscribe to my monthly newsletter for more blogs :)