It never ceases to amaze me when September rolls around, how our level of energy and activity increases, literally after a slow lazy August, the hustle and bustle of September has now rolled into full swing. However, with it, September brings cooler drier air and light blustery light winds which can stimulate our physical energy and make our minds a little overactive too.
Therefore, as we head towards the Autumn Equinox on 23rd Sept, it’s important to remind ourselves that this is the beginning of the Ayurvedic Vata season. Yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda is the Vedic science of living a life of optimal health and healing, in tune with Mother Nature, this means that seasonal changes can also affect physical and mental changes that we may experience within our bodies and minds too. Vata, which is a mix of the air and ether elements, is associated with Autumn and is linked to dryness, spontaneity, creativity, lightness, but also worry or anxiety. Too much Vata (lightness) in the air can therefore affect our ability to focus or bring on a feeling of being a bit scatterbrained, nervous or overwhelmed perhaps with excessive thoughts or chatter. An overload of Vata in the body may also affect appetite, joints, digestion or our skin may feel drier or more sensitive. Hence, at this time of the year, it’s important to really look after ourselves through diet, grounding exercises and mindfulness practices.
Grounding poses such as mountain pose, sitting chair pose and warrior poses root your feet into the earth, having a stabilizing effect whilst also building strength.
Balancing poses are also grounding as well as strengthening and give a great focus to body and mind.
Twists build heat and contribute to balancing our digestive system, they also revitalizing as well as balance the spine.
Prone backbends—bhujangasana (cobra pose) and dhanurasana (bow pose) are great to help stabilize and ground as well as warm the lower back.
Forward bends are the pinnacle poses of self-reflection and finding comfort. They cultivate the energy of turning inward, connecting more deeply to both what is happening in the body physically, and what is happening on a deeper emotional level. They offer us the opportunity to release muscular tension, let go of unhealthy movement patterns and reflect on how we feel in the present moment. As you move into a forward bend, your head is last to go, finally bowing down toward the body or the floor, drawing your attention away from the busy world around you and instead to inner quiet..
Lastly it’s great to finish your grounding practice with Viparita karani – AKA legs up the wall – this pose brings the parasympathetic nervous system into play and is therefore calming and very relaxing.
As a tree has no attachment to the leaves that fall from its branches in autumn, we too can let go of that which is no longer serving us. This allows us to move forward and rediscover ourselves amidst the quiet felt throughout our yoga practice….
Love B xxx