How to Change Up Your Yoga Practice for the Fall Season!
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The wind is changing bringing in the fall season. Albeit nature is so colorful this time of year, our minds and bodies aren't always ready for the change in weather and temperature. Change is good provided you can ease into it.
One of the best things to ground our mind and body this time of year is to connect to Mother Earth. It had a tremendous grounding quality that can offset the otherwise heavy "vata," one of the three doshas in the sister science to yoga known as Ayurveda. Vata corresponds to the element of air. With strong vata, you may notice you are more anxious, ringing in the ears, or difficulty focusing. Let's take a look at how you can move into the season of fall with a feeling of stability.
Mary Jane Kasliner
1. Grounding Your Body with Yoga Poses:
If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, try a yoga practice that includes a few grounding asanas, such as forward bends, that allow the mind and body to relax. Forward bends work more with the parasympathetic nervous system that calms the body instead of revving it up. Standing poses are also very good because you feel balanced throughout the body. Twists help to cleanse the body while pranayama and meditation have an overall calming impact.
2. Forward Folds: Focus on grounding the legs and feet deeply into the earth, also use breath and Uddiyana Bandha (belly pulling slightly up and inward) to allow the body to go deeper into the pose to relax the nervous system.
3. Seated Forward Fold: Ground the sit bones deeply into the earth, use the breath and Bandhas (locks) - squeeze the pelvic floor and lift the lower belly up and back, to go deeper. Better yet, try a restorative version of this pose using one or two blankets piled on the legs to support the torso while relaxing forward.
4. Half Lord of the Fish: This is a great pose to release toxins from the kidneys and liver while also grounding the body. Maintain a lifting action through the entire spine while twisting from the base and core.
5. Head to Knee Pose: This pose grounds and lengthens the body. The west side or back of body is brought to the light to thin out emotional imprints or samskaras.
6. Warrior 2: This pose is not only rooting to the earth but it taps into the solar plexus to move beyond fears and anxieties. Really root down through the padas (feet) and engage the pelvic floor as the arms move out from the heart space.
7. Eagle Pose: This pose pulls inward mimicking the element of metal strong this time of year. The standing leg roots and grounds the body into the earth, the supporting element of metal. The movement inward represents a journey towards higher consciousness.
8. Breathe: The best thing you can do to relieve stress and anxiety is to simply breathe. Make an effort to spend some time outdoors and breathe with the ebb and flow of the wind. The breath has a remarkable ability to slow down the mind and the physical body.
9. Ground Your Environment: It doesn't make much sense to focus just on ways to ground your body and ignore your environment. After all, your environment is simply the macrocosm of your body and therefore directly influenced by it. Here are a few simple tips to follow:
- Remove clutter. Clutter has a way to create chaos in the mind and the environment. Roll up your sleeves and really dig into what no longer serves you or your family.
- Refresh your landscaping by removing dead vegetation, raking the soil and adding rockery. Stones are stabilizing and grounding. Areas that support rockery are the northeast, southwest, northwest and west.
- Check in on the grounding earth areas of your home (northeast, center and southwest). This actually is referred to as the earth axis line in feng shui schematics. It is extremely important this line is not undermined by water (bathrooms, laundry facilities) or architecturally missing (odd floor plan shape). If these areas are compromised by water, then offset and restore stability by adding earth elements (earth colors such as beige, tan, brown, terra cotta, etc.) and stone materials (granite, slate, etc.). If a stairwell falls within this axis line, reinforce with earth color hues, mountain scenery in artwork and stone pedestal with stone statue on landing, if the room permits. If the northeast or southwest areas of the floor plan are compromised, add in extra energy through outdoor landscaping. Even strong upward lighting in those areas are very effective.
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