Autumn is the season of transformation. We can see this all around us in nature – the leaves are falling, the air is getting cooler and we are harvesting an entirely new crop of fruits and vegetables.
As the season changes, it is important that we change with it by adapting our daily habits, yoga practice and food choices. Remember – it is only through change that was can stay grounded during this shifting season!
Farewell to Summer
Goodbye to the longer days filled with sunshine and energy. As the trees shed their leaves and go back into the earth, we are also afforded the opportunity to draw in, retreat, reflect and reconnect by releasing the stuff we don’t need. Because with endings also come new beginnings. We are part of a bigger cycle.
Naturally we are connected to our environments and this is a potent time for contemplation, with visual symbolism all around. Take autumn leaves and colours for example, the ample reds, oranges, yellows and some greens – all representing the lower chakras – synonymous with the more primal and downward moving energies via the root, sacral and solar plexus. We are grounding baby!
Self-care Tips For a Glowing Autumn
Sticking to a consistent self-care routine is difficult at the best of times. But when it’s cold and dark outside and there seems to only be about two hours of daylight every day for months on end, a lot of people tend to succumb to the ‘winter blues’. This usually means they put self-care on the back-burner. Big mistake! It is exactly when your energy level is likely to go down that you need to take care of yourself more.
Savour the sunlight
Tempting as it may be to hunker down indoors when it gets chilly, sunlight helps sync your body with the natural rhythm of the changing weather. Natural light lets your brain and your hormones know when it is time to wake or go to sleep. When natural light hits your retina, it sends a direct message to your brain that triggers alertness. A few minutes outside, even on a cloudy day, provides tangible benefits.
Let it go
Autumn is a great time to take off some of the layers that are weighing us down, simply because they are heavy. This is a time for rebalancing after more intense work, turning inwards and becoming more attuned to the changing season. We have a chance to release the past and look forward with more clarity and prepare for the coming winter. Let go and trust.
Stay hydrated and moisturise
Just because you may not FEEL like you’re sweating in autumn, doesn’t mean that you’re not. Remember, you’re wearing about 15 layers… You still need to drink at least two litres of water every day to keep your body, skin, hair and brain in top working order.
What’s more, the dryness of the air and indoor heating can seriously dry out your skin, so, as one dry-skinned girl to another, make sure to also keep up with your moisturising routine.
Moisturise at least twice a day and don’t forget, if it’s sunny, you still need to apply sunscreen.
Sync with nature
Notice the changes and shifts around you. Subtle but a really nice way to stay present during the transition. Stimulate your senses with smells and colours. If the weather allows, practice yoga outside and make the most of the fresh air and sunlight. Get creative!
Build a Foundation
Start your mornings in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) to feel grounded and steady during autumn’s unpredictability. Mountain Pose is solid and enduring and represents the potential for dealing with anything. It’s a reminder that you can cultivate a broader vision for your life. Build the pose from the ground up: Anchor your feet, stand tall, and hold your gaze at the horizon or into your own eyes in the mirror. Breathe mindfully for 5–10 breaths, or until you feel a sense of confidence. If at any point of the day you feel overwhelmed, revert to Mountain Pose for 5 more breaths.
During autumn, try to schedule your yoga practice at the same time every day and for the same length of time. This will help to build a routine and calm the chaotic ‘vata’ energy. Do yoga poses that focus on the lungs and large intestines, as these are the two organs associated with the fall season. After your practice, enjoy a long Savasana (Corpse Pose) to stabilize the moving energy of ‘vata’.