This time of year conjures up images of pumpkin spice lattes, apple orchard field trips, and harvesting summer's bounty. It happens to be one of my favorite times of the year because all of my senses are heightened - seeing the bright colors, smelling the fallen leaves, feeling my toes in cozy socks, tasting the vegetables from the garden, and hearing the sound of my kids playing outside. At the same time, this is the season when I find myself whirling like the fall winds and I have to be intentional with practices that ground me in the moment. Yes, it might be a pumpkin beverage...but generally, carving out time in my day to pause, drawn inward and be still helps me find balance.
The Autumn Equinox was on Monday, September 23. It signals a time when the days begin to shift from lightness to darkness and our world transitions from a time of summer fruitfulness to fall harvest. Shorter days mean less time for doing. More time for being still; being quiet. And just as the equinox is the planet’s point of balance between light and dark, hot and cold, we are invited to find balance in ourselves and our lives. The increased darkness is our invitation to turn toward the light within, to reflect on what hasn’t served us and to practice letting go. It’s a time to draw inward, dive deep into yourself, and refocus on what’s important and meaningful.
Seasonal changes remind us that the only constant in life is change. One way we can embrace change is by taking time for reflection and introspection. You might ponder one of the following questions:
"What has been my personal harvest? What seeds have I grown and what seeds have I not grown? Where am I holding back or letting fear keep me from succeeding? What would my body say if it were speaking to me? How can I honor what I am noticing in body and mind and make a change into this new season?
When I witness myself flying in all different directions in my mind and body, I practice my yoga. I plant my feet more firmly to the earth from my desk chair, I sit up a little taller and take three breaths in and out. Then, I bow inward to my inner light, my inner divinity and I breathe again. It might take a moment or two, but eventually when I have quieted the body and the mind, I find myself moving past worry, fear, stress or tiredness. I move forward with more purpose and poise.
It is not easy to slow down my friends. It is not easy to ground yourself in the moment and find stillness when everything around us is moving fast. But you can try. You can begin to do yoga in your own way and in your own time. Ground yourself. Draw inward. Be still. Embrace the changing of seasons - pumpkin spice and all!
Om Shanit. Om Peace.