What is Seasonal Yoga?
Seasonal yoga is a dynamic practice that aims to help the practitioner stay in harmony with nature’s changing energies. The seasons change, and so does our practice, both on and off of the mat. In the summer, we have a lot of energy and are able to get out of bed and socialize until the early hours. But in winter, we need more TLC in order to combat the urge to hibernate. We seem to be influenced by our environment, and seasonal yoga practitioners will adjust their practice to match the changes in season.
Seasonal Yoga for Autumn
The autumn is the season for the metal element. It’s a time to gather and consolidate energy. After a busy summer, nature is slowing down in preparation for the long winter sleep. Our bodies also tend to do this. As nature slows down, the leaves turn a different color. Our bodies also begin to slow down to prepare for the long winter months.
In your yoga practice
It’s time to slow down the fall. Now is the perfect time to focus on your breath. Vinyasas can be dynamic, fun, and challenging. But we often sacrifice our breath in order to focus on the next pose. This is not a judgment, and, indeed, this isn’t always the case. But if you can relate to this, then slow down and try to simplify. Introduce moon flow into your practice. Do your research. I use a simple flow from the Child’s pose to Upward Facing Dog to Downward Facing Dog and back to Upward Facing Dog to the Child’s position. This version has your hands and feet in the same place, and you keep your arms straight (even if with soft elbows) during the transitions. Imagine your spine flowing from one posture to another like a wave.
This season, meditation and pranayama are the key practices.
This season, meditation and pranayama are the key practices. Concentrate on pranayamas such as the full yogic breathing and Maha pranayama. These two breathing techniques encourage the practitioner to be more aware of their breath while also reaping the benefits from increased oxygen levels. In the autumn, I enjoy guided yoga nidras and Chakra music meditation. Both can be found on YouTube and Spotify. Both of these recommended practices allow me to turn off my mind so I can focus on what needs to be done. Some people will react better to this than others. Give it a shot and see what you think.
You can eat your food.
If you’re in tune with your body, you don’t have to listen to anyone about what you eat. We are drawn to fresh, cold foods in the summer. As the weather gets cooler, however, we start to crave warmer, comforting food. In summer, fruit-heavy breakfasts may be appealing, but in the autumn, you may want to switch things up. Porridges can be a great way to fill up, warm you up, and give you energy for the day.
Tradition is not required. Experiment! I love quinoa porridge and wild rice porridge with almond or coconut cream. You can add whatever you like to this porridge. I love adding apple sauce as a sweetener but be creative.
When it comes to your food, consider the season. In today’s world, we can buy food from around the world at any time. While this is great (I still believe avocados in the middle of winter in Europe because I love them), I try to purchase foods in season. This time of year, root vegetables are delicious, and pumpkin has officially returned! Try out seasonal and local produce. Your body and the environment will both thank you.
It has been known for a long time that dairy products are responsible for mucus buildup in the body. You can reduce your dairy consumption or switch to goat or sheep milk, which is less likely to cause mucus. This time of year, when infection is always a possibility, we need to keep mucus away. Mucus is a perfect home for bacteria.
This time of year, your personal living space becomes very important. If you want your home to be a welcoming place, consider clearing out unwanted items. Do yourself a favor and do a small clearout. You can create a space that is safe and free for meditation by doing this.
Aromatherapy oils can be used to create a peaceful and calm environment. You have a wide range of options, but in the autumn, I would like to focus on Eucalyptus or Tea Tree. Eucalyptus can decongest the sinuses and relieve any seasonal problems. Tea Tree oil is anti-fungal, anti-viral, and helps with sinus congestion.
Enjoy the beauty of autumn and your body’s desire to slow down. Take care of yourself and your body by focusing on simplicity.