As we enter into the fall equinox, we enter a time where we not only harvest produce, but also a time where we take stock of our own personal harvest. It is a time to celebrate the work that you’ve done this year and acknowledge everything that you’ve manifested. It is also a time to turn inward and rebalance after all of that hard work. After the intense energy of the dog days of summer, I welcome this slowing down of time with a fall yoga routine.
I think a lot about the trees at this time of year. In herbalism we regard the trees as our elders, deeply rooted in the earth and full of rings of knowledge. As the trees turn beautiful colors and start to lose their leaves, there is a lot to learn from them. We want to drink lots of water, learn to be bendy, and just like the trees shed their leaves we can shed our mistakes, regrets, and heartbreaks from the year. This is a new day. We breathe in and out in a beautiful synchronicity with the trees. Without them there would be no us. Sitting under a large tree is the perfect place to meditate or practice yoga.
Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. -F Scot Fitzgerald
I also find myself more in touch with my lunar side at this time of the year. I find it fun to incorporate more moon and “Halloweeny” type poses into my yoga routine such as moon salutations or the moon stretch. Dead bug is also a great addition.
For those who are pressed for time, a mini routine with just two poses, the plow and the corpse, can be extremely refreshing and beneficial. The plow is a good yoga pose for the fall. It can help with headaches, sinus congestion, constipation, indigestion, depression and strengthens the immune system; all issues that can creep up on us at this time of year.
- Lie on your back with your arms beside you, palms downwards.
- inhale and use your abdominal muscles to lift your feet off the floor, raising your legs at a 90 degree angle.
- Support your hips and back with your hands, and gently lift them off the ground.
- Allow your legs to fall over your head till your toes touch the floor. Your feet may not touch the floor and that’s ok. Just allow them to go as far as is comfortable without bending your knees. Do not push yourself.
- With each breath allow yourself to further relax in this position.
- After about a minute (or less if you need to) of resting in this pose, exhale and gently bring your legs down slowly.
- Feel the lengthening and stretching in your spine. Stay in this position to transition into the corpse pose to end your routine.
The corpse is a relaxing and restorative pose.
Tip: To begin, cover up with a blanket if you wish. (As you relax you might start to feel chilly.)
- Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms at your sides. Rest your hands about six inches away from your body with your palms up. Relax your feet. Close your eyes.
- Breathe normally.
- Imagine your body sinking heavily into the ground.
- Starting at your feet, wiggle them gently and then relax, feeling them get heavier and heavier. Do this for each body part the whole way up to your head.
- Relax your face. Notice your jaw and allow it to relax.
- It is suggested to stay in this pose for thirty minutes, but as a mom with littles I would consider 5 minutes a success!
- To end the pose start to gently wiggle your toes and fingers, your arms and legs. Roll to your right side and then sit up in a comfortable seated position. Take a few moments to notice the peace and stillness of this pose.
During the corpse pose, I like to listen to The Moon Song. It is from a CD from the Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, called A Basket of Plums. The Moon Song (#3) is one of my favorite songs for for this time of year.
I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. -L.M. Montgomery
Incorporating this mini yoga routine with help you to sink more into the new season, naturally coming into its slower pace. You will feel more relaxed and peaceful, plus you will experience a multitude of health benefits!
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