3 Ways to Rock Your Yoga Practice in Autumn
As the leaves start to fall and we turn to sweaters over bikinis, our yoga practice should undergo a shift with the autumn season as well. Here are three ways to invite the transitional season of fall into your yoga.
1) Get Grounded
Traditional yoga is deeply connected to the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda, a Hindu understanding of health and medicine. In Ayurveda, the fall is a time of shifting and transition, a time when the vayus (winds) are high and we often feel unsettled or spacey. According to Ayurveda, our yoga practice should shift in the fall season to a more grounding practice. All the pranayama and asana we do should keep us connected to the earth and out of the clouds. This is because according to Ayurveda, fall is dominated by ‘vata’ energy which is brittle, rough, airy and changeable.
2) Fire Up Agni
Now that the temperature outside has grown cooler, honor your body’s need to warm up at the beginning of your yoga practice. Take the time to ensure you build heat from the inside out so you can really dive into your asana practice safely. This may mean showing up to your yoga class early to get a few down dogs in before your teacher starts the practice. By giving your body the time to start it’s internal fire (this is called ‘agni’ in yoga), you increase your body’s ability to metabolize the rich foods we crave when the cold creeps in like heavy carbs, rich stews, and creamy desserts.
3) Embrace Change
Remember when fall was symbolic of going back to school? Come back to this excited/nervous feeling of transition and perhaps use this to inspire a shift in your yoga practice. What can you do this fall to (pumpkin) spice up your yoga? Maybe you try out a new class you’ve never tried before. Maybe you check out a new studio. Maybe you simply make it your mission to nail a pose you’ve never felt confident in before. Whatever your intention, use the transition in the seasons to effect your practice and watch as your shift in practice effects your perspective.
In most parts of the world, it’s impossible to ignore the transition of the seasons. And why would you want to? Use your yoga practice to connect with nature’s magic and warm yourself up to fall.