Times are A-Changing & forward bending into it
|Moving forward into Autumn while staying grounded by exercising my first 3 chakras with seated forward bends.
The Fall Equinox has come and gone this past Friday September 23rd. Equinox is not just the name of a fancy gym chain found in America's big cities like New York City, Los Angeles and Miami rather classically the word equinox refers to when the sun's light is equal in length to the night's darkness. My Irish ancestors called this day Mabon, the witch's Thanksgiving, a great day to cook the second harvest's feast and celebrate the last quarter of the year's bounty with friends and family at night.
I'm crossing my fingers hoping that most of my late winter and early spring seeds come to life by this year's end.
Along with our day's light in balance this period also ushers in the sun moving into the astrological air sign, Libra. Libra possesses the quality of balance. If you are a lawyer or if you've ever been to one maybe you're familiar with the female image in Grecian garb who is blind folded holding a scale. Her name is Justice. She radiates the good old concept of compromising. In addition to sitting in the middle and being fair Libra's at least those that I know have tons of style and love to socialize.
|I've always felt cat prints look their best weeks before Halloween. Lightweight scarf http://www.oldnavy.com/
With fall's winds gently caressing us with cooler air I'm now collecting all my never to wear again beat up flip flops, sandals, tanks, tights and worn to death summer tunics and dresses that no longer make me twirl around in my closet and feel inspired to creatively redesign them with accessories.
You see part of what makes the Glamorous Yogini a Yogini and not just a Glamorous gal is that she doesn't attach herself to physical objects. She understands that as quick or as slow she obtains something fabulous it also disappears. A new top you bought before yoga class and wear becomes any old top merely hours after wearing it for the first time.
So with this being said, felt and understood...nothing lasts forever...as you Fall-ize your closet be sure to give away your summer duds that no longer serve and excite you. If you keep your never to wear again stuff not only are you hoarding you're also fooling yourself that you'll wear it again one day. Why keep the extra clutter that no longer serves you and gets in the way in the morning as you ask yourself "What will I wear today?"
My suggestion is not to sell it but give it away to someone in need. If you don't know who would want your old stuff then find an organization in your community to give your newly vintage wardrobe away to. Try the Salvation Army, a church or a charity box hidden in the corner of a gas station or your local super market.
Just do it with the exception of handing out your old undies and dirty socks. Know that all you give away will grace another lovely lady like yourself.
|High waisted wide legged blue denim jeans http://www.forever21.com/
Now that you've cleared some congestion out of you're closet's space it is now time to develop a color and style story line for the coming season. This means look at everything you own already. Yes, everything. This includes winter and spring-summer wear. Flip through a few current fashion magazines. I suggest www.luckymag.com magazine. Then go outside, inspect Mother Nature and get some inspiration. Tune into your area's average weather range for the next month or two and finally, be practical. What I mean by the annoying word prac-ti-cal is, if you know you're not going to any awesome high-glam parties soon don't waste time planning out some sort of gala wardrobe theme.
I plan out my styling for the coming month or so ahead of time not only because it makes my closet look like chic boutique's rack that I can't wait to dive into and try on everything... Were you a hard core let's play dress up kind of girl when you were 7 like me? The reality for me is, I carefully organize my frocks because my life is beyond busy managing my 1 year old baby, 13 year old son, husband and career. I love color and style, always have and always will, I feel it nourishes my soul like taking a daily multi-vitamin and practicing Sun Salutations.
|A wilting but still yellow sunflower
My favorite part of this process is going outside and seeing what's in full bloom, fading away, taking in the color of the sky, water and earth. I even notice which animals pop out and great me. One season I kept on seeing turtles, did I mention I live in New York City? Seeing turtles in this asphalt jungle is a rare find. I believe they were guiding me to slow down. That season I picked up a vintage turtle shaped jade broach at an Upper West Side Flea Market to catch both ends of my scarves as well as diving into my meditation practice.
This season I'm seeing groundhogs. What do I do with this? Wear brown, hibernate and dig deep? I'm a Scorpio sun sign, if you are too then this just might feel a little appealing for the cold days of winter ahead.
|The last of late summer's pink splendor and perfectly blue sky.
|It is sunset season. The sun is saying goodbye earlier and earlier each evening.
When the temperature permanently drops I'll add more shades of brown to my wardrobe, shed the pinks, yellow and blue denim. By Halloween, the Northern Hemisphere's darkest of days, I'll be wearing black most of the time until the sun's rebirth December 21st, the Winter Solstice.
|Sun flower yellow check top http://www.oldnavy.com/ bright yellow tank http://www.forever21.com/
Every fall just about when school starts I lean my posture choreography towards forward bending. I do so because our schedules whether we're in school or not tend to change and become more effort driven than they were during the hottest days of summer.
Our legs, our organs of action and mobility get us to where we need to go and put feet on fulfilling our wishes as well as collecting this year's harvest. You don't need to be a farmer in the traditional sense of the word to collect this year's bounty. Instead as we move into the last quarter of the year practice moving forward on the yoga mat by bending your body forward, get out there off the yoga mat with healthy legs and get your dreams moving.
As you move forward and onward be sure to watch your ego. The physical posture practice of dropping your head into your legs while doing seated forward bending postures will encourage you to calm your mind, watch your breath and create the space you crave not only in your back body but as well as your mind. Observing yourself while you forward bend each day will help you determine whether or not what you are putting feet on this season is coming from your head or your heart.
|Subtle cat's eye sunglasses http://www.forever21.com/
My advice whether you're sitting in a yoga posture or reaching out to a perspective employer is to make sure you check into whether or not your heart's wisdom is leading the way. Recently friends of mine have been encouraging me to have new business cards made, start a fashion line and so on. My head agrees with them full on however I haven't done any of this yet because I haven't received any heart felt guidance to go out there and do it. When I do, trust me I will have some chic business cards made and threads ready to wear.
If you take a look at me in the picture above you will notice how I'm aiming my heart center towards the sun. Doing this along with the gently bound hand behind my back, opens the front of my shoulders and creates space in my upper chest to receive some heartfelt guidance infused with a little sunlight.
|Brown accessories ground my outfit like the few dry brown leaves on the green grass.
They key to creating a healing seated posture is to firm up and ground down into your foundation. Think of an old tree with roots so deep and wide that you see the tree's roots many feet away from the tree's trunk popping up to be seen on the ground's surface. Sink both right and left hips into the earth. If that's difficult, fold up a blanket and sit on the edge of it. This will create a downward slope for your tail to ground into and your body to fold over.
As I side bend here it is tempting to go deeper and lift my left hip off the ground. In the spirit of Libra's reign as she sits in the Sun while balancing two scales, exhale the left hip downwards and flex into the left ankle to secure yourself down.
|Vintage gold bangle gifted by my Mother in law, brown tortoise ring http://www.accessorize.com/, thin woven belt http://www.forever21.com/
As I inhale I open my side ribs like an accordion taking in air, gently grab hold of the back of my neck and I gaze past my bent elbow towards the vast blue sky above.
|One of this season's personal faves, the heeled Granny Oxford http://www.forever21.com/ I'm wearing nude knee highs to keep my feet blister free.
Depending on the day, where I sit in my hormonal moon cycle and what I ate the night before I either keep my head supported with my hand or I move deeper into the posture by reaching towards my foot maybe even touching it. If you grab hold of your foot make sure you can still breathe with ease. If not then you're no longer practicing yoga and you're in gym mode. You know what I mean... huffing and puffing while you grin and grunt in the pose. Keep your yoga flowing by always working just before your pain threshold. If you can catch a toe and smile with your body like a dog then bend both elbows and peek your gaze and heart towards the clouds. Dogs can't smile like us but you sense them smiling when they do. This is what I'm suggesting to find in your body.
|A seated side bend is a great pose to practice to develop more elastic waistline skin.
Side bending is great for combating a sluggish digestive system. Once your body becomes less constipated you just might notice stepping out into your life will become less blocked.
Smile your knee caps. The translation to this cue I feel is necessary. When your face is not smiling less facial muscles are working. Smile and feel in your face the difference between smiling and not smiling. When you're seated in a straddle position like this one it is so easy to let your knee caps soften and legs roll in. When you gently flex at your knee caps and they smile you keep the posture's proper alignment as well as fresh blood and oxygen pumping through your legs. Mindfully using our muscles in areas we would normally over look is where the magic of yogic exercises comes in and facilitates our physical healing like no other. Be sure to keep your heels on the ground as you smile your kneecaps.
Twisting insures activating the third chakra. The area below the sternum and above the navel. The 3rd chakra is often referred to as our sun center. Here sunlight comes into our body and brings light to our dreams and will power. This center is where our ego is born.
I find combining seated twisting postures and seated side bends along with seated forward bends are a wonderful trio combination of postures to observe the ego part of our consciousness. I feel this way because when we sit there's a calm mood that comes through our body's consciousness. You no longer feel the need to balance on one foot or feel the burn in your thighs as you stand in a lunge. As we sit our body becomes quieter and our mental chatter, our ego, becomes more obvious.
To tame the ego my suggestion is to fixate your consciousness on one thing at a time. Try watching your next inhale, then your exhale. If you forget start over. You'll hear thoughts but then go back to watching your breath. Once you grab hold of watching your breath then link your breath to synchronize watching as you inhale how your upper chest lifts and expands followed by your exhale creating space in your mid body to twist deeper into your posture. As you practice it is human to forget watching your breath and body and let your mind take over and disappear into the past, sit in judgment or mentality go through your day's tasks ahead but you know what... you can start over by watching your next inhale.
As you do, on your next exhale twist a little deeper as you work towards wringing out the ego's full throttle ahead or stuck in the past energy as you sit in the moment at hand and hear the whispers of your highest consciousness' truth coming through.
|Vanilla colored nails
As you move out of your deep twist and into your forward bend keep an echo of your last twist in your rib cage as you fold over your extended leg.
While you're calming your brain and watching your breath keep both sitting bones on the earth. Using your muscles to root your hips down into the earth will exercise your root chakra which houses our anxieties about basic physical survival. This includes food, our home, safety, money and our relationships with Mom, Dad and our children.
As you sit in this pose notice if your mind meanders into any of these topics.
After a few moments take your chin away from your chest, gaze forward with your chest at your leg's shin and exhale space into your middle back pocket, your sacrum. The sacral area sits behind our reproductive body. Here is the home of our 2nd chakra. The energetic center which carries all emotions related to our sexuality. Energy from your first kiss sits here as well as when your partner cheated on you, you were sexually abused, raped in addition to memories of that fabulous partner you've experienced or still have in your life.
The 2nd chakra also possesses the energy from where our creativity is born. No surprise that the 2nd chakra is the center from where we create and gestate a baby's fetus. The book you want to write, the meal you want to cook, the closet you want to redesign... can be done however, you need to feel emotions you may have felt while reading these words about the 2nd chakra. Breathe in what you feel, exhale and slowly release what doesn't serve you as you open up to healing and eventually freeing this area. Imagine radiant spinning orange light running through your reproductive area.
The next time you do seated twists, side bends and forward bends keep in mind sunset colors and see them as lights spinning freely throughout your lower body.
Red- our 1st root chakra
Orange- our 2nd sacral chakra
Yellow-our 3rd solar plexus (above our navel) chakra
You can't go wrong wearing these colors this Fall season as we bid farewell to the sun.