Last week my husband and I were super sick and home bound. Weeks ago my toddler and Mother in law were sick, so this week as no Tylenol, herbal remedies or tissues were being passed around, I feel almost back to normal. As my toddler and I went for our morning walk after dropping Ryan off at school earlier this week, I noticed the trees in my neighborhood are still green with a little yellowing at the edges. October's air is chilly and damp enough to now call it sweater season and sadly it is time to say farewell to flip flops and sandals.
|Sweater, vintage Banana Republic, tights with a booty cover www.forever21.com, scarf, gifted|
Ayurveda (pronounced A-your-vay-duh) a natural medicinal practice from southern India calls this season, fall- mid winter, the Vata season. It is characterized by mobility, lightness and expansiveness. In other words the cooler crisp winds that can spin loose leaves in a whirlwind and sweep them off to a new space can easily be done to our energy during autumn. For this reason we now need to add warmth, stability, grounding and focus to our yoga practice and lifestyle to pacify our system.
Here are a few Ayurveda inspired pointers for your yoga practice during the Vata season:
* Fix your gaze on the horizon as often as possible. This is more grounding than gazing up towards the sky.
* Focus on lengthening your inhales and shortening your exhales. This will warm and ground you.
|Earrings www.forever21.com, shoes www.ninewest.com|
*Practice at a slow and steady pace.
*Explore fluidity in your poses with undulations of the pelvic and rotator joints such as the shoulders and hips. A big tip is to do a counter pose directly after a pose. This will ground your energy and keep you warm.
*Hold postures for a short amount of time and do multiple reps.
*As you move imagine you are moving from the neck down in a pool of warm water. This visualization will keep you fluid and steady.
*When you hold poses for a short amount of time focus on hugging your muscles onto your bones as you exhale. As you inhale feel yourself expand high and wide.
*Focus on the foundation of your poses to create stability. Use blocks under your hands if your hands don't touch the floor with ease.
*When standing ground all four corners of your feet onto the floor.
*Because our energy can be scattered as a result of the extra cold wind in the air as well as having to complete projects to end the year, try not to practice beyond your limit. Think opposite of what we do during spring training when we exert our energy. On the days you feel out of sorts opt for a slower and restorative practice or go to a Basics or Level 1 class to ground your energy.
*Be sure to dress in layers for your yoga practice. Peel them off as you heat up and cover back up as you cool down and rest in savasana/final relaxation pose.
We have a long dark and cold season ahead of us. Refer back to these notes when you're feeling your practice needs warmth, focus and grounding. As for your diet add more chai lattes and soups to it. Also you can check out my Ayurveda for fall-mid winter page for more easy to follow Vata season lifestyle tips.