I recently ran a workshop titled Yin Yang Seasonal Series: Autumn focussed on working with the seasonal energies through a balanced yoga practice. Living in the country, closer to nature in an area where the change of seasons is so evident I have found myself picking up on this energy more easily.
Autumn is a time for transitioning from the more yang, outgoing season of summer to the inward focussed season of winter. In Traditional Chinese Medicine this season relates to the element of Metal (or Air) and the organ Lungs and so it is also a time to focus on nourishing our respiratory system and looking after our immune system. At this time of year the trees and plants around us are letting their leaves and fruits fall and allowing them to nourish the ground beneath. Similarly we can draw our own energy in and take this opportunity to take stock of the year we have had so far, learn and nourish ourselves from our experiences and let go of anything no longer serving us.
Our yoga practice can too move from a yang practice of strong heat building sun salutations to a more restorative, slower flow taking the opportunity to listen deeply and turn our attention inward. This is a great time to practice a mindful slow flow style (short video coming soon!) or Yin poses that focus on the Lung and Large Intestine meridian such as Wide legged Child’s Pose with a Twist, Sphinx Pose, Twisted Roots, Supported Pigeon/Sleeping Swan, Stirrup Pose/Happy Baby.
What we put into our bodies and how we go about our lives should also change with the seasons. As well as eating seasonally available fruits and vegetables this time of year goes hand in hand with:
- eating root vegetables (more grounding),
- eating warm foods,
- getting enough sleep (going to bed early and moving towards not waking with the sun anymore but allowing your body to wake naturally and later if needed),
- setting up a meditation practice if you don’t have one already,
- taking time out for yourself such as yoga class or retreat or a massage treatment,
- gentle exercise (perhaps reducing training slightly ready for slower winter program),
- treating yourself to immune boosting teas and snacks such as the ones below.
Warming Autumn Tea
- 1 Tbsp dry ginger root
- 4 Cardamon pods
- 1/2 Cinnamon stick
- Blend all ingredients together with a pestle and mortar.
- Add to warmed tea pot and pour over 2 cups boiling water.
- Let steep for 5 minutes.
Serves 4-6 in small teacups.
Immune Boosting Bliss Balls
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- zest of one large lemon
- juice of half a lemon
- 4 drops lemon food grade essential oil – I use DoTerra (*optional)
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- extra desiccated coconut for rolling in
- Place the ingredients into your processor in the order listed above and blend until the mixture resembles a sticky crumb. Use your hands to shape the mixture into balls. Roll the balls in the extra coconut and place in the fridge to set.
- Enjoy – easy!