The days are getting shorter as the sun is growing dimmer. The songs of the birds have grown quieter and the buzzing sounds of the cicadas have dampened down. From my view of the woods outside of my windows at home, I set my gaze on dried out brown and golden leaves twirling like helicopters as they make their way towards the ground. Summertime here in the Northeast is coming to a close and I am beginning to feel this shift on an extremely visceral level.
Change is good. Change is inevitable. Change is the one thing in life we know we can count on for sure. I embrace change with open arms. EXCEPT for the change of season this time of the year. I know many of you look forward to the Fall like a kid in a candy store, surrounded and mesmerized by all of the vibrant colors, scents and tastes of sugary sweets abound. But not me. This seasonal transition brings about a certain degree of internal grief and melancholy that forces me to look within and reflect in more thoughtful and careful ways. This is not at all a bad thing, per se, but it certainly is a change that requires more effort on my part to stay attuned to my own inner world in my quest for balance.
The rhythms of my body and mind are asking me to pay attention in different and greater ways than what was required of me in the Summer. I can no longer rely on the intensity of the sun for my boosts of energy, even though I still have just as many (if not more) obligations to fulfill. My anxiety is heightened, my brain is scattered, my skin is beginning to dry out just like the leaves on the trees, and worst of all, flip flops are on their way out. Say it isn't so! This means wool socks and boots are in my very near future. So very confining.
Thanks to my self - care practices, relief is only a reach away. I would love to share with you some of my Fall rituals that help keep me warm, balanced, and grounded during this time of the year. Maybe you too could use some of these suggestions.
1. WALKING MEDITATION - Nature heals. Because I begin to feel a sense of loss and mourning this time of the year, my soul needs more nurturing than usual. I have found walking meditation during the Fall to be extra healing. I notice the leaves on the trees, I watch them fall to the ground, I pick one leaf up at a time to trace my finger along the veins, I feel the texture, I notice the colors, the spots and the jagged edges. I connect to the leaves as though they are a part of me (because they are) and honor this process of dying, shedding the old, moving on and letting go. I recognize the impermanence in all things, in myself, in life. I embrace the decaying of nature the same as I do the decaying of my old self. And when I do this, I open myself up to all that will be new for me again.
2. YOGA & BREATHING PRACTICES - Yoga always. Especially now. Particularly grounding practices with the intention of bringing love and gratitude for myself, for others and for the changes all around. I prefer moving slower through my practice one pose at a time with longer holds. Here is a mini sequence that feels good in my body for grounding:
Child's Pose to Downdog to Mountain
Warrior 1 to Warrior 2 to Triangle to Wide Legged Forward Fold to Pyramid - REPEAT on other side
Tree Pose to Yoga Squat (malasana) to Supported Bridge (with block under sacrum) to Legs up a Wall (viparitakarani) to Savasana
3. WARM BATHS/ BODY OILING/ SELF MASSAGE - I use almond oil or sesame oil all over my body before bed and/or after a warm bath or shower. I even put oil in the bath water and massage it into my skin while in the water. I reapply after my bath. This is a great way to combat my dry skin, leaving my skin smooth and supple.
4. DIETARY CHANGES & TEA TIME - I incorporate root vegetables and warm soups into my diet, while trying to avoid foods that are on the dry side. This helps me stay warm, supports my skin, and helps me stay grounded in my body and mind. Also, a warm mug of tea goes a long way in keeping me warm and is a the perfect reminder to slow down and savor the moment.
While Fall time may be a difficult transition for myself and for some of you, it truly is an opportunity to shift gears, to listen more deeply, to turn inward, tune into the natural rhythms of nature, and to take greater care of ourselves. So, bring it on Fall. I am ready for you and all you have to offer!
Remember, as your Health and Wellness Educator, I am here to support you, your children and your family. Be sure to check out these Fall Inspired Yoga and Mindfulness Practices for Children, Families and Educators and be inspired in the present moment together!
I am excited to announce that I will be offering a Fall Wellness Retreat for Women at West End Yoga Studio on October 30th. This half - day wellness program is designed especially for mamas, educators and caregivers. I would love to spend this day with you! For more details and to register, click here.
Also, another offering for women only at West End Yoga is the next Kick - Ass Female Entrepreneur Event: Move, Meditate and Mingle. This free meet up takes place on September 26th at 7 pm. Click here for more details. Come check out the studio and meet other women in your community!
Additionally, I offer weekly adult yoga classes at West End Yoga Studio, and weekly children's yoga classes throughout Lancaster county at different early education centers and schools. Grow Wise Programs in schools also support school educators and staff.
Lastly, I am available to work with you as your very own personal Wellness Mentor. Schedule a free Wellness Consultation with me now and receive a special gift to get you started on cultivating greater well - being and happiness for yourself and discover the ripple effect this will have on your loved ones.
I look forward to staying connected to you in all things wellness. And may you transition well throughout this Fall season.