This year, it hasn’t really felt quite like the entrance into autumn. The weather is more like a beautiful July day. Today we took one of our usual walks down to the dog park and pond near our home. In the months when it is warm enough, we just love going down this path to enjoy nature and the beauty of the earth right next to our bustling subdivision. The swans come in the summer, they are magical creatures. There is a majestic heron who we are lucky enough to witness gracefully floating down into his watery home on many occasions. The ducks, the geese, the beaver, bunnies and the dragon flies are around us when we slowly walk around the loop. Our little quick bunny friend I snapped a picture of was so fast that it came out a bit blurry, lol.
This evening was particularly beautiful. I knew that today was the equinox and as we walked, I thought about what that means for us in the months to come. The darkness will come, the cold and a change in our routine in many senses. Apple picking, pumpkin patching and crisp evenings are on the way.
As an Ashtanga Yoga practitioner, I am keenly aware of the cycle of the moon. We observe the new and full moon and do not practice on these energetically potent days. Tied to the earth in so many obvious and more subtle ways, it is part of the practice to become cognizant of how these cycles affect our bodies in an acute fashion. The daily breath and movement I experience allows for this awareness to grow slowly over time.
Yoga poses that were easier and more in tune with the vibrations of summer don’t feel quite the same. These are backbends and opening postures. The natural warmth of summer helps muscles to easily warm up and I find my more difficult postures come more readily. Autumn gives way to the strength and inwardness of folding forward and earthy poses like kurmasana and baddha konasana. Though we don’t change what we practice as do the seasons, poses feel different in my body.
I find that as the cold and dark come, my body feels more stiff. I need to focus more deeply on my breath and creating the internal heat necessary for my practice seems to take longer. When Ashtanga first found me, it was 5 Surya Namaskara a and 5 surya Namaskara b which we practiced before the standing series. Later, it changed to 5 a and 3 b. I find that after the equinox, I generate more adequate heat by doing the 5 a and 5 b. In winter, as a home practitioner, this is what I do much of the time. I use a heater almost all year round, but I find it necessary as the weather turns cooler. A little added warmer!
I do an evening practice sometimes, when my day is too busy to find a morning time. This week, I did an evening practice and was disappointed by the lack of evening sun. I had to close my blinds so my neighbours behind me wouldn’t wonder what was going on over here, lol. Because it was a couple of weeks since my last evening practice, it was very noticeable how much had changed in our daylight hours.
Soon it will be time for pumpkins and Halloween costumes. Every year the changes are more or less the same. I welcome our new autumn season and look forward to the beauty and rhythm of change to come in the months ahead. Best Autumn Equinox and season to all, enjoy this time of earthly change. Winter is coming!
Love & Light,