Now autumn is here, are you slowing with the season and making plans for a restful winter?
Have you taken time to take stock of what you’ve achieved this year, or are you still running at the same pace as you were in the summer? Too much on to stop for a moment?
When we give ourselves permission to pause, take a breath and attune to the rhythms of the natural world, we can learn how to balance our energy and experience an easy freedom in our lives.
Here’s some tips on how to feel good this autumn…
Just as the trees begin to shed their leaves to conserve energy, we too can start to let go of habits, patterns and behaviours that no longer serve us.
A period of cleansing, Autumn is a great time to declutter…
Clear out the clothes in your wardrobe that you no longer like or wear; ask yourself, “if I saw this in the shop today would I buy it?”. If the answer’s no, you know what you have to do!
Sort out that ever-growing pile of paperwork and either complete half finished tasks or make a conscious decision to put them aside until spring.
Calming the body and mind
In yoga, autumn is the season of vata; airy, dry, windy and cool – governing movement and activity. If we are out of balance, our mind can get whipped up by the winds, making us restless and erratic.
Chinese Medicine recognises this time of the year as being greatly influenced by the metal element, with the predominant meridians being the lung and large intestine, both of which influence the taking in and letting go on a physical, emotional and energetic level.
The lung meridian governs the entire respiratory system including nasal passages and throat, as well as skin and colon. As we move into the season where these meridians prevail, we may well find ourselves experiencing coughs and colds, as the immune system finds balance.
Stay in balance
Here’s a few simple things you can do to feel good this autumn:
- Encourage daily routine; aim to do key activities at the same time of day e.g. walking, eating, going to bed.
- Take a multi-vitamin with anti-oxidants to support your immune system.
- Historically, (in an agricultural society) autumn was a time to enjoy the harvest; you may notice that your appetite increases. Include warm foods in your diet that are high in protein and good fats, to maintain your internal reserves.
- Vata is aggravated by fast, aggressive forms of exercise so consider some slow, calming and grounding exercise such as walking, swimming, yoga or tai chi.
- Ensure you get plenty of fresh air. Breathe well, freeing your diaphragm with smooth, deep breaths – a good yoga class will help you learn how to breathe more effectively.
- Aid the body’s elimination process with dry skin-brushing.
- Try taking a relaxing bath, instead of a shower.
- Find a stillness practice that suits you such as meditation or mindfulness; let go of any old negativity.
Store away your va va voom!
Slowing down doesn’t equate to not achieving or progressing. It’s about being efficient with your energy and using it wisely.
Most of us have relationships, projects and responsibilities that cannot go on pause for the winter months, but we are invited to release what is not essential or no longer useful.
When we follow the energy cycles of the year in this way, just like nature herself, we can avoid becoming depleted over the winter months. Allowing us to burst back into life in the spring with renewed va va voom!
By Sam Burkey, yoga and wellness coach – Bristol, Bath and the Cotswolds