3 YOGA Tips To Settle In For Autumn
Yep, It’s autumn. Nature is now in the full swing of it (think wind, dryness, crackling leaves) and as a result, so are our minds and bodies.
If you’ve been feeling a little anxious, nervous or plain flighty or unable to get good sleep at night then consider yourself perfectly normal for this time of the year.
Fortunately the science of Yoga provides lots great tools to bring balance and make life more tolerable. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the bounties the season provides! Think: Apple pies, jumping into piles of leaves, pumpkin soup, snuggling with a hot chocolate and a good book , so much. We just have to settle down enough to enjoy it.
Oh how we Australians love a diet. By diet, I don’t mean a prescriptive set of food
s to eat (or not eat), but a realistic plan for using your food as medicine. To calm the mind, emphasize warm, cooked foods. This is not the time of year for a raw cleanse. Look at what’s in season in your area and cook those foods with plenty of high-quality oils (sesame, sunflower, grapeseed, olive and most importantly, ghee).
Imbibe comfort foods your parents cooked for you that made you feel at home. Granted, some of us (sorry, mom and dad) ate a lot of those foods out of a can–try to avoid that, and instead think of whole food casseroles, soups and baked veggies. Try to limit processed, microwaved, pre-packaged food. In our modern life, this is hard. Fresh is better than frozen, frozen is better than canned. Do your best, knowing it’s a tall order.
Drink warm water throughout the day and sip spiced (not caffeinated) teas. Caffeine will aggravate the digestive system; use it judiciously.
Create some internal heat for yourself by moving more. Be mindful of What your body needs, if you are feeling frantic, movements that jumpy and frantic will not be helpful. Instead emphasize groundedness and fluidity in your movement.
If you practice yoga, avoid aggravating yourself with tricky poses or constant attempts to kick up to a handstand; avoid jumps in vinyasa practice. Instead, use fluid movement, with longer holds in poses to create heat.
Ask your self, “does your physical movement/practice make me feel more grounded?” If not, alter it.
It’s not all our fault -- our Western culture often doesn’t give room for adjusting to the seasons. Talking on the phone, driving (hopefully not at the same time), staring at a computer screen all keep the mind hyperactive.
We still need to do our jobs and no, you don’t have to give up your computer. However, can you balance those things with things that give some peace?
For example, if you work on a computer most of the day schedule in 5-10 minute respites every hour or two to do some chair yoga, get up and walk outside or even subtly notice your breath.
I’ve found that during this season scheduling your day is incredibly helpful. Particularly if you can develop a routine that includes time to restore your resilience (by stepping outside, making tea, eating a home-cooked meal, reading, etc.) you will build up your stores so you don’t run on empty all the time.
So take some time to relax and unwind, re organise your life and take some time to contemplate all that you have achieved last summer and most importantly enjoy all the great food this season has to offer
Published By Lidia McMahon our resident Yogi. April 2013