“Change is an inherent process in our lives and possibly the only “truth” in the universe. If you adapt yourself to the changes that come with the seasons, you will maintain health.”
Elson M. Haas. MD.
It’s officially Fall, marked by the autumnal equinox on September 22nd when the amount of light and dark are perfectly balanced as the day and night are equal in length. Since then, night’s arrival has been coming earlier, leaving us in more darkness than light. As the Earth’s axis tilts away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere we’re experiencing cooler temperatures, dryer air and the full harvest of spring’s ripened seeds. Animals know winter is coming and are preparing by gathering food, supplies and traveling to warmer climates. With less light, the leaves are losing their chlorophyll and starting turn from green to vibrant reds, oranges and yellows; which will all eventually turn brown and drop from the trees that birthed them. Nature is extremely intelligent and intuitive, always in flow with the changing of the seasons. How can we learn from Her and align ourselves with this Autumn season as well?
Embrace the darkness
With less daylight hours, this is a time for retreating and going inward. It’s a time to be home more than out and about; it’s a good time to work on home-oriented projects, studies and creative endeavors. Just as the animals gather their fuel and supplies for the winter, it is time for us humans to gather our thoughts and feelings and reflect on our lives. Journaling is a good activity now as we bring more awareness to our inner processes. Sometimes when we slow down and quiet down after being very active, it can connect us to feelings of sadness and loneliness. This is natural and nothing to be alarmed by. Grief is actually the emotion associated with Autumn which seems natural as it’s a time of things dying off and changing. Give yourself this time to process things lost or forgotten. And remember, we can only know true joy because we also know sorrow; we can only know light because of the dark.
In Chinese Medicine, Autumn is associated with the element of Metal, Metal is associated with the mind. Since it’s a time to be home, since it’s a time that invites introspection, it is also time to up the ante on your mental health and either start a meditation practice or delve much deeper into the meditation practice that you already have.
Some simple meditations to practice:
- Breath Meditation
Focus on your breath, even if just for five minutes you can set a timer. Simply watch the rise and the fall of the breath in the body. Pay attention to the cool air drawing in and the warm air drawing out. When your attention wanders gently guide it back to the ebb and flow of breath coming in and out.
- “Let Go” Meditation
A very timely Autumn meditation is to repeat the breath meditation but with each in-breath, silently say to yourself “Let” and on each out-breath, silently say to yourself “Go.” “Let Go.”
This leads us to another key lesson of fall, it’s in the name itself, the practice of letting things fall away. Just as we see the trees allowing the leaves to effortlessly leave them without uprooting and chasing after them, we too can greatly learn from this. With this period of time that encourages reflection, take a good honest look at your life and see what isn’t serving you anymore and if it’s not filling a purpose and filling you with joy, LET IT GO! Knowing as you let go of that which no longer serves you, the dead weight, the baggage, the excess, you make space for what you want to come.
Trust the process. Trust the flow. And so it goes, as we are called to align with the changes of the season and all the rest of the natural world. Happy Fall!
About Danielle Karuna
As a former certified fitness trainer, Danielle has always been interested in movement and the human body’s capabilities. Danielle is an 800+ hour certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher & a Lululemon Ambassador with a goal to share the gift of yoga and wellness with as many people as possible. Provita is the embodiment of this belief in the transformational and healing power of yoga, fitness and wellness.