Where Science, Spirituality & Real Life Collide
Autumn Rituals: Yoga, Breathing and the Moon
This term, in our online & in-person classes, we have been thinking about yoga for autumn. I love autumn! It is my favourite season; the cooler weather, beautiful colours, counting down to Christmas, my birthday, Halloween….. I wanted to embrace this wonderful change in season & incorporate the feeling of change into my classes.
The changing season in the yoga world & beyond
Many different cultures & traditions honour & ritualise the changing seasons. Wicker & paganism to name a few. During the autumn equinox the length of day & night are equal. May traditions acknowledge that this is a good time to say goodbye to the light & longer days & welcome the dark/winter.
Many feel that autumn is a good time to “let go” of what is no longer serving us; just as the trees release their leaves. We work on letting go of anything that is stopping us achieving our intentions/ manifestations/ affirmations/ goals. It is also a good time to surrender to the change in season, embrace and nourish the change.
In our classes we have been practicing postures with elements of “change”for example, I have been encouraging the class to try bridge pose with different hand mudras to see how “embracing a change” feels.
Many students tried practicing breathing/ relaxation with their legs up against the wall (viparita karani) which they would not do normally (unless instructed by me to do so) & really enjoyed the restorative feel of the posture.
We have also been practicing holding postures a little longer “surrendering” into them & “embracing” the feel. We have included some lovely Yin asanas to help to truly release, restore & “let go”.
The Harvest Moon
I have been doing a lot of reading about the moon & moon cycles & how we can change our practices in line with the energy of the moon. The beautiful harvest full moon filled our skies on Monday 22nd September with its orange glow. This is a good time to think about what is stopping you achieving your goals/intentions.
I used the following breathing practice on the 22nd September as well as 3 days before and 3 days after & the harvest moon. I lay in svasana & took awareness to my breath. I started to take awareness to the exhale. I made the exhale more forceful; more like a sigh & on each exhale brought to mind anything I felt was holding me back: stress/“heat”/pleasing people/perfectionism/fear/guilt…..sigh them out & let them go. Release the practice then bring to mind your intentions & affirm them.
Other autumn rituals
Tracy, one of my amazing yoga students, told me about filling your home with the scents of autumn & baking apple pie on the day of autumn equinox. I love these ideas…. My diffuser is filled with lemon, bergamot, rosemary, sweet orange and cinnamon essential oils. I have made a yummy apple crumble (recipe below). I’ve also put out my autumn wreath (drop the amazing Sarah a message @pollysewcreatove on Instagram) and some pumpkins. I feel these little rituals help with what we are trying to release & manifest; aligning the whole environment and all five senses with the feel of the season.
I rarely use set amounts & adjust ingredients to preference or taste. Any nuts, grains & fruit would work well. If you want to make the dish sweeter use sugar or honey on the apples before adding the crumble.
- Any apples chopped into small pieces
- Granola (I used about 40g)
- Rolled porridge oats (I used about 40g)
- Tsp-tbs Chia seeds (optional)
- Tsp-tbs Linseeds (optional)
- Nuts, I quite like pecan (optional) chopped
- Light olive oil-based spread or spread of choice (I used about 30g)
- Honey (2 tbs)
- Wholemeal flour (2 tbs)
- Sugar (any type, I used castor sugar & light muscavado) (optional) (1 tbs each)
- 1 tsp Vanilla essence (optional)
- Peel and chop the apples into small pieces & pop into the bottom of your oven proof dish
- Put the other ingredients into a bowl & rub together to form a sticky mixture
- Place the mixture ontop of the apples & pop it into the oven
- Bake until the top is golden brown
Happy Autumn! Xx