Adapting your practice to autumn

Autumn

Ok, who flipped the switch from summer to autumn? Already the mornings are much darker when I get up and there’s a chill in the air when I head out to yoga practice. This has meant changing my personal practice (and my classes) a bit to adapt to the changing season.

I am definitely slowing my practice down a bit. As it’s cooler in the mornings when I usually practice, it’s taking my muscles a longer time to warm up. I’m also finding that my body wants a slower practice so I’m really focusing on my breathing as I mindfully move through each pose.

I’ve also been doing a lot more Yin Yoga lately. Poses in Yin Yoga are generally more passive and lets gravity do most of the work. You can also make the practice quite restorative with the use of props like bolsters. My favourite pose at the moment is coming into a reclined twist and spending a few minutes on each side, breathing deeply.

I’m also spending more time meditating. While it’s not always easy and my mind does wander sometimes, I’m finding it a bit easier to sit for longer and just to focus on my breath after a slower practice. Before I meditate, I practice nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing). To practice nadi shodhana:

  • Sit in a comfortable position.
  • Place your left hand on your knee and bring your right hand to your face, resting your thumb gently n your right nostril, your index and middle finger between the brows, your ring finger lightly on your left nostril and your little finger on your left cheek.
  • Gently close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your left nostril.
  • Close the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril. Keeping the right nostril open, inhale deeply through the right.
  • Close the right nostril and exhale through the left. Keeping the left nostril open, inhale through that left before returning back to exhaling through the right.
  • Repeat for a few minutes.

This is one of the many reasons why I love yoga so much. You can adapt your practice to suit your needs at any time. I have no doubt once the cold weather really sets in, I’ll be changing my practice a bit again.

Enjoy your autumn practice!

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