Adapting, Growing and Supporting Ourselves
A new season means a shift in how we live and operate in the world. Changing seasons can cause some discomfort if we’re not ready for them, and let’s face it, we want to make this transition as easy as possible!
There are ways we can prepare for these natural shifts of life. In order to do so, we need to understand the differences between the seasons, in this case, between summer and fall.
Summer is all about getting outdoors, so we will call this an Outward direction. It’s a time to be outside and enjoy the bounty of nature. Summer is a high-energy time. It’s where we play in the sand. We soak up the sun. We enjoy the abundance of energy. The summer season is all about bright colors and light clothing.
We tend to feel more extroverted than usual during the summer. We’re more apt to go out and about in nature. The heat, though, can get to us a bit and cause some edginess or irritability, especially if our ayurvedic constitution is off balance. Thankfully, we can fix it with an iced tea or fresh watermelon to ease the tension.
Autumn, on the other hand, is all about turning Inward, grounding ourselves and finding introspection. In this year especially, in the midst of a pandemic, gearing up for fall by aligning ourselves, our self-care rituals and our movement practices to the changing season—is paramount to our wellbeing.
Maybe you’ve been harnessing your practice at home, but you’re feeling safer to go out. Since the season of fall wants to pull you inward, you can balance it by getting back into the studio and being around your sangha in person. Everyone wins when we’re sharing our energy and supporting each other through whatever shifts we are experiencing.
Balancing the foods we eat for fall requires us to observe the groundedness and earthiness that this autumnal season represents. Cooked apples, mung beans, and oats are great options, especially if you’re feeling confused or depressed.
When we’re directing ourselves Inward, which is the energy that fall brings about, sometimes it can be overwhelming (just like the summer heat) and lead to an overactive brain that won’t stop thinking because it’s Vata season. It’s important to talk about effective ways to deal with any anxious energy. For some of us, we use positive affirmations. For others, putting our thoughts onto paper through journaling or creating works wonders. We can always cultivate self-care rituals that slow things down, tuning in to our innermost self, and practicing maitri “loving-kindness” every second of the day.
No matter the season, everything is connected. The earth and its changing seasons are just like our bodies and our cycles. When we prepare and give ourselves the opportunity to lean into the change, beautiful things can happen! Practice. Observe. Shift.