Nature outside always affects nature inside. Just as we have an intricate web of connection flowing through our body in the form of fascia, connecting muscles, bones, vital organs and more, we have an intricate web flowing and connecting us with nature. We are nature and nature is us!
Transitions are tricky...whether we are flowing through a yoga practice or going through changes in our lives whether it's a break up or menopause, those transition points are the sticky parts. You know those parts, when you know things are changing but you want to hold on for just a bit longer, you don't feel ready to quite make the transition yet, but the transition happens anyway. Transitions are the parts more often than not that we want to get over and done with quickly, move through without really being mindful, thinking forward to what's coming up next instead of being present, moving towards something, rather than being there in the stickiness of the transition.
Transitioning from one phase of life to the next, going through changes that we wouldn't necessarily choose isn't easy, in fact I would go as far to say it's one of the most difficult things that we have to experience while we are in this embodied form. But rather than reaching for the television remote, the next drink, a big slice of cake or the hoover depending on what your chosen method of distraction is, I invite you to make a different chose. Step in to it, whether it be through meditation, contemplation, journaling or another valuable way of turning inside and getting comfortable with the discomfort. As Pema Chodron says so eloquently below;
“When things are shaky and nothing is working, we might realize that we are on the verge of something. We might realize that this is a very vulnerable and tender place, and that tenderness can go either way. We can shut down and feel resentful or we can touch in on that throbbing quality.” Pema Chodron
The change of seasons offers us another opportunity to experience transitions...as we move from the high energy of summer into the more contemplative season of Autumn that so eloquently teaches us the art of letting go, of drawing in, demonstrating the cyclical nature of life and ultimately showing us the impermanence of life, we have to first of all notice these transitions in and around us and make the necessary changes to assist and support us through those changes. I love this time of year as the leaves turn varying shades of browns. reds and oranges and is one of my favourite times of year for walking and reveling in nature.
Any time we are transitioning from one phase to another we have to take extra care of ourselves and transitioning from one season to another is no exception, we are currently going from the summer which naturally has more agni or fire to Autumn which has a more drier quality to it. According to Ayurveda like increases like so during summer when there is naturally more heat and fire we tend towards cooling foods like salads and foods that are light and refreshing to cool the fire. During Autumn we may notice more airiness and space in and around us, causing us to feel more anxious, irritable, our sleep may be disturbed, we may feel spacey amongst other things. So during this time of transition if you are feeling agitated or don't have as much energy as you feel you should, it's okay! It's just a sign from nature and your body to slow things down a notch. Here are my top 5 tips for making a smooth transition from Summer to Autumn;
1) Make routine a priority, erratic schedules are especially aggravating at this time of year.
2) Eat grounding cooked foods such as warm soups.
3) Massage or self massage; because of the tendency towards dryness, the skin can dry.
4) Restorative yoga postures; the stillness from the restorative yoga is really calming and grounding at any time of the year but is especially needed at this time of year.
5) Meditation with mantra; my favourite is a So Ham meditation which follows the natural sound of the breath and also because of the tendency of the mind to movement allows the mind to still. Simply mentally repeat so with each inhale and the sound hum as you exhale, repeat for 3-5 minutes or longer if you have the time.
What are your favourite ways to transition easily an
Advanced clinical massage therapist and yoga teacher.