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September & Letting Go

The first week of September has always felt like the end of summer with the holidays over and children going back to school. But it many ways it has also always felt like the start of a new year and a fruitful time to sow the seeds of new intentions.

As we transition out of summer and into autumn, the palpable change in nature reminds us that it is time to release our high, fiery energies and settle instead into a more reflective state of being. Like the trees who shed their leaves in the certainty that they will grow again next spring, we too need to let go of the dead weight and heavy baggage we’ve been carrying around for too long. This is the season for turning inwards, unwinding and resting.

The hype of New Year and January 1st often comes with well intended resolutions, but how often do you actually take stock of how things are going? September is the perfect time for this, checking in with your intentions and perhaps modifying or letting some go entirely.

Our practice of Yoga can help support and guide us during this change of season. Play with incorporating these postures into your yoga flow or morning routine to encourage a natural release and establish balance.

 

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Obviously I had to start with Tree Pose, the ultimate posture of this season. Imagine your roots descending down from your standing leg connecting you with the earth. Have fun with this posture and imagine a breeze gently blowing through your leaves and branches. Add a challenge by closing your eyes and feeling the strong, stable foundation of your roots, trusting whatever may arise for you this season.

How to Get into the Pose
  • Come to Tadasana at the top of the mat. Ground down through your right foot and pick up the left placing the sole of the foot on the inner thigh or shin
  • Keep the hips square to the front by pressing the left foot into the thigh and the thigh into the foot. Lengthen through the spine and reach the crown of the head to the sky
  • Focus the gaze in front of you (drishti)
  • Bring your hands to a prayer at heart centre, or raise them over your head like branches
  • Stay for 5 to 10 breaths

 

Twisted Crescent Lunge (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)

Twisting the torso applies pressure to your internal organs, toning them and increasing their abilities to detoxify your body. After twisting, your torso and digestive organs are flushed with fresh, oxygen-rich blood, which helps to remove toxins while improving digestion. This is a great posture to build strength as well as stretch the body creating the perfect balance.

How to Get into the Pose
  • Start in Crescent lunge, hips squared to the front of the mat, active through the back leg
  • Exhale bring your hands to heart centre
  • Inhale lengthen the spine and lean the body forward. As you exhale, twist the torso, hooking opposite elbow over the front thigh
  • To deepen the pose, extend both arms and reach your right fingertips to the sky and your left fingertips to the mat. You can also place your left hand on a block
  • Gaze over the upper shoulder
  • Extend the crown of the head forward and the tailbone to the back of the room
  • Use your inhales to lengthen and your exhales to twist a little deeper

 

Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)

This pose invites us to literally turn inwards by folding forward over the legs. Find the balance between effort and ease as you focus on the movement of breath in the body. With each inhale find space, and with each exhale, fold a little deeper, letting go and surrendering. Hold for a longer period of time to really nourish the body by activating the rest and digest or relaxation response of the body, perfect for unwinding into autumn.

How to Get into the Pose
  • Sit on the floor with your buttocks supported on a folded blanket and your legs straight in front of you. If your hamstrings are tight, allow a gentle bend in the knees. Press actively through your heels
  • Inhale, and keeping the front torso long, lean forward from the hip joints, not the waist. Lengthen the tailbone away from the back of your pelvis
  • Take hold of the outside of the feet, the calfs or use a yoga strap
  • Keep the back long, The lower belly should touch the thighs first, then the upper belly, then the ribs, and the head last
  • Don’t forcefully pull yourself into the forward bend, if after a few breaths the body allows you can gentle fold a little deeper with the exhale

 

Bridge Pose (Set Bandha Sarvangasana)

Autumn is a time to cosy up with comfy socks and a gripping book and whilst this is a wonderful way to treat ourselves after the busy summer, we do need to find balance for those moments that require a little more energy. Backbends are the perfect way to uplift our mood and combat fatigue by opening the heartspace. You can think of them like a natural shot of espresso, giving you that needed buzz.

How to Get into the Pose
  • Come to lie supine on the mat. Bring the soles of your feet underneath the knees, knees pointing to the sky / Bend the knees, bringing the soles of the feet firmly onto the mat underneath the knees with your arms by your side
  • As you exhale, press your inner feet and arms actively into the mat, push your tailbone upward and left the buttocks off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel to one another
  • Peel the spine off the mat, one vertebrae at a time until the thighs are about parallel to the floor
  • Shuffle the shoulderblades in towards one another and interlace the fingers below your pelvis
  • Push down through the hands and the shoulders to help create more lift. Lengthen the tailbone toward the back of the knees and lift the chin gently away from the chest

 

Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

The energy of autumn is feminine and soft; it is essential that we embrace this with restorative postures that nourish the nervous system. With the fluctuating weather and a feeling of change in the air it can often lead to a feeling of restlessness. Holding postures for longer periods can ensure we feel grounded at this time of year. Inversions are also great for boosting the immune system and flushing out the toxins that have built up from a busy summer. This has got to be one of my all time favourite postures and my boyfriend will often come home to find me with my legs up the wall and a lavender pillow over my eyes.

How to Get into the Pose
  • You will need a couple of folded blankets or a bolster as well as a wall to rest your legs vertically upon
  • Start with your support about 5 to 6 inches away from the wall
  • Shimmy your hips as close to the wall as possible, then start walking your feet up the wall until your body is in a somewhat L-shaped position.
  • Make any adjustments to facilitate a more relaxing space, rest your arms by your side or on your belly
  • Focus on your breath, lengthen the inhale and the exhale
  • Stay in the pose for at least 5 minutes for optimal benefits.

 

If you are joining me on the 14th September, expect to see lots of twists, backbends and forward folds as we move into autumn. Have fun ๐Ÿ™‚

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