Outside, days are becoming shorter, the leaves are changing colors with one last outburst before slowly withering and falling to the earth. To me, Fall is all about soaking up the sun when I can, and then giving myself the permission and opportunity to turn internal, unplug, and restore.
Try this calming yoga sequence to transition into fall - the movement focuses on the contrast between opening up to receive and turning inward to process and ground. The sequence is set to a slow flow pace - like the leaves that are slowly falling, at a constant pace.
Seated Meditation - Palms Up to Receive
Begin your practice with some stillness. Bringing stillness into your body will help to bring stillness and ease into your mind as well. During times of transition, nurture yourself with stillness amidst all of the moving parts and changing times around you. This will help to ground you if you feel uneasy during change and transition.
From your seat, take your hands to rest on your lap and turn your palms to face up. This simple gesture in the hands represents your willingness to open yourself up. With the palm exposed, you are showing that you are open and willing to receive what the universe has to offer. Focus your meditation and thoughts on this point - with change coming, open your heart and mind to what might come and be willing to accept whatever comes your way.
Upward Salute to Forward Fold Flow
From standing, on an inhale, reach your arms out and up overhead, bringing your gaze up to your hands. On your exhale, press your palms together and take them to your heart center as you forward fold. Continue to repeat this sequence. Inhaling, bringing yourself back up to standing and upward salute. Then exhaling, bowing down to your forward fold.
When you reach up, gather in all the light, positivity, and everything that you want to receive. Press your palms together to seal all of that goodness into your heart, as you bow down to honor and respect what the universe has to offer.
Crescent Lunge to Humble Warrior flow
From standing, step your right foot back to a high lunge. Inhale, reaching your arms out and up over head - gathering and receiving. Take a few breaths here in Crescent Lunge feeling yourself strong and grounded. Then, take your hands behind your back and interlace your fingers. Begin straightening out your arms, ringing out the shoulders. On your next exhale, bow down on the inside of your right leg to Humble Warrior. Find a flow between the two poses, repeating the sequence. Repeat on the left leg.
Low Lunge to Half Splits
Now working some deeper stretching into the hips and hamstrings with low lunge and half splits. Maybe find a flow between the two poses. Thinking about saluting the sun in the low lunge (opening heart, gazing up), and then taking that energy with you as you retreat back and shift your gaze internal.
Supta Baddha Konasana
End your practice with some stillness - just as we began. Find your Supra Buddha Konasana (supine bound angle pose) by coming on to your back. Bring the soles of your feet together and let the knees fall out to the sides. Take one hand to your heart and one hand to your belly, with the palms facing down to ground and absorb all of the vibrations and energy that you created during your practice. After you have opened your self up to receiving during your practice, end with allowing all of that to seal into your mind, body, and heart.
Yoga is a powerful tool to help nurture yourself as the seasons are changing and transitions are occurring both externally and internally. The emphasis of this sequence on opening up and then grounding will have a calming effect on your mind, body, and spirit. Taking the calming effects of this practice with you throughout your day and the season.