For some people the change of seasons doesn’t do anything at all, and for others it means a complete change of mood, new types of activities, a different choice of produce, and a speeding up or slowing down of the pace of life.
Personally, from a seasonal point of view, I have two favourite moments in the year: the day I step out of my front door and see the first daffodils, and the day I step outside to a blue sky, trees that begin to turn their leaves into a luscious golden colour and crisp autumnal air meeting me.
I always think of autumn as the season of change, I can almost feel the change in the air with the arrival of September. I notice a shift of focus in everyone around me. People return from their summer breaks, back to school or work, coming together again with friends, fellow students and colleagues. We turn to learning new things, signing up to a class of something we may have never done before. Self-development always seems to move towards the top of our agenda around this time of the year and we focus a lot more on either returning to our favourite things or on exploring new territory to broaden our horizons.
We seem to find it much easier to relate to the freshness of spring, soak up the heat and vibrancy of summer and indulge in the festivities of winter, but what does autumn have to offer us? The beauty of autumn is often unnoticed. I can understand why some people even hate autumn – the days get shorter and colder, and it may feel like all the fun is over. But just take a look out of the window. Granted, it may be raining at this very moment, but maybe you can see some of that beautiful colour palette autumn has on offer. Indulge in it; it’s nature at its best!
Autumn is also a transit period. Come October/November time, mother earth is preparing for winter. We should allow ourselves to do the same, take things at a slower pace, root ourselves to the earth and check in with ourselves.
To help us connect with the seasonal winds, fellow yoga teacher Adam Murby, meditation teacher Maggie Richards and I have been running our series of seasonal yoga days for a couple of years now. At the beginning of every season, we put on an all-day yoga & meditation workshop, a unique opportunity to treat yourself, have time to reconnect with your natural energies, and if nothing else to have some fun! But in the meantime, here are a few other ideas of how you may be able to enjoy autumn.
Spend time outdoors. Even though it is getting colder, make sure you catch every opportunity whenever the sun is out dipping everything into those gorgeous reds and golds. Maybe even venture out into nature and enjoy the cold clean air.
Cosy up. I know it feels odd when we have to turn the heating back on and can’t walk around barefoot any more. But you have to admit that it’s also really nice to snuggle up on the sofa with a hot drink, a blanket and maybe a good book. This is also perfect for tuning into that slower pace autumn wants to prepare us for.
It’s baking time: Autumn has a lot of fantastic produce to offer, but I always enjoy the autumn fruits the most. It’s definitely the time I feel inspired to bake a cake or muffins using sweet apples, pears and berries. Maybe even bake something for your friends – it’s a nice time to get together for a relaxed afternoon gathering.
Valuable me-time: Can you commit to giving one hour every week just to yourself? Maybe every Sunday, try and spend a whole hour doing something by yourself and for yourself. You could go for a walk, read a book, have a think about the week just gone, go to a yoga class or sit and listen to some beautiful music.
Get healthy and fit: After the hype of summer, you may feel a bit out of shape. It’s a great time to re-direct your energy and maybe sign up to a new fitness or yoga class, or maybe start up running or whatever type of physical activity you would enjoy.
Ground yourself. We may well feel a little at odds with the world during these months. Rather than resist, allow yourself the opportunity to rest a while and just be, thinking things through in manageable chunks, making sure not to create too much havoc around you. Don’t forget, autumn is also the season of harvest, so you may be surprised what life can give you if you just let it.
To find out about the next Autumn Yoga Day on 30 September, visit http://www.yoga-gestalten.co.uk/autumn-yoga-day.html.