It's been said that fall is very much like spring. Both are seasons of change to be sure! There is a subtle difference though. Spring is about thawing out, getting moving again. "Spring fever" is an "illness" many are struck with in the kapha season. Fall is different though, we are bringing to a close a season of activity, while simultaneously moving into a very busy time of more focused work, school and, before you know it, preparing for holidays!
In addition to moving from a "vacation" to "work" mode, for many there is now the labor of harvesting and preserving, battening down the hatches and preparing for the cold winter season ahead. When you have expended so much energy growing, working and playing in the pitta season already, it feels exhausting to be pulled in so many different directions as we move into the season of vata. As your beginning to spend more time inside, you begin to realize there is much that has been neglected that now must be tended to. That can be overwhelming - especially with vata energy amplifying scattered and forgetful mentalities.There are three tools to utilize in this moment of transition:
To practice this, experiment with Revolved Triangle and Sun Wind sequences in a confined space. Sounds crazy, right? Give it a try, it could actually be perfection. If you have been using ear buds to practice outside, you may be able to trade for a charger/speaker system while in a room you are not used to practicing in.
If you happen to be spending lots of time in your kitchen, plan for a moment when things are simmering (or processing in a canner perhaps?). Place your mat and start getting acquainted with this space. You are where you are, right? That's OK. Now that Namaste Yoga is on iTunes, your sequences move with you so easily, and what could possibly be more satisfying than practicing in a room where nourishment, security and comfort are so intrinsically intertwined into every element of the space? So what if it's a wreck! It's that way because of your productivity. Take a moment to savor that.
The first thing likely to happen is you are going to brush your hand or arm against a surface. Frustrating, right? Don't let it be. Accept your space, and feel comforted by the smaller confines. This is security, when you think about it. If you lose your balance, you have something to steady yourself! Instead of moving into forward fold with a flat back, try rounding your spine and curling down into it. How does that feel? When you get to the breath body link in Sun-Wind and also the reach up (and then down) into pigeon pose, try sliding your arms right alongside your body, instead of stretching them out. Not only will you keep from knocking into your cupboards, you will also reduce some of the air you are stirring up, so as not to stir the drying vata wind too much.
So, you don't need any assistance in Warrior III, right? Excellent! For today though, feel free to use a nearby counter or table to steady yourself. What do you notice? Perhaps you can make your hips more level with this added assistance. Maybe you can reach further with your extended arm and leg; or find yourself overall more straight and table-like. If you are beginning to feel scattered or "burned out," be more forgiving of yourself and accept a little extra-assistance every once in awhile, both on and off the mat. Isn't it amazing how much more accomplished you feel sometimes, when you have a little help?
When you take your practice out of your comfort zone, you notice things that may have escaped you before. In a moment in time when you can easily feel spacey and drained, remember that creativity is also heightened this time of year. Apply it to life on and off the mat to restore the body and focus the mind.
What little nook will you find your #namasteNewViews in? Be sure to share them with us on our Facebook wall, with a Tweet or Instagram photo. Contributors sharing items using our #namasteNewViews hashtag will be considered to receive a Namaste travel yoga mat. We look forward to hearing from you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Heather Gregory is an avid Namaste yogini and has been practicing the sequences nearly every day for nearly four years. Her favourite part of Namaste is the opportunity it affords to find her calm, collected center and carry that forward through each day. We enlisted Heather to share her #namasteNewViews as she explores the practice with our iTunes downloads, and blog about her experiences. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org