This is one of my favourite times of year, I like the colours and the cool, crisp, still energy of autumn (when it’s not raining!). I think it’s also a great time of year for new beginnings, when we head back to school or work after our summer holidays. I always loved the clean, neat pages of my exercise books on the first day of the new school term, and even now I love my new registers, cleared out class files and brand new lesson plans as our courses return 🙂
In previous seasonal themed blogs I’ve spoken of the letting go quality of autumn, where we can take inspiration from the trees – let go of what no longer serves us, enjoy a period of consolidation and rejuvenation, where we can consider what we truly want. Traditionally we make our resolutions and set goals for the future in the new year. This always feels a bit harsh to me though! In January we are in a dark, quiet time of year where naturally we are inclined to hibernate. New Year resolutions generally seem to be about either denying ourselves things or criticizing ourselves for not being good enough (eg. we want to lose weight, get fit, pay of the visa bill etc). Not conditions conducive to success in my opinion.
What about if we chose to make our new starts in Autumn? I firmly believe that goals and intentions considered, then set when we are relaxed and vibrant during the summer months, ready to be actioned in autumn are more likely to be heart felt, more about our heart’s desires rather than what our mind demands, ultimately making them more achievable.
Start with some simple grounding yoga, perhaps the earth sequence and a balance posture. Tree will open your heart and bring back to your centre. Dancer will help you let go of the past, whilst moving forwards into your future. Eagle helps us to focus on what is really important in our lives.
Now spend some time relaxing and meditating. Sit comfortably, in peace. As you settle and become still just see what comes up. Is there anything you would like to let go of? A habit, a thought pattern or an activity? Focus now on creating spaciousness at your heart centre. Are you aware of any dreams coming up? Any ideas? Even just tiny sparks or flickers of inspiration? Listen to them. You might even like to try some journalling as a way of connecting with true self. Here are a couple of ways I like to check in with myself:
First thing in a morning, sit and write non stop for 30 minutes, a totally uncensored stream of consciousness.
Put aside an hour and write down 200 ideas of things you would like to do. Just write whatever comes into your head, again don’t censor yourself, no idea is too small or too ambitious.
From these techniques, and your silent sitting, hopefully you are getting some clues as to what you really want from life. Once you’ve got an idea let it take shape and evolve. There are many goal setting tools that you can employ, so that you can break it down into manageable chunks.
I then like to practice my favourite Dru Yoga Energy Block Release sequence “Awakening the heart” to give my dream wings, and also to put some energy behind my intentions. If you are not familiar with the full sequence, then try these 2 elements:
Start in Mountain pose, become still and steady. Rise tall from your firm foundations, being aware of the gentle rise and fall of your sternum as you breathe.
Archer from EBR3, opens the heart centre
Bring your arms out in front at shoulder height, palms facing you. Practice Anahata breath by drawing your hands towards your heart as you inhale, sternum rising. As you exhale extend your arms, pushing the palms away. Repeat several times. Draw in peaceful energy and prana as you breathe in. Breathe out tension and tiredness. Connect with your heart centre.
Now move into the Archer (see picture) as you really focus on your goal, visualising that you’ve achieved your goal. Affirm it to yourself. Step out to the right, shoulder width apart, turn right foot out to the right, left foot follows, keeping heels down throughout. Extend right arm out at should height, palm facing away. Make the archer mudra with the left hand (thumb up, ring and little finger tucked in). Hold left arm by chest, elbow bent. Inhale drawing back your left elbow. Focus / visualise your goal. Bend your left knee. With a strong out breath let your arrow fly, extending the left arm towards your right arm, as you bend the right knee. Repeat 3x on each side. Return then to the Mountain pose and be still.
I hope this post inspires you to make some time and space for you and your dreams, and if there is anything we can help you with do let us know.
My dreams this autumn include working on a yoga pose that I have always found a challenge, the crow. I’d like to put more structure to a book of yoga practices that I’ve been working on, and I want to learn some basic Italian for no other reason than because I fancy it! Ciao. Ix