Summertime is usually a fun time spent outside with family and friends, with lots of extra activities like vacations and outdoor sports. It can be easy for our yoga practice to take a bit of a vacation as well! Now that school is back in and the kids are away, this is a wonderful time of year to recommit to our practice and get back on the mat! Now it becomes necessary to create a regular routine because before we know it, the holiday season will be upon us. As the year comes to an end, it is usually filled with fun and festivities, which can also sometimes create additional stress. During this transitional time, it is especially important for us to get back on the mat!
In September, we also celebrate the Autumnal Equinox. Traditionally, this time of year is considered a great time to detox and prepare for the coming winter months. As we start to make the transition to shorter days and colder weather, it is necessary to make some changes in our own daily and seasonal routines. According to Ayurveda, the traditional holistic medical system of India, the Fall season is associated with Vata, which is composed of the elements of ether and air which promote movement and expansion. As we experience the external changes in our environment and witness the creative transition of nature's beauty, we can also be left in a state of flux and anxious energy. It is especially important that we do things that ground us down and help us feel more stable.
Ayurveda suggests that one of the most effective ways to regulate the accumulation of excess Vata is a regular daily routine, or Dinacharya in Sanskrit. For starters, make a habit of waking up and going to bed about the same time daily. If possible, waking up before sunrise and being in bed by 10pm. Upon waking up, one would perform a series of morning routines to prepare you for the day. An example can be found at: http://www.ayurveda.com/online_resource/daily_routine.html. Also, Ayurveda takes into consideration one's diet as a primary influencer of our well-being. To get started, follow the principle of "big lunch/small supper". Ayurveda also lays importance on seasonal eating. Be mindful of what's in season at your local farmer's market.
In regards to yoga, a consistent practice is an amazing boon to mediating the accumulation of excess Vata and stress on the system. It is certainly not necessary to come to a 90 minute public yoga class every day to keep your practice going. Certainly, coming to a public class can leave you feeling inspired and motivated, as well as educate you on the subtle nuances of the practice; however, even just doing a couple things on your own at home, such as the dreaded Vajrasana series (aka "Toe Torture" according to Patty!), some Sun Salutations, as well as some conscious breathing can leave you feeling a bit more grounded and connected to your Center on a daily basis.
Find a happy medium between doing things that inspire you such as community classes, retreats, wine (courtesy of Michael) and even a good yoga book paired with your own daily routine that helps you feel more balanced in your daily life! Remember that yoga is designed to serve you in Your own growth and potential. Yoga is far more than just what happens on the mat, but that's where it starts!
Wes Linch was introduced to Yoga and Eastern philosophy over 8 years ago in a desire to know more about himself. He quickly discovered the benefits of Yoga far exceed open hips. Wes is a Vinyasa Flow instructor, having received over 700 hours of training through Yogaworks and Yoga Sol. He completed a 6 month mentorship with Mynx Inatsugu and continued to assist her for a year. In 2011, Wes received Shaktipat by Shri Anandi Ma and began studying a traditional tantric lineage called Kundalini Maha Yoga.