These last few weeks of summer tend to conjure up unique sensations both in the mind and body. Depending on how in touch you are with your own body and with nature itself during this time of year, you may feel just a very small hint of change coming or something very strong that marks the transition toward the next season.
What each yogi feels during this seasonal transition is personal, but you can take advantage of it by using it as a signal to switch up your yoga practice. After all, you’ll get the most from your practice when it’s in alignment with the current season. If you’re unsure of how to go about doing this as you say goodbye to summer and hello to autumn, use the following suggestions.
Incorporate Twists to Balance Your Body
Autumn is the season where we let go of what’s no longer needed, and twisting poses are perfect for aiding the body’s natural detoxification processes by driving more oxygen and blood to the organs. You may also improve your digestion, get an immunity boost, and relieve back pain by practicing more twists.
Look toward twists that target the upper, middle, and lower areas of the torso. Try half lord of the fishes pose, Bharadvaja’s twist, revolved triangle pose, and revolved side angle pose in your practice.
Look Toward Backbends for Energy
It’s common to feel sluggish and more tired than usual during the colder seasons, but you can look toward energizing backbends to lift your spirit and give you the boost you need to stay alert. Backbends are also great for reducing anxiety as they open up the heart and allow you to release stress.
A daily backbend may be all that you need to balance out your energies. Go for poses like cobra pose, upward facing dog, bow pose, bridge or wheel pose, and camel pose.
Rest Longer in Grounding Poses
In autumn, Mother Nature encourages us to turn inward and work on restoring ourselves after a long, busy summer. Grounding poses will help connect you with the Earth and your body as it is in the moment, resulting in a much calmer and more present state of mind.
Warrior I and warrior II are wonderful grounding poses, as is triangle pose. Others includes tree pose, mountain pose, and of course easy pose. Try to save some time at the end of your practice for a long, grounding savasana as well.
Keep Doing Your Sun Salutations
Even though the sun is shining less brightly and the days are getting much colder, sun salutations are ideal for helping you build heat when you need it most. This unique series of poses helps get the blood flowing and warm the muscles to ward off stiffness and aches.
Sun salutation A and B repeated 2 to 6 times will do wonders for you if you’re struggling to stay warm among autumn’s chill. And on those days where you need a gentler practice, you could opt for half sun saltuations to still get the warming benefits.