Serving Raleigh, Smithfield, Clayton, Benson & Goldsboro, NC areas.

Welcoming Autumn in Your Yoga Practice

Let the fall season inspire your practice

Fall Yoga Smithfield NCAutumn is a gift to the senses. The cooler weather, comfort food, vivid foliage, and smell of pumpkin spice flavor everywhere. After a hot and active summer, your body is ready to adjust to the natural, energetic shifts of the fall season. You can easily incorporate these synchronicities into your beginner-to-advanced yoga practice with a few simple, yet grounding adjustments.

Aligning with the fall season seems instinctive and your body is certain to start craving fall foods and herbs, too. Will you be ready to go with the late autumn flow of the vata season? Autumn officially begins in mid-September and goes till late October. Now is the time for implementing changes into your regular yoga practice, switching to new supportive poses, and gathering favorite fall recipes.

The unstable nature of vata

Seasonal energies are real. Autumn brings dry, cold, windy weather.

Vata is associated with the elements of wind and air. Picture yourself standing with your feet firmly planted on the ground when suddenly, a strong burst of wind wraps around you and throws you off balance. You’ll teeter at the mercy of the wind gust while trying to grab hold onto something to stabilize you. That’s an example of vatic energies that can throw you off-balance.

Vatic energy quickly changes, is disruptive, and can easily get stirred up. We see that demonstrated in nature with the leaves changing color then dropping from the branches, the heightened stress with return-to-school responsibilities, and air temperatures dropping in a snap.

One effective way to support the ungrounding nature of vata is to establish a daily lifestyle and yoga routine. Be consistent with what time you wake up, when you eat your meals, and exercise during the fall. Everyone’s susceptible to seasonal vata imbalances after transitioning from the fiery nature of the summer season of pitta.

A calm breathing approach

During vata season, bring in a sense of warmth, grounding, and stability to your yoga practice and extend it beyond the yoga mat. Focus on calming the autumn vata by practicing yogic breathing exercises called pranayama. Alternating your nostril breathing can be very beneficial and support your particular constitution.

Nadi Shodhana, the name for alternate nostril breathing, channels air throughout your body in a concentrated flow. Adding purifying pranayama to your regular practice will help reduce stress and anxiety.

Be gentle on yourself

Some gentle flow yoga pose suggestions for vata:

  • Gentle warm-up poses
  • Gentle and restorative asanas
  • Standing and balancing poses
  • Grounding poses
  • Twisting postures
  • Gentle inversions
  • Focus on pranayama breathing

Warm foods to eat in the fall

What are the recommended foods and fluids to reinforce immunity, strength, and energy during the autumn season? Select warm, moist, and grounding food options, which are sweet, dense, oily, spiced, or salty.

Some excellent fall food choices include:

Fresh fruits

  • Avocado, banana
  • Apples or pears – cooked in pies, apple sauces, or crisps
  • Grapefruit or oranges
  • Apple or pumpkin butter
  • Tomatoes

Steamed vegetables (not raw)

  • Turnips
  • Sweet potatoes, potatoes or yams
  • Pumpkin
  • Spaghetti or acorn squash

Grains

  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Oats

Whole Nuts

  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter

Oils/Fats

  • Ghee
  • Olive oil
  • Butter

Warming spices

  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves

Proteins

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Animal meat
  • Lentils
  • Soy – edamame, tofu
  • Mung beans
Though introduced to yoga over 30 years ago, Martha has been teaching yoga since 2001. She received her 200 hour yoga training in 2003 and is now an E-RYT 500. Additional education: M.S. in Health Psychology, Integrative Health Coach and Mindful Awareness Meditation instructor (Duke Integrative Medicine), and over 800 hours of Yoga Therapy training. She has a school for 200 hour and beginning in the winter of 2014, a 300 hour advanced yoga certification which will award a cumulative 500 hour teacher training in compliance with Yoga Alliance. Martha's envisions yoga as a form of health, healing and well being for all people. Her students range from health professionals to yoga practitioners seeking a deeper understanding of the benefits of yoga. See all of our yoga classes.

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