Happy Autumnal Equinox! Do you ever like like THIS is the real New Year? September, AKA “the other January," is a time of new beginnings, as the transition from Summer to Fall brings with it a palpable energetic shift.
After the hot, dry, outward yang energy of Summer, we begin to feel the inward pull of Autumn’s cooler, wetter, yinnier energy. I, for one, always feel a little frantic in the Summer, especially in August, when I want to do EVERYTHING before the days turn dark. The change in energy in September helps me reel it in, get organized, and set goals. That shiny back-to-school feeling persists, even for those of us who are no longer students.
As such, September is a great time for the establishment of new routines, particularly regarding the self. As our focus naturally turns inwards, self care once again becomes a priority. This is an ideal time to cultivate a health or wellness routine. The crisp air lends itself to outdoor exercise, like walking, biking, or spending time in nature. The bountiful harvest and the appearance of grounding, earthy vegetables at the market help us harness the power of food in taking care of ourselves. Shorter days might mean more time spent indoors, but that’s great for catching up on reading, calling up a friend or family member to chat, cooking, taking a long bath or a nice hot shower, or embarking on reflective and meditative practices, like journaling. This is your time to transform your daily routines so that they align with what you want for yourself this season.
On that note, it’s important to remember that small acts of self care are important. The change in weather can sometimes be depressing (Vancouver, I’m looking at you!) so you might not even want to get out of bed, let alone write a haiku about gratitude while bathing in rose petals wearing a charcoal face mask with #organic cucumber slices on your eyes. On those days, making the bed, doing dishes or laundry, showering, fixing yourself a snack, or going outside can be a big deal. Try focusing on the basics and see how you feel.
As leaves begin to flutter down from the trees, we are gently reminded to prepare for winter. Even though many of us today are lucky enough to live in heated houses, that cellular memory of preparing for, and bracing against, the coming cold remains. This is a wonderful time to bolster your immune system by getting lots of sleep, and swapping out cool summer salads for more warming foods: roasted root veggies, ginger, fats, and spices like cumin and turmeric. While Summer is beautiful and bountiful in its frivolity, part of Autumn’s appeal is the aspect of refinement that comes with it. With fewer daylight hours, we are encouraged to parse our lives down to what is important and essential. In this regard, self care might look like cancelling unnecessary plans, and saying “no thanks” more often. We can take the trees’ example and practice letting go of what no longer serves us.
As you navigate the energetic shifts of the changing seasons, listen to what your mind and body are asking you for. What would it be like if you made meeting your own needs a priority this season? Self care isn't selfish. It's necessary, and it looks different for every body. If you think that yoga might be part of your fall self care routine, check out our schedule here. Classes begin October 1.