Practising Yoga in Autumn

As the season changes, you may have noticed some different sequences creeping into your Yoga lessons. I’m often adding in more moving sequences that warm and mobilise the body, and following them up with poses that increase awareness of the “fire” chakra (belly centre). We also hold standing poses & balances that are grounding and promote stillness.

Ayurveda is the “sister” healing discipline of Yoga, and it teaches us that in Autumn the air element is dominant. This can affect us in that our joints can feel drier and “crackly”, and we can feel the need for stillness and a sense of grounding. During the change of season aches and pains sometimes become apparent or we notice some stiffness in our bodies.

One of the great things about a Yoga practice is that it can be anything we need it to be, so we can adapt the practice to help us get the most out of this beautiful season.

To counter stiffness and dry joints, do a little yoga every day; even if it’s just some joint circling and a grounding standing pose.

Another useful practice to counter stiffness and dry joints is that of massaging warm sesame oil into the joints. Just get some sesame oil from your health food store (preferably cold-pressed and organic) and place a little in a small bowl or cup. Place your small bowl/cup of oil in a larger bowl of hot water from the kettle, so that the oil warms gently. When warm, rub it in a circular motion around all the joints. You can also work it into the muscles in long strokes. Always work toward the heart. Leave for at least 20 minutes, then rinse off in the shower. This is also great for making you feel warm all day. Many yogis use this in order to practise the Yoga poses more easily.

You can even find out what your Ayurvedic type is and obtain an oil that is blended with special herbs and essences that specifically balance your system. I use one by Maharishi Ayurvedic Products, and I can highly recommend them. For more information on this, go to:

http://www.adelaidemeditation.com.au/pages/maharishi_ayur_veda.html

or you can visit them at 190 Greenhill Rd. Parkside, beside the Glen Osmond Rd Adelaide (phone 8271 7777).

If like me you find yourself forgetting to drink enough water as the weather gets cooler, try adding a few slices of fresh ginger or a squeeze of lemon to a large teapot filled with hot water. You can sit it on your desk and keep sipping it as you work. This Autumn I’m particularly enjoying some freshly snipped  sage and lemongrass from the garden in a teapot of hot water.

Wishing you a rich Autumn Harvest in all your endeavours! Alison

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