Seasons in Yoga

Photo by Michele Venne

In most places around the globe, the seasons are changing. The temperatures are backing down. Plants and animals are preparing for winter. Our bodies also sense the change.

On the mat, we may feel the need to do more forward folds, or hip openers, or inversions. Always being mindful to be gentle with the body, legs up the wall is a more relaxing pose than a head, shoulder, or handstand. Seated forward folds, legs together or out in a V, allows gravity to do most of the work. But we may also feel that backbends and reverse table/plank opens the front of the body, compensating for the shorter and cooler days.

Perhaps during a class, inhale and exhale to a count of four, balancing the breath. Pay particular attention to each side of the body. Does the left or right feel tighter or easier to balance on? Does the front or the back of the body feel more open? Awareness is the first step. The second is to decide if you’ll do anything about it. You can accept the difference, or you do an extra opening pose or forward fold or balance pose. However it turns out, consider if you’re doing it to observe the results or to get somewhere because you’re not happy with how the body is showing up.

In this time of transition, drink extra water, pay attention to the breath, and observe the changes in yourself and the world around you.