Despite the prolonged gorgeous weather over the first two weeks of September, I am starting to feel the cooler weather coming in and the jumpers have begun to emerge from the wardrobe. With the changing seasons comes about challenges and adaptations for us. It’s the time of year where beauty blogs recommend the best beauty oils, nourishing face masks and lip balms; recipe developers will be turning to hearty stews… you know the drill. I think our wider wellness and fitness routines also need to adapt to the changing weather -be it better layers for runs or slightly longer warm ups before a gym session. For the time being, the days of practicing yoga outside has shelved, and Shavasana may require a blanket or socks.
If summer is a time for getting outside and and being active, autumn calls for cosier evenings in. All this results in sitting down and getting a crunchy, stiff feeling in your spine. Twisting, alongside big stretches such as mountain pose help to relieve tension and pain by stretching the muscles on the back, creating “space” as the surrounding tissues are softened. Slumping makes your back feel stiff and horrible, but twists are thought to reduce compression between the vertebrae, literally lengthening your spine. Twisting is also a digestive aid and so should come into play as stodgy, comforting food becomes more common.
Wake and Flow
Although the days have technically been becoming shorter since the end of June, it only really becomes apparent now, particularly with the autumn equinox marking the point where the length of night surpassing the length of day. Gently wake yourself up in the morning with some sun salutations. When the morning alarm occurs before sunrise, you have no natural cues to wake your body up, so steady, flowing movement is great for this, energising you for the day ahead. The way that Sun Salutations have you moving between forward folding movements and mild backbends really loosens you up is perfect for when you are feeling a little groggy.
Don’t Hate, Meditate
Whenever things get a bit much, you need to have a few tools at your disposal to help you feel in control. I covered the main benefits of meditation here so if you don’t have a regular practice, go have a read for tips and a start meditation challenge.
Embrace the Season
I am such a fan of the concept of #yogaoffthemat. It’s all about thinking about your thoughts and actions in your life as well as just in your physical yoga practice. So be mindful of the changes to the season and enjoy them -go on a walk where there’s fallen leaves, enjoy hot drinks and eating seasonal meals out with friends. Seasons are amazing, so enjoy them before the next one comes on by.
Apologies for not being able to use my own original photography in this post! I need a photographer friend in Germany. Photos taken from Kacheff.com.