During Autumn when the days grow shorter and the temperatures grow cooler, it's a natural time to turn inward, and because of that, it's the perfect time to focus on self care. Yin is very much a practice rooted in self care. The slow, meditative style lends itself to the changing seasons.
In the Fall, change is all around us. The trees trade in the usual green tones of their foliage for beautiful oranges, reds, and yellows. This serves as a reminder to us that we too, are ever-changing and developing. Fall is also a reminder to shed whatever is no longer serving us, just as our wooded friends in nature shed their dead leaves.
Use the slow-paced practice of Yin and Restorative Yoga as a starting point to look inward. In time spent with yourself, try to notice any negative patterns that might be present and work to let them go. Identify the common theme, look for the why behind the action or feeling, then determine what would be a more positive way to handle a triggering situation, and let go of whatever was holding you back. Greed, fear, resentment, jealousy, whatever it is; if it's holding you back or bringing you down, let it go. Now is the time.
Put yourself in a supportive, heart-opening pose and let in the new pattern you aspire to hold. If while in your practice of self-discovery, you noticed a pattern of workplace resentment that you'd like to change to hopefulness for something new, set yourself up in an expansive heart-opening pose like Supported Starfish and really embrace that hopeful spirit, letting it into your heartspace. After that, I would encourage you to find an forward-folding pose like Child's to go inward and focus on really bringing that new pattern into yourself.
Change can be scary. Not knowing where the path ahead will take us can simultaneously feel like an adventure as well as terrifying, especially as we get older and there's more at stake, and our decisions begin to affect more than just ourselves alone.
Despite the fearfulness that comes with seasons of change, I encourage you to let this be a time of comfort and hopefulness. For while there is uncertainty with any change, there is also so much opportunity.
Within the unknown, anything is possible.
Use this season to reconnect with yourself and find what brings you comfort. Is it warm lattes with fall spices sprinkled on top? Is it a comfy blanket sweater wrapped around you while you curl up with a good book? Maybe it's the scent of logs burning on a campfire or of toasted marshmallows. Maybe it's time spent with family, as holidays like Dia de Los Muertos and Thanksgiving encourage family togetherness.
Consider taking some time this season to reconnect with your Inner Child. Rekindling the childlike joy found in playing in fallen leaves and hearing the crunch crunch underfoot. Remind yourself to find wonderment in Nature's ability to create such magnificent colors and paint such beautiful landscapes for us to enjoy.
As I say to the students in my Yin classes, this time is just about you. Enjoy it. Take some time discovering what makes you feel nourished and happy, then spend time doing just that.