We have just tipped past the balance of the autumn equinox … The practice sent via email today to those enrolled with me for the term is an audio recording of an autumn equinox practice from 2018. Here is an excerpt from my class notes for the session … interesting to re-read in the context of our global ‘pause’ with COVID 19.
We often see the darkness in negative terms, we think we want an endless summer … however it is in the darkness that we retreat, nourish and replenish ourselves. Yoga philosophy says that in the darkness resides the potential for the next phase of growth, the next cycle of flourishing and that we need not fear, we can trust the cycles and be supported and at home in the darkness.
Paradoxically, at a time when we need grounding and nourishment more than ever, when summer changes to autumn, the dosha of vata predominates, vata is a dominance of the air and space elements, it is associated with catabolism, breaking down, dying, and can leave us feeling vulnerable, depleted, dissipated, anxious, worried, and with a disturbance of digestion and breath.
So, how do we welcome the paradox and make choices to find greater balance and ease in this season? We can take the time to pause, to harvest the goodness of summer and anchor ourselves to the earth through our practices and our life style choices, to invite more warmth, stability, nourishment.
The word Nourishment derives from Latin nutrire which means to ‘feed, to cherish’. The definition of nourishment is to Provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition, not just the physical body but energetically, emotionally, spiritually. In our practice we can choose to nourish and support ourselves through warming practices, grounding practices, restorative practices.
… and here is a gem from Mary Oliver.