Lisa Campbell, Meditation & Yoga, Release Well-being Center
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Today as I sit beneath the crisp blue autumnal sky, it is easy to remember why people travel from around the world to visit New England this time of year. With the brilliant crimson of our backyard dogwood, the deep gold of our aged oak tree, and the bright yellow birch leaves that dance in the sun, I remember what happiness feels like in my heart. Breathing in, I fall in love with the smells and sights of autumn.
In our yoga and meditation practice, autumn is an auspicious time to turn our attention inward, a time for slowing down, a time for self-reflection, a time for attending to our bodies and our minds. The active days of summer have passed, and the shorter days of winter will soon be upon us. Our self-reflection can reveal to us where we are well and where we need to heal, how we grow, change, and consciously release all that no longer serves us, just as the trees release their autumnal leaves. Breathing out, I fall in love with life.
We reflect nature around us. Through our yoga and meditation practice, we release the busy, planning, thinking mind, and arrive here in the present moment where we greet ourselves just as we are with kindness and compassion. As we awaken to the joys and possibilities of this life, we learn how to nurture our body, our mind, and our spirit. Become a tree, open to your senses, enjoy! Breathing in, I fall in love nature. Breathing out I fall in love with wellness.
Asana for Autumn: Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
Be a tree, rooted, gently swaying in the wind! Use a tree or a wall to help you balance if needed. Be gentle with yourself.
- From Mountain pose, shift your weight into your left leg and sense, feel or imagine that you are rooted into the earth.
- Find your drishti (focal point) on the floor or in front of you, a place where you gently rest your gaze.
- Slowly bend the right knee, and place your right foot on the inner left leg, only as high up as you can on the calf or thigh (not the knee!)
- Bring your palms together in front of your heart center
- Gaze gently at your focal point keeping your left leg strong, keep your knee bent 90 degrees toward the side wall, keeping your alignment as if being held gently between to large panes of glass in front of you and behind you.
- Draw your shoulders down and back, lift the chest, raise your heart center.
- Breathe and smile. You are a tree!
- When you feel complete, let the right foot return to the earth, and repeat on the left side.
Meditation for Autumn: Mindfulness of Our Senses
While outside walking in the woods, or standing in your back yard, become curious with your senses. Sense, feel, or imagine.
What do you see? Notice what the eyes are seeing, look around slowly and explore the colors, textures, and patterns of nature.
What do you hear? Become curious about what the ears are hearing, sounds of birds, the wind in the trees, passing traffic.
What do you smell? Open to the scents of autumn, sniff the air, bring a handful of leaves to your nose. What do you notice?
What do you taste? Explore the many flavors of autumn, harvests and New England treats abound.
What is touching your body? Clothes, a gentle breeze, what does that feel like? Be curious, feel your feet touching the ground.