Yoga Autumn Equinox
THE AUTUMN EQUINOX: A BRIEF MOMENT TO REFLECT, QUIET THE MIND, AND HONOR THE HARVEST
Written by Sophia Maes
Throughout the millennia, humanity has depended on the Earth to provide necessities for life. We’d sow our plants in the warm Spring, tend to them in the hot Summer, harvest the crop in Autumn, and, if Summer was fruitful, survive on the harvest through the cold Winter. Internationally, many cultures celebrate the seasons, often practicing rituals and preparing themselves both physically and spiritually for the coming change. Though modern life has eradicated many seasonal challenges (garden fresh salad in December, anyone?), it seems that our
bodies and souls still understand these archaic shifts. Even today, we intuitively know that change is here again.
THE AUTUMN EQUINOX
The Autumn Equinox is no exception to this intuition. We breathe in the cool, crisp morning air, see the green landscape turn to brown and yellow, and seem to inexplicably crave cozy foods and warm drinks. Autumn is a gift, providing us a brief moment to ready ourselves for the hibernation of Winter.
Historically, Autumn was the time for harvesting the crop from the Summer. Meaning “equal night” in Latin, the Equinox is the moment when night and day are both equally 12 hours. A signal of the change in the Earth’s lifecycle, it was a time to honor the harvest, recognize the abundance of life, and rest after the long work of Summer.
Many modern festivals, such as Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos, and All Souls Day evolved from the rituals celebrating this transition. Archaeologists even believe that famous sites such as Stonehenge and Majorville Medicine Wheel were constructed as tools for tracking the position of the Sun, as well as predicting both equinoxes and solstices. Though we may not live as they did, our ancestors’ beliefs and behaviors regarding the seasons provide us with the foundation for understanding just how significant the Equinox has been, and will always be, for humanity.
PREPARE YOURSELF FOR AUTUMN
This year, the Autumn Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere occurs at 9:54 PM on Saturday, September 22nd. Though you may have your own established rituals for the harvest season (scarves and boots fly out of my closet), there are a few basic practices you can implement to ease yourself and your loved ones into Autumn.
- CARE FOR YOUR MIND AND BODY. Often in our hectic lives, we forget (or don’t prioritize) to allow ourselves to sync with the natural changes in our environment. Many yoga studios (such as our own FoCO Yoga Co-op) host retreats and workshops to help you navigate this transitional period of the year. Try to find a workshop that focuses on yin postures (Stomach and Lung) for clarity, breath work to slow from the busy summer, and full body relaxation.
- TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO LOOK AT THE ABUNDANCE IN YOUR LIFE. In the season of harvest, try to take some time to reflect on what you are thankful for in life. See your loved ones, be in your warm home, feel your full belly after a delicious meal. Sit with everything you have in your life; that which you’ve worked for and that which has simply been given to you; and reflect in gratitude for your abundance.
- REMEMBER THAT LIFE IS BOTH EQUALLY LIGHT AND DARK, AND WILL EVENTUALLY FIND BALANCE. As the Equinox reminds us, life has a natural way of balancing the darkness and light. These two dance together throughout the year, from the long days of Summer to the long nights of Winter. Just like the seasons, our lives may have periods of more light and sometimes more darkness. Neither circumstance is permanent. Just like the Equinox, there will always be moments when they come back into balance, and we will again have the opportunity to find clarity.
How will you welcome the 2018 Autumn Equinox?
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