Fall is a beautiful season to practice yoga. Our senses are filled with the beauty of the changing light, colors, temperature and smells. We are immersed in the rhythms of nature. By focusing on transitions in our yoga practice we can learn to flow gracefully through life’s seasons and transitions. We use our breath to anchor awareness in the moment, to guide our movements from one pose to the next, and even to increase or decrease our energy.
Here's a sequence that emphasizes smooth transitions and aligns with the energy of autumn:
Centering (Tadasana - Mountain Pose): Begin by standing tall at the top of your mat. Take a few diaphragmatic breaths to center yourself, feeling grounded and stable through the 4 corners of each foot.
Sun Salutations: Start with a few rounds of Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar) to warm up your body and establish a rhythm and flow. Pay attention to the transitions between each pose, moving with your breath. As we build heat and strength we allow the inhalations to be expansive and the exhalations to be soft and clearing
Warrior Flow: Move into a Warrior flow by transitioning from Warrior I to Warrior II to Warrior III. These poses help you connect with your inner strength and balance. Repeat on both sides, focusing on the smooth transitions.
Tree Pose (Vrikshasana): Find your balance by practicing Tree Pose. Focus on the shift of weight and the smooth transition from a standing position to balancing on one leg. This pose embodies the essence of fall, as trees shed their leaves.
Twists: Incorporate seated and standing twists into your practice. Poses like Revolved Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana) and Seated Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana) encourage flexibility and help with transitions between different postures.
Flowing Lunges: Move through a sequence of lunges, such as Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana), High Lunge, and Low Lunge. Pay attention to the transitions between these poses, maintaining smooth and controlled breath-directed movements.
Balancing Poses: Continue with balancing poses like Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana) and Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana). These poses challenge your stability and encourage graceful transitions.
Cool Down: We begin to soften the inhalations and lengthen the exhalations in a 1:2 breath ratio. Wind down the practice with forward bends like Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) and Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana). Focus on the transition from an active practice to a more relaxed and introspective state.
Savasana: Finish the practice with a deeply relaxing Savasana (Corpse Pose) to integrate and assimilate the benefits of your practice. Allow breath and awareness to move freely through the entire body.
Throughout your fall yoga practice, pay attention to your breath, and let it guide your transitions. Transitioning mindfully not only helps you move gracefully, but also deepens your connection to the present moment. Embrace the changing energy of fall and the beauty of transitions in your yoga practice.
“The separateness is in our own minds. Once the veil of illusion and separateness is lifted, we realize the oneness in everything”