A note from Marcy Hullander - RYT
Just last week we were celebrating the Autumn Equinox, ushering in the changing, cool winds of the fall season. The intense heat from longer days begins to lessen and shorten, leaves start to change color, dry out, and are shed from the limbs of trees. The chilly winds of coming winter grow stronger and we gradually move into longer periods of darkness. This is the beauty and the lesson of fall, all things change, all things must come to an end, and we have to learn to let go, just like trees shedding their leaves.
The same reasons that make this a beautiful time of the year for shedding can also be unsettling for people, leaving us feeling exposed and easily swept away by the cold, changing winds of the season.
But we can still embody the essence of fall, embracing changes as they come into our lives, accepting all things to be temporary and letting go of attachments to permanence, by remaining grounded and cultivating our own warmth through compassionate practices in the coming seasons.
One way to do this is by developing a more yin-style of practice, or practice of stillness, through Meditation, Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga.
Meditation strives to root your attention into the present moment. Meditation helps us to remain grounded by training our minds to remain present without being swept away by the whirlwind of our busy day. Try to make time during your hustle to pause for a moment, close your eyes, and take 5-10 mindful breaths.
Restorative Yoga is a practice of nurturing yourself by finding comfortable, supported positions and grounding into the present moment by actively relaxing into periods of stillness. Create a sense of grounded-ness by making sure you are set up with the use of props in a position that will allow you to feel completely supported, creating a sense of being cradled and safe (recall the last edition of Exhale News in which we discussed creating a nest for rest). When you feel exposed to the elements try wrapping up in a warm blanket and coming into a supported child's pose using a few pillows.
Yin Yoga is a practice that commands your attention to the present moment as you get acquainted with your edge (the point in a posture where the intensity of stretch is not too much, but just enough, your "Goldilocks position"). When exploring the yin style of yoga, practice active relaxation to shed your leaves of tension, softening with every exhale and settling into stillness as you hold the poses for time, this will allow you to move beyond the muscular layer and release tension deeper in the body. If you've had a case of the Mondays, stressing out while sitting at your work desk all day, come into pigeon pose holding for at least ten, slow, deep breaths on each side.
The common thread among each of these practices is building pockets of stillness into your daily routine, taking time out to stop and breathe mindfully. My hope for each of you this fall season is that, with these practices, you are able to create a warm, strong, grounded presence to endure the increasingly chilly winds as we transition into the coming winter.
Upcoming events with Marcy to find balance this fall season:
Exploring Yin amidst the Yang
October 8th-October 29th
In our modern, fast-paced society, many of us rarely find time to slow down losing touch with ourselves in the midst of all the hustle. This constant state of hustle can lead to fatigue, stress and exhaustion. Understanding how stress affects us physically, emotionally and energetically is key in to creating a more balanced life. In this four week series, we will develop an understanding of the yin and yang energies. This in depth series will explore the Chakras, reveal the Koshas and cultivate stillness creating a habit of attention. Allow yourself the opportunity to reconnect with your true self through this series.
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Restorative Yoga Nidra
Restore your well being with a blend of restorative yoga and Yoga Nidra. Restorative yoga is considered to be the antidote to stress as it re-trains your mind and body in what it means to truly relax. Yoga Nidra, or “Yogic Sleep”, is a systematic method of complete relaxation that allows for profound healing and transformation. For this workshop Marcy will be pairing the two techniques together to share the true meaning of relaxation and what it is to awaken with a sense of renewed clarity. Prepare to unwind your mind & body!