Whole Living Daily

Taking Extra Care as Darkness Settles in Sooner: Yoga On and Off the Mat

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There are so many things that I love about autumn: the crisp air, vibrant leaves, the orange evening light that turns the most mundane-looking concrete wall into something beautiful, the feeling of pulling the first sweater of the season over my head, the smell of spiced apple cider at the farmers' market, the occasional scent of a wood-burning fire, and much more. It’s also a time, however, when I need a little extra self-care.

Do you feel that this seasonal change affects your energy levels or mood? I do. Every year, I find it takes some adjusting to those darker mornings, especially the ones right before daylight saving. I also need to get used to the sun setting sooner, as well as the added cold and dryness. To remedy this, I carve out more time for introspective practices such as yoga, seated meditation, and conscious walking. I also find fitting in a little extra sleep helps me be more productive.

Now, exactly what I do for self-care this time of year may or may not be helpful to you as there’s no one-size-fits-all formula. What I invite you to do today is honor your ability to really listen to what you need as the seasons change. Trust that if you really listen, your body and soul will tell you. It might be rest, it might be a need to get out there and be more social or active. Listen and honor yourself by respecting those needs.

By the way, did you know that in homeopathic medicinal systems such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and the ancient Indian system of Ayurveda, every season is believed to bring a pretty significant shift in the energy of the body? These sciences teach that we should slow down and listen more deeply to the changes within ourselves during these times of transition. In TCM, autumn is considered a season to not only let go, but to also make room for new understanding.

With all this in mind, give yourself an opportunity to slow down and listen to what you need to better honor and understand yourself today.

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