It’s officially fall, which means it’s time to take a look back at summer, embrace the memories, and then embrace the present – chilly nights, sweaters, root vegetables, and all. As much as I love summer’s hot nights, muggy days, and piercing sun, there’s something about fall’s crisp air that reinvigorates you after the lazy, hazy days of summer. The sun is still warm on your skin, but the autumn breeze keeps you moving instead of napping (which I didn’t get to do enough of this summer).
No matter if you’re looking forward to the coming season or looking back upon summer with regret, it’s time to bring your focus into the present. Feel the transition from one season to the next and enjoy it in all its glory. Watch as the trees slowly turn from bright green to firey reds, deep oranges, and bright yellows. Enjoy the vegetables of the season including some of my favorites such as butternut squash and pumpkin. And of course, enjoy those days where shorts and flip-flops are still permissible, with a light sweater of course.
To get your fall started off on the right foot, let’s focus on the present moment right now. Here are a few tips that will keep your body and mind steady as the days get cooler.
1. Practice yoga: Even if you can’t get to class everyday, try practicing for at least 10 minutes. Whether it’s just on the floor in between your favorite fall shows or in the kitchen while you’re cooking up my Knock Your Socks Off Flavorful Fall Soup with butternut squash – just practice! In Ayurveda belief, autumn is associated with the lungs and large intestines. Incorporating twists, side stretches, backbends, strong grounding poses like the warrior series, and sun salutations to warm up the body will help keep you at the top of your game no matter what Mother Earth throws your way weather wise.
2. Get moving: Since I’m asking you to incorporate yoga into your routine, it’s also a great time to mention that adding in some more exercise will also help regulate and rejuvenate you. Try hiking in the woods for an up close view of the fall foliage, take the dogs for a walk, or take a bike ride along the coast. Cooler temperatures are the perfect excuse to get outside and move!
3. Ground Down: Now that I’ve got you moving, I also would love for you to settle down and embrace the stillness with mediation. As the leaves start to fall, the wind starts to blow and the temperatures change, there’s a lot of moving and shifting going on in the universe, which gives you the chance to embrace the stillness inside. Sitting for just 5-10 minutes daily has been shown to increase the grey matter in your brain if done consistently. By bringing your awareness to your inner self, your inner stillness will help you feel calm and relaxed, even if the world feels hectic.
“The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration—it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done,” essayist Tim Kreider wrote in The New York Times.
4. Enjoy your roots: Eat grounding root vegetables, warm soups, raw vegetables, and apples to help your digestive system and to help you continue to ground. As we move from the light and airy foods of summer, which have helped us stay cool during those hot summer months, we can now transition to foods that will help us stay warm, ground down, and embrace the fall season. Try using spaghetti squash in place of your normal pastas while incorporating other root vegetables including beets, brussel sprouts, and leafy vegetables.
5. Take some hints from Mother Nature: Finally, and most importantly, embrace the change of the seasons. Watch as Mother Nature moves from one minute to the next. She’s always evolving, always changing, so her natural flow as a reminder for how you travel through life. So often times we get stuck in our ways and then when we’re forced out of them (after denying several hints from the universe) we lose our stability and really, ourselves. I’m not an expert, but one thing that I continually try to remember (and it’s hard… believe me) is that the only thing that is static is constant change. So this fall, try to change as gracefully as Mother Earth has been doing for millions of years.
The final, final note for you… enjoy a hot apple fritter with warm apple cider. No, it’s not the healthiest thing for your body, but it’s embracing the seasons in one delicious bite!
What are you tips for transitioning from summer to fall? I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time, “bee well,”