Today feels like the first true crisp NYC fall day! The leaves are changing color, the air feels a little less heavy, the scent of hot apple cider is in the air at the local farmers market.
As the weather cools down during Vata season, be sure and look to incorporate a sense of warmth and stability into your daily yoga practice for a profoundly calming effect. Pay close attention to your breath — it should be deep and fluid. For those of you who practice pranayama, (yogic breathing exercises), alternate nostril breathing is very balancing during this time of year.
Vata-Pacifying Yoga for Autumn
In your asana practice, favor vata-pacifying yoga. The focus should be on a mild, consistent practice which incorporates a contemplative element. Poses that focus on stability and regularity should be favored over poses that focus on intensity. In each asana (pose), focus the parts of your body that are grounding downward. Poses in which the heart is higher than the head are perfect for this time of year.
Be sure and warm up slowly, including some joint rotations. Move with intention and fluidity—grounding the hands and the feet on the mat whenever possible. Avoid jumping between postures. Gentle flows like a relaxed sun salutation are perfect for vata. You can also favor standing and balancing poses such as mountain, warrior I and warrior II, along with tree pose to increase your stability and strength. Connect with the earth beneath you in poses such as thunderbolt, cat-cow poses, child’s pose, and quiet the mind with forward bends.
Gentle inversions and restorative poses such as legs up the wall are also very good for vata. Close your practice with a long savasana, covering yourself with a blanket so that you can retain the warmth you created during your yoga practice.
Interested in learning more about the right diet for the fall season, click here.