Autumn Equinox 20-23 September in the Northern Hemisphere 20-23 March in the Southern Hemisphere
Go within. Focus your senses. Face the challenge. Balance sunlight and shadow. Blend with the path. This is the way of the Tao. Tao 56
At the Autumn Equinox night and day are balanced before we tip in to the darkest phase of the year. The dark will continue to expand until the Sun is reborn at the Winter Solstice in December. Equinox is derived from Latin and means "equal night". At both equinoxes Earth is perfectly balanced, with its North and South Poles tilted neither toward nor away from the Sun, making day and night equal all over the world. The Autumn Equinox is the perfect time to explore balance in your yoga practice. And yoga is the perfect way to bring balance to body and mind.
At the Autumn Equinox there is a shift of emphasis from: sun to moon, light to dark, action to contemplation, growth to dormancy, fruitfulness to composting, building up to letting go, and movement to stillness. Now is a good time to pause after the frenetic activity of the growing season and consider how best to recuperate, regenerate, and replenish your energy this autumn.
Nature responds to diminishing hours of daylight by gradually withdrawing into dormancy; leaves fall from the trees, vegetation dies back, and some animals prepare to hibernate. We too can honour our connection to nature and respond with wisdom to the changing season by changing our focus from activity and outward action to contemplation and inner reflection. This process of drawing inward is a continuation of the work begun at the Summer Solstice, when the Sun's powers began to wane and we entered the darker half of the year. We are approaching a time for simply being and dreaming up plans for next year's growing season.
We Thank the Earth for the Harvest
This is the season of the final harvest, and Bow to the Earth (Bhumi Pranam), is a wondeful way to give thanks to the Earth for the harvest.
May the Earth be safe. May the Earth be happy. May the Earth be healthy. May the Earth live with ease.
In autumn there is a poignancy in the misty, mellow fruitfulness of the season, combined with a wistful longing that summer might never end. However, once we let go of summer and accept the arrival of autumn, it is a time rich with possibilities.