The tree in autumn provides the inspiration for the Yoga Through the Year book's Autumn Equinox Yoga Practice. We can imitate the wisdom of the tree by conserving energy over the coming autumn and winter months and letting go of unnecessary baggage. This process of letting go enables us to create a sense of physical and mental spaciousness in our lives. Letting go is about prioritising what’s important to us and clearing a space, both physical and psychic, to nurture and nourish the things that do matter to us.
There is wisdom to be found in the fading beauty of autumn. In spring the newly formed leaf contains within itself the blueprint that prompts it to fall from the tree in autumn. The tree knows that to survive the dark, cold winter months it must conserve energy. Over winter, the fallen leaves rot, forming compost that in turn nourishes the tree. And when spring comes around, new buds unfurl into fresh green leaves.
As the trees let go of their leaves, what do you wish to let go of this autumn? The global pandemic has thrown all our lives into confusion and uncertainty. As autumn arrives, many of us wish to let go of the fear, disappointment, and loss, that has been our companion during these unprecedented times. Our mindfulness practice reminds us that the first step of letting go, is to allow ourselves to fully experience the emotions that we are wishing to let go of. Along the lines of: what we resist persists. If we can allow ourselves to simply feel what we are feeling, then we can process those emotions, connect with their inherent wisdom, and begin the process of healing. However, if we bypass this stage of feeling what we are feeling, then letting go becomes pushing away, which in turn traps us in a cycle of persistent, unwanted thoughts and emotions.
Feeling what you feel is warrior work! Your yoga and mindfulness practice can support you along the way. The Surrounding a Difficulty With Love Meditation, page 126-127. in the Yoga Through the Year book, will help you to develop the skills to tolerate and embrace difficult emotions more easily. This in turn will help you to build up courage and emotional resilience. You could also check out the audio mindfulness exercises on The Mindful Way Through Anxiety website.
As we approach 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.
Below are some meditation questions to assist you with the process of letting go this autumn.
Autumn Meditation Questions on Letting Go
In preparation for winter the trees are letting go of their leaves.
Jilly Shipway, sharing seasonal yoga ideas and inspiration with you through the year...
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Disclaimer: if you have any concerns about your health or suitability to do yoga, please consult a medical professional before attempting any of the yoga routines in this blog.