Today is the Autumnal Equinox, exact this afternoon (Thursday 22nd, 16:21 in Brussels), at the moment the Sun enters tropical Libra. Technically, this Sunday the 25th – the day of our Open House! – is the day of Equilux, where we have the same amount of light as dark.
Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralysed.
Your deepest presence
is in every small contracting and expanding,
the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
as birds’ wings.
~Jalal ad-Din Rumi (30 September 1207-17 December 1273)
Rumi, born with a Libra Sun, is a beautiful embodiment of this energy of balance and harmony – appreciating our need to harmonise with life’s cycles so we can step back from activity and restore our energies in this period of decreasing light. As the French say: “reculer pour mieux sauter” (stepping back for a better jump).
And do we pull back? No! I hear you say, unanimously. We forge on with even more activities than during the spring and summer months, when the light gives us boundless energy. We act as though we don’t have a choice in the matter, and rarely question that assumption.
Ayurveda teaches us to live along with the energy of each season, and shows us how to adapt our diets and daily routines to the time of day, the weather and the seasons. Far from being complicated, it is deeply wise in its simplicity!
When there is less light, sleep more. When it’s cold outside, eat food that warms you up. When nature provides an abundance of certain foods locally, eat mostly that. Avoid extremes of temperatures to keep the kidneys happy. Cover your neck, wrists, ankles and lower back when its cold, just like your grandma said. Easy peasy.
If you find you get agitated and nervous from windy days, drink a warm tea of cinnamon, ginger and cardamom to balance Vata. If you find yourself lethargic and wanting to eat too much, take a walk to your local café and enjoy a fresh cup of espresso or green or black tea, to balance Kapha. Or maybe you get irritable and impatient, and need to balance Pitta with a big bunch of sweet Muscat grapes.
As adults and parents, we need to model to our children what it is we claim to want – a life of less stress and struggle, more ease and joy. Each day provides an opportunity to do this in simple, small ways. Going to bed early, at least a few days a week, is a good start. Eating a nourishing meal together, calmly, avoiding controversial topics of conversation or even keeping a few moments of relaxed silence to simply chew better; avoid over-scheduling or micro-managing life; take time to really enjoy unscheduled recreation, maybe a walk in a park or forest… any of these things will improve your well-being, by becoming more mindful.
Your yoga practice should also adapt to the season, taking time to move gently and warm up the body, doing more relaxation and ojas-building practices to keep your energy strong through the changing weather of the autumn. Your practice becomes more integrated and real when you take a moment to observe what you really need to keep your body in balance, as opposed to what you want to do, or habitually do.
We are all wise, when we take the time to listen to our inner wise person. Explore your inner wisdom as a way of finding a better balance in your life, and if you want support in doing so, join us for the Mindful Living course or a yoga class when you can.
Much love and light,