Autumn’s arrival signifies a time of transition and release. The rustle of falling leaves, the final bountiful harvest, and the chilly, misty mornings alert us that change is in the air. Sometimes it can be difficult to maintain balance with so much shifting in the world around us. Incorporate the following simple meditations for autumn into your practice to aid in grounding, centering, and connecting to the powerful energies of fall.
1. Let Go
This meditation is centered around releasing thoughts, patterns, behaviors or people that no longer serve you in a positive way. This a great seasonal meditation as it directly relates to the changes occurring in the natural world: leaves changing color and falling, plants releasing seed and dying back, and a general sense of slowing down and settling in. This practice can be done either inside or outside. Come to a comfortable seated position, close your eyes, and bring your awareness to your breath. Feel the fullness and expansion that comes with each inhale, and the release and contraction that follows each exhale. As you feel your body settle, focus your thoughts on one thing that you would like to release from your life. Connecting to your breath, inhale that which you want to manifest, and exhale that which you desire to release. For example: Inhale, “I am strength and wholeness.” Exhale, “I release self judgement.” Continue this practice for ten or more breaths.
2. Gather Resources
What can you harvest and preserve to nurture you through the cold months ahead? For this meditation have paper and a writing utensil handy. Come to a comfortable seated position, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Focus on all the resources and blessings that fill your life. As you sit in stillness, notice the sensations that arise in your body. Maybe you feel warm and happy, peaceful or safe. Pay attention to that. After ten minutes or so, open your eyes and pick up your writing materials. Draw a big circle on the paper, and in the circle write all the blessings and resources that you thought of during your mediation. Be as creative as you want with this part, maybe also incorporating color or pictures. Remember that each item you write in the circle is something that you can refer to when times are tough, or when you need a boost. Keep the paper in a safe space like a special box or journal, or hang it somewhere prominent in your home where you will notice it throughout the day.
3. Go on a walk
This meditation is best done outside, either in a large grassy space or on a nice trail in the woods. When you are ready, come to Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Stand tall, with feet firmly rooted on the earth. Slow your breath, feeling full expansion and contraction on the inhales and exhales. From this place of inner stillness, begin to walk, moving slowly and mindfully, connecting the lifting of each foot with an inhale and the placing of each foot with an exhale. If you are in a field start at the perimeter and work your way inward. If you are on a trail simply follow wherever the path leads you. As you walk, maintain focus on your breath and the sensation of your body moving through space. Notice the feel of air on your skin, and the sounds and smells around you. Move as slowly as you’d like, while maintaining the connection of movement and breath. Let your intuition tell you when it’s time to stop. Come back to an easy standing pose and on an inhale raise your hands up and overhead. On an exhale bring your hands to prayer position at heart center, embracing the sense of serenity and peace.
As the seasons shift we too transform, release, and renew. As you move through your yoga and meditation practice, remember to always meet yourself exactly where you are, with gentleness and loving kindness regardless of the season.