To welcome Autumn is to welcome transition. This is a time of shifting from vibrant, active Summer days toward passive, restful Winter nights. Fall is the season of transformation. It is the time when our trees shed leaves, yet produce more sap; that animals scurry to stock up on food; when humans start to turn slightly more introverted, enjoying more quiet moments and warmer dishes. This sacred pause helps us to digest the abundant information and activity from Summer, and to develop direction on our path – direction that guides us toward something different and new. With a fire in our bellies, we shed our perfectionism and confidently trudge forward, interested followers in tow, into gentle acts of love, compassion, virtue, and conscious awareness. We experience and inspire gratitude and reverence for those people, things, and places that give our lives luster.
This, our time of balancing, jointly offers the warm light of the sun and cool gleam of the moon, inspiring equal access to our femininity and masculinity; our cheery selves and shadow selves; our accomplishments and disappointments; the birth and death of parts of our lives. We dive deep into our hearts to consider the internal truth behind it all, avoiding nothing, experiencing everything, and becoming stronger and wiser as a result.
While the fire dances and the wind blows, we discover our own golden leaves are shedding and gliding wistfully through the air, drying out and transforming into Earth itself. Our bodies change – they need different nutrients, different stimulants, and different exercises. We need to build heat and support deep breathing. We need extra space and time while we sit in our transformative fire. We must keep our bodies in our embrace throughout the change.
For, in order to activate, sustain, and maintain an open heart, we must reserve some of its kindness and trust. And, in order to fiercely love, we must empower ourselves by fueling our inner fire of passion and instinct.
Charge up your energy centers by utilizing the following exercises:
For the Solar Plexus Chakra
Rudra Mudra: Press the index and ring finger pads against the thumb pad. Extend the remaining fingers.
For at least one minute, breathe deeply into your belly, expanding your abdomen on the inhale and softening it on the exhale.
Continue on into Kapalabhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breath) by inhaling the same way and then pushing the navel back to create a forceful exhale through the nostrils. Breathe in this way for 5-10 breaths. After a few recovery breaths, complete 1 or 2 more rounds.
Go back to breathing deeply.
Release your mudra.
For the Heart Chakra
Fearless Heart Mudra: Cross your right wrist in front of your left wrist. Wrap your right index finger around your left index finger. Do the same with your middle and pinky fingers. Touch the tips of your ring fingers and thumbs together (right to right, left to left), completing circles.
Place this mudra at your heart center.
Breathe deeply into the heart space (chest, underarms, upper back).
Silently or aloud, repeat Metta Meditation: May I be well. May I be peaceful and at ease. May I be happy. *These words can be exchanged for more meaningful wishes of your choice. After several rounds of inner Loving Kindness, send it out (to a loved one, an acquaintance, a person you see every day, a person who needs it, a person who challenges you, the world…).
Release your mudra.
May your Autumn be full of color, warmth and nourishment!
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