“This revolutionary act of treating ourselves tenderly can begin to undo the aversive messages of a lifetime.”
- Tara Brach
Autumn is the perfect time of year to take a deep breath, to reflect and to allow ourselves to evolve in a way that aligns more closely to our true life purpose. It is the season of harvest, a time for introspection and inner listening, to become more reflective and tune into what it is that you need to adjust in your life and what perhaps you can let go of.
We move from an energised season of yang (Summer) to a calmer, more mindful time of yin, when the emphasis is on honouring our natural craving for cosiness, nourishment and slowing down.
Finding balance and staying grounded can be tricky during this Vata season, so I wanted to share with you Ten ways to stay balanced & healthy this Autumn.
Regardless of the current upheaval and unknowns, Autumn can in itself be an unsettling time for many of us as our element of Vata or air can become imbalanced leaving us feeling energetically scattered and unsteady. Add to that all of the current uncertainty and the overhang of worry that we are being constantly fed by the media and you might find yourself suffering any number of physical, mental, emotional and energetic complaints. If any of this resonates with you, please know that you are not alone.
Around half of adults and over two thirds of young people have said that their mental health has deteriorated in the past 18 months. Anxiety and depression are through the roof. This is why it is so important that we find ways in which we can regain a sense of perspective, feel grounded and find sanctuary from the sense of unease that permeates our everyday experience of the world.
A Vata imbalance during this time of year can be aggravated by feelings of insecurity so be sure to take time for self-care in a variety of different forms. To balance our element of Vata during Autumn we need to bring in all things warming, grounding nourishing.
Here are some ways in which you can find balance and calm, resting the nervous system (which we know is essential for strong immune health) and helping the whole body (including the organs, the gland and joints) to function optimally.
Ten Ways To Stay Balanced & Healthy this Autumn:
1) Establish a regular routine involving a slow, nourishing breakfast, periods of stillness during your day so that you can connect with yourself and the present moment;
2) Vata excess can also be aggravated by excess movement. Try to slow down, reducing the amount of rushing & traveling. Give your self plenty of breaks from stressful situations, technology & screen time. Don't be afraid to say no to too many social commitments. There is nothing more calming that knowing your have plenty of time to yourself to just be and to relax;
3) Wrap up warm and go for long walks. This is a wonderful way to reconnect with nature and calm Vata Dosha bringing in Ojas which is responsible for our strength, vitality and immunity, protecting us from disease;
4) Engage in acts of unselfish kindness and love through perhaps helping someone who is struggling at the moment with loneliness or lack of purpose. This helps to build and strengthen Ojas and aid our natural immunity. Practice gratitude. Think of all of the wonderful gifts that you have in your life and how lucky you are despite life's inevitable hurdles;
5) Enjoy soothing activities like listening to gentle music, watching an uplifting movie or spending time with animals or children. Get out into the garden and plant bulbs giving yourself something beautiful to look forward to in Spring and Summer;
6) Sign up for a month of yoga with Respira Yoga London and try to practise a little yoga every day! This will make a huge difference to your wellbeing, balancing you energetically, mentally and emotionally and keeping you physically strong and supple. Join one of our gorgeous, super-calming mini-retreats for a real treat and some serious self-care.
7) During the early evening, turn off technology & run yourself a bath adding lots of epsom salts or essential oils. Luxuriate in a candle-lit soak, breathing in the aromas and just being present in your body, focusing on nothing but the flicker of the flame;
8) Moisture is also key for balancing Vata so take time to massage yourself with coconut oil or another soothing natural oil before putting on something warm and snuggly;
9) Introduce a calming evening routine involving a warm, herbal tea, a book and an early night. Decorate your living space with twinkly lights and invest in a salt lamp to make your time at home feel cosy, healing and nourishing. Listen to a meditation or a guided pranayama to ease you off into a beautiful night's sleep.
10) Balancing your Agni with Food! According to Ayurveda, Agni is the life force of intelligence within each cell, tissue and system within the body. The state of our agni is affected when its functions are disrupted by a poor diet, poor lifestyle choices, emotional disturbances and even seasonal changes as mentioned.
'The Ayurvedic concept of Agni (or digestive fire) as a foundation for good health is now being supported by modern medicine, as scientists have discovered the importance of gut health and the link between our gut and not just our physical well-being but our mental health'. - Clair Paphitis
Focus on warming soups, stews and plenty of cooked vegetables, spices & herbs to aid digestion. Avoid raw, cold foods and cold drinks and replace with herbal teas to stoke your digestive fire. If you're interesting in learning more about Ayurveda - the sister science of yoga and understanding your how your Agni, Ojas and Doshas can help bring equilibrium to how you feel, this short book is a wonderful place to start.
Sign Up For Your Daily Dose of Online Yoga
By signing up for the next 4 weeks you will have access to all 7 weekly live zoom yoga classes below for one month. In other words, 28 super-nourishing yoga classes for just £50. I will also send you 4 Yin yoga class recordings each month for you to practise whenever you fancy.
New students only, please book here. I will then be in touch :-)
Regular Students, please transfer in the usual way.
Your Kind Words..
Feedback from you all this month has been simply lovely and warmed my heart! Here are some super kind words that two lovely students took the time to send to me. It means so much that our yoga classes are having such an impact on your lives and helping to keep you resilient, curious and positive during these tough times.
A wonderful mini-retreat! Thanks for educating us also, yoga is not the same without the wisdom, thanks for making it even more meaningful.
Really enjoyed the experience and 3 hours went past so quickly. Felt totally relaxed and at peace afterwards.
Just wanted to let know that today’s mini retreat was wonderful. I felt so deeply relaxed at the end of the three hours that I have spent the rest of the day snuggled under a blanket on the sofa.
The sequencing was fabulous and the sound bath was a heavenly experience. I feel so grateful to have experienced that today.
Thank you for a wonderful morning on Saturday. It was lovely to have a full three hours to switch off from other stuff. I just loved doing OM together and building a huge vibration. You were really nurturing (and the vegan chocolate and nuts were delicious - thank you!). Slept lilke a log on Saturday.
Unbelievable practice today. Really enjoying learning about the chakras through yoga.
I started class completely frazzled. My girls had spent the last hour before bed fighting and screaming. The class has calmed me down and I feel so much lighter and happier.
Thanks for your much needed pockets of peace!
A wonderful experience. Time zoomed past so fast ! The highlight for me was the sound healing but it was all lovely, relaxing and refreshing.
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed today's class with its long poses. It was hard! I went straight on after into a half hour meditation as darkness grew. Wonderful.
I really enjoyed your class and managed to make a very beautiful ending to a very hectic and confusing day . Thank you so much.
Wonderful session. The tone and volume was perfect. Loving the twists. I came to mat feeling troubled and certainly felt very at peace by the end. Thank you and Emma for all the healing yoga.
If you haven't already, why not join us to see what wonders yoga can do for your health, wellbeing and happiness!?
Saturday 4.30pm Restorative Yoga
This practice is perfect for anyone who has a hard time slowing down, whose energy reserves feel depleted or when anxiety/stress levels are running high. Also if you are suffering with insomnia or if you have a bad back, restorative yoga may be your answer.
Further benefits of this deeply nourishing & healing practice are: Enhances flexibility; Deeply relaxes the body; Stills the mind; Improves capacity for healing and balancing; Balances the nervous system; Boosts the immune system; Enhances mood; Increased energy.
Restorative yoga creates the conditions for us to cultivate the skill of conscious relaxation and most importantly to release unnecessary habitual tension in the body and mind. Please have lots of props to hand (blankets, pillows, blocks and a yoga bolster).
We look forward to joining you virtually in your living room, or in the studio, where we shall be guiding you into yoga induced bliss :-) Until then, please take care of yourself.
“Yoga systematically teaches man to search for the divinity within himself with thoroughness and efficiency. He unravels himself from the external body to the self within. He proceeds from the body to the nerves, and from the nerves to the senses. From the senses he enters into the mind, which controls the emotions. From the mind he penetrates into the intellect which guides reason. From the intellect, his path leads to the will and thence to consciousness. The last stage is from consciousness to his Self, his very being." - BKS Iyengar.
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Respira Yoga London
Mob: 07990 820112
Please consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. By participating in online yoga classes with Respira Yoga London, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself and agree to release and discharge Respira Yoga London, Isabelle Sagra and any contracted teachers, from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Respira Yoga London, Isabelle Sagra or any contracted teachers' negligence.
Thank you to Lea Androic for allowing me to share her beautiful images. You an purchase these prints on Etsy here!
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