Getting back into the swing of things as summer ends and fall begins can be exhausting and shocking to your system. How do you gracefully enter the rush of the season with more ease and balance? Here are three ways you can take action now so you feel more grounded and inspired in these next few months.
1) Ritual practice. I’m often reminded that there are things you can do every day, no matter how busy you are, that add more meaning and help you feel more connected to your life. My teacher Abby Tucker reminded me of this today, and it got me thinking about the ways in which ritual can help us stay grounded and inspired in the everyday. A ritual practice can be really useful after a vacation, retreat, or even at the end of a weekend.
My Ritual: I start every single day with a cup of hot tea, followed by a little bit of yoga (note some days my practice is an hour, and others it’s 5 minutes – but it is always there). It’s amazing how much clearer, stronger, and more creative I feel after this ritual. On the very seldom days I miss it, I notice.
Now I’m working on developing an equally consistent meditation practice. This has taken me longer to develop in terms of consistency – some weeks I’m there following my breath every day on the meditation cushion, and other weeks it’s like pulling teeth to get me to follow my breath for more than a few minutes. Coming home to ourselves can be hard. I’m giving myself more space to do this now.
2) Remember the tools you already have. When you get overwhelmed or frazzled, remembering what you’ve learned and incorporating it into daily life can be challenging. Again, this takes practice.
My Practice: Some folks like using little sticky notes on their computer as mantras to remember. I like wearing one piece of jewelry each day that reminds me of my strength and resiliency. These are not expensive mind you – I think I bought one of my bracelets for $10 at a flea market in Mexico, received another as a gift, and so on – but when I feel myself losing my cool, getting stressed, or in self-doubt, I actually touch these tokens to help me relax, find my breath, and exhale.
3) Relax and have fun! Just because things have started to pick up again doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun! Often when fall begins, a lot of us experience a sadness about the seeming loss of play and freedom.
I would say our challenge is to find the fun in all seasons and not wait for vacation or summer to really let out that sigh and relax! There are so many moments when we can add more joy and play. If we don’t, I’m afraid we set ourselves up for a life filled with disappointment as most of our time is not spent on vacation or summer.
My Practice: When I’m walking home from teaching a class or riding the bus, I pause a bit more to notice the beauty all around me. Whether it’s stopping to look up away from my phone and see the flowers, watch the leaves falling from a tree, or try to see if I can notice something new that I’ve never seen before.
I’m also starting to play again more! On my next free weekend I plan to take up a few sports that I played years ago. If you don’t have much time (say if you’re a new parent or simply cannot get a weekend day free) I would encourage you to see if you can carve away 5 minutes to do something just for YOU. And have it be something fun whether it’s reading a few pages of a book you’ve been meaning to catch up on, or taking a slightly different route home from work.
And maybe this play shows up in your yoga practice on the mat. I hope to see you there!
Get grounded, refreshed and re-set your system for the season! Join Crystal for her upcoming workshop: Yoga for the Seasons (An Autumn Extended Restorative Yoga Class) with Live Guitar Music at Yoga Tree Stanyan on Sunday, September 25th from 1:30 – 3:30pm.
Learn more balancing practices and yoga poses to incorporate into your life for the fall. All levels and ages welcome – including those who’ve never practiced restorative yoga before. You’re guaranteed to sleep better, and feel more relaxed and refreshed.
Reserve your spot!
About the Author:
Crystal Marie Higgins gives students the space to go deeply inward on the mat while cultivating a stronger connection to the self, and our own unique power within the world. Her classes are restorative, nurturing and deeply grounding.
Crystal’s goal as a teacher is to help her students bring balance, strength and ease back in their lives no matter what life experiences come their way. You can find her at Yoga Tree Stanyan + 6th Avenue, plus a few other places around SF.
She continues to be inspired by her teachers – Gloria Latham, Shiva Rea, Abby Tucker, Sara Avant Stover, Katchie Ananda, Matthew Brensilver and Jack Kornfield.
Crystal is also a marketer that partners with teachers and wellness clients to remove any obstacles to success, growth and visibility. Learn more at www.crystalmariehiggins.com.