Summer has officially come to an end with the Autumn Equinox marking the first day of Autumn. Last night I threw on an extra blanket and turned off the fan. It’s hard to believe that just a couple weeks ago we were melting in triple digit heat here in the SF bay area. It’s been an adventurous and exciting summer, and unless you plan to chase the sunshine and fly south … it’s time to shift into Autumn.
What is the Autumn (fall) equinox? The equinox literally represents the sun being in line with the Earth’s equator. On this day, there will be equal amounts of daylight (12 hours) and darkness (12 hours) and from here on out the Sun will begin to shift towards the Southern Hemisphere resulting in shorter days and longer (darker, cooler) nights.
Although we live in a day and age where we can override the effect of this seasonal shift by simply turning on the lights and putting on our Ugg boots and coats; our primal bodies are deeply connected to the path of the Sun. Many of the greatest ancient temples around the world, like Machu Picchu and Stonehenge were created as observatories to track the patterns of the Sun and served as clocks and calendars.
The seasonal shifts are a time of celebration at these temples where people gather together to pay tribute to the sun and its various forms of light. I had the honor to participate in the pagan ritual at Stonehenge last fall and was blown away at the reverence for the seasonal shift.
Nature is our greatest teacher. When we slow down to observe the subtle shift that are in motion around us, we learn the art of living from this great teacher.
The autumn shift influences eating, migration, hibernation and growth patterns. Trees and plants are ending their year of growth with final blooms and bounty, birds and butterflies are migrating south with the Sun. For us humans, the cooler weather and new season brings about a shift in fashion and festivities. We’re all preparing to put on our winter coats in some way.
As we enter into this new season recognize the food, movement, and meditation that your body is natural craving, by aligning with this inner guidance you align with nature and nourish yourself towards optimal well-being. Our ancestors believed that by mimicking how nature thrives and survives, human beings will also survive and thrive. Eating foods in season, moving around stagnant energize through physical exercise, and nourishing and honoring the mind with meditation and reflection.
Rather than forcing yourself to keep pace with the summer months, align with the Autumn shift to feel healthier and happier.
Here’s a simple guide to support you in the Autumn shift. In it you will find the food, movement, and meditation guidelines to nourish you this Autumn. Download it here.
Stay tuned in over the next few weeks, I’ll be expanding on the Autumn shift with posts about Q4 stress and staying healthy in the holidays. If you haven’t already come follow me on Instagram where I’ll be sharing a live Autumn Shift Yoga practice on Friday afternoon..