What a beautiful autumnal day. The sun was shining and there was the fresh crispness to the air which is so apt for this time of year. That lovely low sun that hides every now and then behind the trees. We practiced our change of the seasons Yoga today, allowing ourselves to let go of  our habits. Habits that we may have adopted in the summer months. Yoga is all about change. Changing ourselves, through practice, allowing our real Self to shine through. We can become stagnant and lethargic in our lives and in our movements.  We  basically can become stuck. In a Yoga class this can be a simple as always bringing your right leg first to your chest first so we bring the left leg in. Think for example how you hold your phone. Or your I pad. A book? Is it always in the same hand? Try to change these postural habits. Realise when you are doing a repetitive movement. Sitting for too long? Get up and do cat/cow spine undulations. Driving? Rotate one wrist one way and then the other when stationary.  Stand on one leg whilst brushing your teeth. Bend your knees to pick the cat up. Drink your tea using a different hand. All these little changes help the muscular body and  change the neuro signals which sends messages to the brain to think. And not about what’s for dinner but real conundrums helping the brain to fire up in a different way. One of the brain’s main job is to help you execute movement by sending signals, via nerves to the muscles to move. if we have habitual patterns of movement, our brain is repeating the message and its so quick that the brain then try’s to get your attention any other way it can. Not unusually about something not remotely related to anything you are doing and then we start to worry. Worry then initiates the nervous system to go into the SNS the sympathetic nervous state, our fight or flight. Now, this is super important if we are running from danger. we need a quicker heart rate. more adrenalin, more cortisol, our bodies ready to flee and be safe. But do we need it to be activated because the kettle is broken? or you’ve lost a sock? No, we don’t but we are living in an era of instant gratification and we stress far to easily. Therefore we want to keep our  bodies in the PNS parasympathetic nervous state: Our rest and digest. This is where we are stress free. No unwanted hormones surging around the body and certainly not an elevated heart rate. If you feel that you are starting to worry or are repeating movements you know you can easily change, stop and breath. Change the pattern you have adopted. Sit or stand upright and breath. Breathe long slow inhalations and exhalations through the nose. Focus only on this for a few seconds. Move the body part you feel is stuck. Maybe think of a Yoga pose that has made you feel great do four or five rounds  and then go back to your business. It only has to be a small movement but every time you notice you need to move, you are doing Yoga.

With this beautiful autumn upon us we know that winter is around the corner. So instead of dreading it, embrace the change you can bring into your life. Make a commitment to yourself to get out of the postural habits you have adopted and be ready to nestle down in winter, ready to emerge refreshed and nourished through Yoga. Nourishing the body with healthy warm food. adding another layer of clothing and keeping hands and feet warm. Try warrior poses for grounding. Balances such as tree to feel balance in your life in this time of change. Or to stand in mountain pose whenever you feel wobbly or out of kilt. There is nothing quite like feeling the solid ground beneath you feet at this time of year.  If you cant make a class then a try few poses in your home because a little Yoga really does go a long, long way.

 

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