Fall is a time to Replenish and Let Go
Walking in the woods on these Fall days lately has left me in a state of wonderment. From savoring the late afternoon sunlight on Fall foliage to spying birds and furry animals cache seeds and nuts for the winter ahead, there’s a sense of Nature’s many ever-changing routines for self-care. Leaves of maple, oak, birch, and blueberry, which have been busy harvesting the sun all summer long, now relinquish their well-used solar collectors back to the Earth to nourish the soil and tend to their own roots.
Nature, in its infinite wisdom, has bestowed humans with an innate propensity for seasonal self-care. This time of year, I nudge towards being cozy at home by a warm fire with a nourishing cup of Wild Grace Old Forest Chai or one of Katie’s other magical concoctions. I settle in with a snoozey cat on my lap and even indulge in a nap that during summer seemed unthinkable. Even my food hankerings change. My grandmother’s porridge begins to beckon in the Fall.
Grandmother’s oatmeal was hard to beat. I remember her stirring the big cast iron kettle over a wood stove with a long wooden spoon. It had the perfect texture. For many years, I endeavored to recreate Grandmother’s Porridge. I experimented with all kinds of variables, and although some were close, most didn’t meet what was in my memory.
Learning to let go…
My stringent ideal of recreating her porridge always left me with a tad of disappointment. I refocused my efforts and embraced the possibility that I can cater to my own perfect porridge. And what that is changes from day to day depending on what’s calling me. Sometimes it’s maple syrup and ghee, sometimes its rose petals and cardamon. Here’s one of my favorite creative twists: Ayurvedic oatmeal recipe. Liberated from expectations, I approach each batch of porridge with curiosity and an open mind.
What does this have to do with yoga?
In light of my many efforts to make a replenishing bowl of porridge, a few drops of wisdom clarify just like when making ghee. There’s no short cut, no pat works-every-time recipe. Lots of factors come into play. If you’ve ever made a pie crust, you know how the temperature of the room, the shortening and water factor in. With curiosity, you find just the right amount of heat for just the right amount of time to get a delicious yoga practice cooking. Unlike Quick Oats Yoga, it’s not enough to tear open the package and pour your leg over there, your arm here, and expect an amazing experience at the end. Yoga is about engaging your awareness – moment to moment nuancing with kind and mindful awareness of body, breath, mind, and heart. It’s about tasting, sensing, adding a little more sweet, salt, or spice, knowing when to stir the pot and when to let it rest… This is the art of nourishing our being and tending to our self-care.
Here’s a secret I learned from my Grandmother about making porridge: When it seems it’s cooked enough, turn the heat off, cover the pan, and let it sit undisturbed for several minutes. Interesting… isn’t that what we do in yoga? We give our body and mind an opportunity to rest undisturbed for the last few precious minutes. We let go. I don’t fully understand the science of savasana or why Grandmother covered her kettle, but I sense that innate wisdom, a deeper magic is brewing “under the lid” in those quiet moments.
A Special Opportunity to Replenish and Let Go…
If you’re interested in exploring some lovely self-care rituals this Fall, sign up for my friend Katie Gordon’s free 13 day online course, “Sacred Embodied”
Wishing you joy and a graceful transition into Fall,
Happy to help.
If I can help you find greater ease in your yoga practice this Fall, please feel free to drop in to any of my classes or sign up for a 5 week mini-series on a special topic, treat yourself to one or more private yoga sessions, or go deluxe and join me for a yoga and meditation retreat (Yachats in November, Yelapa, Mexico in January) where we’ll dive in deeply into Nature’s Self-Care routines! Still want more? I co-lead Yoga Teacher Trainings (200 and 500 YTT’s) with some fabulous people.