We are starting to welcome the new season here in Goa… After the monsoon, Goa starts to burst into life and by November we are blossoming. I have been living this seasonal life for 20 years and have been welcoming students to the yin side now for five years. After the monsoon rains, we are nourished – the landscape is vibrant green – 50 shades of Green!
Beyond the palm trees that dot the beaches and roads, there are rice fields, cashew trees bright hibiscus flowers and swooping turquoise kingfishers – come and immerse your senses in Goa.
The seasons here in Goa are different – but we are still entering the cooler Winter months here in India. No matter what season you find yourself in at home there are a few key areas we can focus on in order to find a sense of balance. The shift in seasons is always challenging. Autumn is naturally a time to go inwards – our rhythm changes at this time of year. Yin Yoga supports this journey inwards with poses to help us direct our awareness inwards and create stability and clarity.
5 Tips on Finding Balance this Autumn
1 – Get Grounded in your Yoga
– Forward bends quieten the mind
Autumn can intensify anxiety – the wind can literally get under our skin and make us feel unsettled. When we bring our forehead to the earth in Childs Pose – it has a calming and grounding effect.
I really love the Deer Twist – I find it very grounding and supportive.
Sit in Butterly pose with the soles of the feet together and place a bolster next to your right hip – swing the left leg behind you and rest down with your torso onto the bolster – relax through the arms, hands and upper back. Feel the chest to the bolster – grounding the breath. A beautiful pose to stay for 5 min. Naturally, then swap the bolster and do it on the other side.
2 – Boost the Lung Meridian and Open the Chest
The lung meridian is not only a help in supporting our immunity, but in Daoist philosophy, they are also representing the element of metal, and its season is autumn. So tuning into the autumn vibes with some lung meridian activating poses is an excellent idea.
There are many yin yoga poses to help create space in the chest – Here are a couple of our favourites. We need to tune into the energy of breath at this time of year boosting our respiratory system.
Melting Heart Pose (Anahatasana)
Come onto all fours – knees slightly wider than hip-width apart and hips over the knees. Bring your chin to the earth and walk your hands out to the edge of your mat – you can rest your forearms on the ground. Feel a sense of spaciousness in the ribs and an expansive quality in the upper back – breathe into the sensation of expansion at the back of the heart (upper back). It will stimulate the heart and lung meridians if the arms are extended. For beginners, you can pad the knees with a blanket. Hold and surrender for 3-5 minutes.
Closed / Embracing Wings
Just cross your arm under your chest. You can give yourself a little hug by placing your hands on your shoulder blades or just releasing them to the ground. You might want to explore if you feel better with a little support under your forehead. Stay for 3 min and switch the crossing of the arms, but as always in our practice, if you feel too much compression listen to your body and soften. A nice rebound is needed after the pose to release the compressed lung meridian flow.
From laying on your front, stretch the arm out and roll over towards your back until you feel that sensation of your edge in your shoulders. Explore if you like to bring your upper leg up to create a bit more leverage or you also can just simply keep laying on your side. This pose opens our deltopectoral triangle beautifully to stretch out the lung meridian.
3 – Acupressure Point for Lung or Immunity
LU 7 is my most favourite point to address the lung meridian and it is a key point for boosting the immune system. It is excellent for runny noses, congestion, chills and fever, scratchy throat and sneezing because it is basically activating your body’s response to viral attacks.
LU7 is your bodyguard, fighting off viruses and bacteria.
♦ Stimulates the descending and dispersing of lung qi
♦ Relieves respiratory diseases
♦ Relieves scratchy throat, runny nose, congestion, sneezing
♦ Relieves chills/fever and body aches
♦ Main point to release neck pain
How to locate Lung 7:
- Bring your hands together to a “thumb shake”
- Place the index finger of the other hand behind the inside wrist
- Find the point just right under your index finger tip
4. Pamper yourself with VEGAN GOLDEN MILK
Our version of the ayurvedic classic uses either a light coconut milk or almond milk if you have it – and if you can combine both you create a creamier version (pure coconut milk can be too heavy – while oat or rice milk can be too light). And actually ground turmeric is not only more easily available but actually gives a stronger flavour in a shorter amount of time. And don’t forget the black pepper.
In our version we make a turmeric paste first and then add to the milk – so it might take longer than some recipes – but you can always make extra paste and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Put half a cup of water into a saucepan on a low heat and add 1 teaspoon of turmeric – you can also add a cardamom pod for added flavour – and add a twist of black pepper as this activates the active ingredients within the turmeric. Simmer to a paste like consistency for about 8 minutes.
At the same time you can gently heat your plant based milk (we recommend half/half coconut and almond) with 1 tsp of almond oil (so good for your joints at this time of year) until it boils – then take off the heat.
Then mix the two in a blender or whisk it up. Some people like to add a sweetener or honey.
Naturally you can make more of the paste by just increasing the ingredient ratio and refrigerate.
And lastly, put some love in your Golden Milk and enjoy some warm sips and a mindful moment.
5 – Get out
Even though it is getting cooler and the days are drawing in – get out in Nature. Wrap up warm, take a flask of herbal or green tea and get outside. It is good to get some light into your eyes. Ideally, nature is best so wander to the forest, by the river or a coastal walk – but if that’s not possible still try and walk the city streets. Look up – get the daylight in. If it’s windy it might be a good idea to cover your ears and wrap in a scarf – cool winds can really upset our nervous system.
In need of a change of perspective? Want to sink your feet into the sand as you watch a Goan sunset? Ready to tune into the receptivity of your body and mind through yin yoga? Join us this season for a yoga training that will bring you back home to yourself.
Join us to bring more Yin to the world!
Brightest autumn blessings,
Alex & Your YinLove Team