Fall is the perfect time to rely upon your yoga practice to help you prepare for the change of seasons. Summer is all about fun and games, back bends and hand stands and playing outside. It can be hard to focus and hone in on the more productive work mode that seems to hit hard come September.
As the weather takes a turn, it's important to keep a light, sunny summer attitude as we bring our attention more inward and prepare to hunker down for the colder months ahead. We want to keep our hearts open and not fall in to slouched shoulders and rounded forward posture. We also want to feed ourselves a very nourishing, grounding practice that can sustain us when the temps drop and the days get shorter.
In this yoga sequence we start with eagle pose for focus and concentration. Then, we move to half moon pose to keep our sunlight shining before we fall back into warrior II pose to ground our stance and prepare for battling the workload ahead. Once we feel steady, we shoot forward in to our future in warrior III, knowing we're prepared to take on any challenges ahead of us.
Practice the sequence three times through on each side and you'll feel stable, confident, and prepared, yet still lighthearted and full of sunshine within as you welcome the fall.
Wrap your left arm over your right arm as high up as possible, then hinge at the elbows and try pressing your palms together. Bend your knees a little and wrap your right leg over your left leg and see if you can double cross the foot at the ankle. Hinge forward from your waist and gaze down the tip of your nose or fingers. Find your eagle-eyed focus. Hold 5-8 breaths.
Place the fingers of your left hand on the floor (or a block) about 10 inches in front of your left pinky toe. Unwrap your right leg and kick it straight back behind you so your hips are stacked one of top of another. Turn your right leg and foot out so the toes are pointing to the right (not the floor) and lift your right arm up to the ceiling. Imagine yourself between two narrow walls and look up at the top hand. Use your core and legs to balance. Hold 5-8 breaths.
Carefully step your right leg far back (as long as one of your own leg's lengths) as you bend your front knee, then lift your torso up in to warrior II. You want to make sure the front knee is directly over the ankle and not rolling in. Keep the back leg straight and strong and the torso even between both legs. Stretch your arms out to your sides and gaze over the front hand. Hold 5-8 breaths.
Bring your right arm forward as your pivot on to the ball of the right foot so both hips are facing front. Lunge off the left leg into warrior III pose, lifting the back leg up behind you parallel the floor. Hinge your chest forward until your torso and lifted leg are in one straight line. Stretch your arms forward or straight back and gaze at a spot on the floor 10-12 inches in front of you. Hold 5-8 breaths before coming up to stand on both feet. Repeat the entire sequence starting with the left leg on top in eagle pose.
You can add this sequence to a yoga practice of sun salutations or just do it on its own. Then pour yourself a mug of hot spiced cider and welcome in the beautiful autumn days.
For more by Kristin McGee, click here.
For more on yoga, click here.
Follow Kristin McGee on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thebendigirl