Light. Mobile. Dry. Subtle. Rough. These are the qualities of the air element according to Ayurvedic teachings and the air element comes to the fore during the fall season. Prana. Lifeforce. Breath. As we transition to autumn I’m reminded of the qualities of air as windy days return to the Northeast. Perhaps the wind is helping to push us forward into the next season as we contemplate change and “out with the old, in with the new” as our grandmothers would say. The autumnal equinox, when night and day are of equal length and in balance reminds us to check the balance in our own lives. What might I change in my own life? What can I let go of? The breath, our life force, is a powerful tool to help us be mindful. A simple practice of the letting go breath can help you clean the mind of it’s clutter. Simply sit or stand with a straight spine, with feet on the earth. Take a deep breath in through the nose and exhale softly through the mouth. Repeat a few times, with an audible sigh on the exhale.
Mindfulness is, in a way, a process of remembering. Remembering our roots, remembering our goals, maybe remembering our ancestors’ way of life. What did our ancestors do to align with the seasons?
Here are a few ideas on how we can get in touch with the mother nature to help us tune into the season and find balance:
Eat the fruits of the season –try apple picking, making apple pies, butternut squash soup or whatever you enjoy from your local growers
Experiment with nature art – build a rock cairn, sketch the birds that visit your home, design a nature mandala with natural materials, or collect and press maple leaves
Invite a friend and go leaf peeping
Take a walk in the woods or your nearest green space and notice how the leaves sound as you walk
What are your favorite ways to get into the swing of the season? Where might the wind blow you?
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
-Henry David Thoreau