New Beginnings: Simple September

New Beginnings: Simple September

September, is it really September already?

This year has definitely flown by. Although, September is not as cold as it once was. I remember years where the start of school also meant immediately getting out the cold weather clothes to wait for the bus. These days, we may still have some heat before the change in seasons truly sets in. Take advantage of the heat while it lasts to help ease the transition into the activities of the season.

Be kind to yourself, the weather isn't the only thing shifting. As schools start again, and autumn activities get into full swing, there are many other adjustments happening as well. That means creating new routines, new friends and giving yourself space to settle in to these changes.  During this time, I like to keep my yoga practice simple, familiar and grounded. There are enough things up in the air, your practice doesn't need to be. Of course simple doesn't necessarily mean easy, but it could. This focus also gives me a chance to settle back into teaching after taking my own break of sorts.

So, what is simple yoga?

Simple could mean a lot of things, but for me it means not requiring as much thought. So focusing on poses that are part of your practice on a regular basis. For me that is poses like bridge pose, triangle pose maybe some variation of shoulder stand, maybe a sun salutation flow. These are all poses or sequences that can be challenging, but my body finds the shapes familiar which means getting into them correctly requires less thought. What are some poses that are simple for you?

Another way to bring simplicity to your yoga practice is to focus more on the meditative aspects of your practice. Once again, not easy at all. Sometimes meditation can be more challenging than Asana, but the goal is simple. Watch the mind. See all that activity and allow yourself to watch it continuously moving. Maybe even gaze at it in wonder.

If meditation alone is just too much (and that is OK), maybe try some simple Pranayama. Boxed breathing is a good one. All you do is breathe in for the same amount of time that you breathe out. Or see if you can make your exhale twice as long as your inhale. Sometimes having the breath to focus on takes away some of the agitation that may come up when trying to just meditate.

Maybe carving away any time to practice is just not possible. Instead, bring your practice into your life. Maybe breath deeply every time you throw something away. Or start each morning letting go of judgement as you start looking though emails. Attach a small act of mindfulness to something that you have to do throughout the day. Kind of like a drinking game except with mindfulness instead of alcohol. Make it fun and allow yourself to notice if you feel any differently. If it isn't working for you, let it go or try something else.

Whatever place you are in, allow your yoga practice to support you. You don't ever need to push through something that doesn't feel right. Give yourself space to notice what you need and offer that to yourself. If you would like to join me for some Simple Yoga in September, I will be teaching in all the usual places. I hope to see you in class, virtually of course.

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