09/12/2014 Mind-Body Health
As we begin to transition from summer into the cooler season of fall, we find ourselves shifting gears and coming back into more structured routines. For some people, this might mean planning daily activities around pets, school, work, homework, meal times, exercise, time with friends and family, and personal down time for focused rejuvenation. For others, moving into the fall season may be a simpler transition of adjusting to the shift in weather patterns and fewer daylight hours, which affects everything from when we run errands to exercise regimens and what kinds of meals we are preparing. For most of us, it’s a combination of all of these things.
Regardless of our individual lifestyles, it occurs to each of us—around this time of year—that more awareness needs to be placed on how to stay healthy during the seasonal junction, Ritu Sandhi in Sanskrit, between summer and fall. Here are three things to ease the transition.
The transition between summer and fall is a great time of year to do your seasonal cleanse or juice fast. As we know, seasonal cleansing rids our bodies of all sorts of toxins, pollutants, harsh chemicals, pesticides, and any other Ama (toxic residue) that our physical body has accumulated over the summer. Cleanses will help to purify and tone the internal organs, cells, and tissues of the body, flushing out impurities that aren’t serving us.
One of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves during seasonal changes is to set aside quiet time that involves no agenda. This ‘down time’ allows us to simply BE; to connect with stillness, to experience silence, and to acquaint ourselves with the ever-present witness that is our essential nature. It is through the non-active participation of honoring quiet time at some point each day, we are able to correlate aspects of activity and rest in a way that elicits a dynamic state of balance within.
If you have fallen away from your silent meditation practice, now is the time to recommit. If you are coming off of a busy summer season of rushing from one activity to another, find time to sit quietly in nature or in your favorite spot and just listen. If your meditation practice is solid, and you frequent your sacred silent space, then perhaps this is the time to go deeper into that stillness through the practice of yoga nidra.
Introducing the practice of recapitulation at the end of each day can also be a powerful, conscious choice-making tool. Recapitulation (or re-capping) of your day allows you to play out your day in your mind’s eye and shift into the witnessing state of awareness, where it becomes possible to observe your choices and determine if there are any shifts you would like to make. Recapitulation is best done at the end of each day, just before you go to sleep for the night. Here is a simple-to-follow guideline for practicing recapitulation. The whole process should only take a minute or two.
- Sit upright in your bed and close your eyes.
- Take a few deep breaths and settle comfortably into your space.
- Begin to play back your day on the screen of your awareness.
- Start from when you woke up and move through each of your experiences, conversations, and behaviors all the way up to this moment.
- Play back your day relatively quickly—as though you’re watching a movie reel—not spending too much time on the details.
- Just observe.
- When you have finished, settle into your bed for the night and sleep well.