Fall Equinox - Nourish Yourself
Today is the Fall Equinox. An equal amount of day to night as we transition into fall. After today, the days get shorter, the weather cooler & it is time to reap what we have sewn over the summer. As I harvest my garden & make a big batch of borscht today (thanks to my friend Paula's Baba's delicious recipe) I am thankful for being able to take such humble ingredients & make something so nourishing.
Our practice can be like that too. Take simple movements, breath & meditation practices & you can create a way to nourish yourself: body, mind & soul. This week we explored Sat Nam or Kirtan Krya meditation (to honour truth). This is a meditation chant exercise originating from Kundalini Yoga that involves chanting and using finger poses (mudras). This simple exercise reduces stress levels, increases circulation in the brain, promotes focus and clarity, and stimulates mind-body-spirit connection all while breaking old patterns of behaviour. From 6-12 minutes once a day, or longer ie: 31 minutes is a traditional length. Sit in an upright position on the floor or in a straight-backed chair. Rest your hands on your knees with palms facing upwards. Chant the syllables Sa, Ta, Na, Ma - lengthen the ending of each sound as you repeat them, ...aaaaaaaaah. Touch your index finger tip to the tip of your thumb as you chant Sa. Touch your middle finger tip to the tip of your thumb as you chant Ta. Touch your ring finger tip to the tip of your thumb as you chant Na. Touch your pinky tip to the tip of your thumb as you chant Ma. Do the finger movements as you chant in the following sequence: Chant out loud for 2 minutes Chant in a whisper for 2 minutes Chant in silence for 2-4 minutes (stop here or add next 2 steps) Chant in a whisper for 2 minutes Chant out loud for 2 minutes ** If at first if this seems a bit lengthy, try 1 min for each step or just try it in your own way…..they key is to just do it. Even try while lying down with your hands resting beside you as a way to help you find rest** Sanskrit chanting sounds Sa Ta Na Ma translates to birth, life, death, rebirth (the cycle of life, habits, ideas….) So take some time on this day of balance to see if you can let go of anything that doesn't serve you, to make room for something new. To birth a new habit that could be helpful to your life. Try Sat Nam every day this week for a few minutes & see if it could be a practice to add to help keep you balanced. -- Namaste, Anne Cox E-RYT 500 acyoga.net 403-819-9790 firstname.lastname@example.org For some other ways to celebrate the Fall Equinox, see the article below by Sara Cochlin
https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2018/09/210289/fall-autumnal-equinox-rituals-gratitude-meaning-2018 "Most of us have been conditioned to believe summer ends abruptly after Labor Day weekend (or whenever Starbucks announces that the PSL is back). But fall doesn't officially start until the sun crosses the Earth's equator from north to south, in an event known as the autumnal equinox, or within Paganism, Mabon. This year, the equinox will occur on Saturday, September 22, at 9:54 p.m. EST. Spiritually speaking, this day signals much more than the start of sweater weather — the fall equinox is also viewed as the perfect opportunity to spend time outside, embrace changes in the natural world, and practice gratitude. "There are three harvest festivals (of which the fall equinox is the second) and they all revolve around our gratitude for the Earth and the bounty it gives us," explains author and Wiccan high priestess Deborah Blake. Historically, that bounty was literal: Pagans and other followers of nature-based faiths would spend the equinox celebrating a successful crop and preparing their pantries for the colder months to come. Nowadays, you're just as likely to celebrate a more figurative bounty. By looking back on the last 12 months, since last year's fall equinox, you'll probably recall something (maybe a new friendship, relationship, job, or something as simple as a new budgeting app) that deserves a moment of reflection and, yes, gratitude. Fall is associated with major changes in the outside world, as the leaves shift in color and animals start preparing for hibernation, so it's only natural to take a moment to recognize the changes that have taken place in your own life, too. Blake reminds us that the fall equinox is one of the two days in the entire year when daytime and nighttime are roughly equal in length, "making it a great time to do magical work for balance in your own life." What better way to make your life feel more balanced than to give back for all you've gotten? So, once you've reflected on and realized all that you've gained since last year, it's time to show your appreciation for those developments. If you want to take a more traditional route, Blake recommends doing something that directly supports the Earth. "Give some of that bounty back to the earth by planting a tree [or] putting food out for the birds," she says. If you'd rather perform a more symbolic ritual, you can express your gratitude by "simply lighting a candle and saying 'thank you,'" Blake says. You can reach out to the people who helped you most this year just to say hi, cover your coworker's shift, or tip a little extra for your barista. You don't have to do anything elaborate, as long as your intention is to show thanks for the progress you've been able to make since last fall. So, there's no reason to wait until Thanksgiving to show gratitude for what's come into your life in the last year. It'll be just as spiritually fulfilling to do so this weekend during the fall equinox — plus, you might be sick of the cooler temps by November and be in a less thankful mood."