What a beautiful Maine summer. Who can blame you if you spent it outside drinking in the warm sunshine, sea breezes and cool water, and if maybe you lost your yoga practice somewhere back in June or July? At least you were getting plenty of exercise and fresh air, right?
Suddenly the days start getting shorter, the nights cooler, and the body starts to register this shift in the seasons. Much as we want to hang onto every last ray of summer sun, the fall rhythms and autumn foliage bring back that comforting feeling of routine. We are reminded of the ephemerality of all things, that summer will come around again next year, and the year after that, and so on. Short of a vacation to the tropics, we can’t escape the cooling temperatures and growing darkness any more than we can reverse our own aging process. As Patanjali writes in the Yoga Sutras, “Clinging to life, flowing by its own potency, exists even in the wise.”
Resistance to change may be natural, but it’s also avoidable. Yoga reminds us that we can come back to ourselves, to our own body and breath, and notice how we’re feeling after another quarter turn around the sun. We come back to our yoga practice (sadhana) and welcome the warming asana flows on a cold morning, the inner light of calming meditation on a dark evening, and the fellowship of sharing these practices in community (sangha) in the context of a group class.
This is another way of saying that no matter how long you’ve been away, the mat will always welcome you back. The body and mind will always thank you for taking the time to return to your practice. We may not be able to stop the flow of time, but we can ease our own suffering by not resisting the flow of life. And yoga practice helps us to do this. So as the leaves begin to turn, take a moment to reflect on your practice, on the goals and intentions you want to set for the next season, the changes you’d like to make, and how you want to find your flow this autumn – through yoga practice or otherwise.
My weekly class schedule remains mostly unchanged through the Fall, and will be confirmed over the coming weeks. For now, I’m pleased to announce a new (for me) Wednesday morning Vinyasa Flow class, 9am at The Dancing Elephant, Rockland, which I will be teaching from September 14 onwards. This means that Wednesday morning Prana Kriya Yoga will no longer be offered in Thomaston; but the Friday 9am PKY class will continue as normal in Rockland. More changes to come; watch this space.
Wherever you find yourself this season, keep practicing. And if you happen to be in midcoast Maine and in search of your daily yoga fix, don’t resist: come join in the fun! Namaste.