Fall Equinox is almost upon us. It arrives on September 23rd and marks the beginning of fall in Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of spring in Southern Hemisphere. The Sun will cross the plane of the Earth's equator, making night and day equal in length. From there, for those of us on this side of the globe, the days will start getting shorter as we descend into colder temperatures and Pumpkin Spice lattes ads.
For those of us with an established spiritual practice, Fall Equinox means a little more. It means that it's time to not only mentally acknowledge the change of the seasons, but to get re-attuned to the cycles of nature with our whole being.
It does require some inner work. Fall Equinox is associated with the harvest, both physical and metaphysical. Hence, to celebrate it, we need to reflect on the fruits of our labor from earlier this year and set intentions for wrapping the year up. Throughout the year we were setting goals and hustling to achieve them, we were dreaming and manifesting, and now we have an opportunity to distinctly see the results of our endeavors and make a decision on whether or not we want to stick to to the chosen course, or change it.
Equinox offers a lot of opportunities for expansion for those of us who are courageous enough to be honest and compassionate towards ourselves - qualities necessary to let go of what no longer benefits us while remaining true to our bigger goals.
There are lots of Equinox rituals for cultivating the above qualities and celebrating this day on a spiritual level. For me, conscious yoga practice continues to be my favorite one. I tend to overanalyze everything, but because yoga is a mind-body practice, it helps me process my past and present without getting lost in the depths of my rational thinking. Through my practice, I can embody the day's energetic qualities and perform that inner work I was writing about. I also tend to be practice very specific asanas on this day. Every pose leaves a physical, mental, and emotional imprint on our bodies and souls, and some of them are especially beneficial for the Equinox Day practice.
If you are curious to try my method, I put together a list of 6 yoga poses for you to practice on the day of the Equinox. These asanas can help you tune into the energies of the Equinox, so you can step into the fall with presence and grace.
Child's pose to reflect and release
We start with connecting to ourselves. To begin getting in touch with our inner world, it’s important to eliminate distractions. Balasana makes it easy to tune out the external stimuli, so you can fully concentrate on your senses, emotions, and thoughts. At the same time, this pose creates space at the back of the heart - space that signifies past emotional experiences - and helps us release any buried negativity that may overshadow the work we're about to do. Take this pose with palms up to set the intentions for your practice.
Warrior II to ground
For the deeper inner inquiry , we need to properly ground ourselves, and Virabhadrasana's will totally make us feel at home. This pose develops stamina, improves concentration, and promotes physical and emotional stability. It helps us connect to the earthy energy of the Equinox (harvest!) and keep our feet firmly on the ground (literally and metaphorically).
Revolved triangle for balance
As the night and day come to perfect balance during Equinox, we also need to find the balance within ourselves. Parivrtta Trikonasana is a great way to start learning how to remain balanced. This pose improves physical and mental equilibrium, opens heart and hips, and builds courage for being honest with ourselves.
Wheel pose for clarity and open heart
From the place of being grounded and balanced, we can begin to cultivate clarity to acknowledge the lessons we have received, gratitude for all the good we have been given, and compassion to forgive ourselves for our shortcomings. Urdhva Dhanurasana can help you cultivate the broadness and receptiveness needed for being grateful for both the gifts and the challenges . The stimulates our pituitary gland and expands the entire front of the body, liberating space in hips, belly, heart, and throat, clearing our mind and opening our hearts.
Boat pose to connect to your core
After we began to see what has served us well, and what could be improved, it's important to reconnect to our core, refocus on our main goals, and set intentions for the fall season. Navasana can help us do all that! Our bellies is where our personal power is stored, and Boat pose certainly makes us pay attention to it. This pose strengthens the abdominal muscles, spine, and hip flexors, promoting confidence and solidifying our plans for the future.
Shavasana to integrate
Finish off with Shavasana to let the work integrate into your body and mind.
P.S. Don't forget to do proper warm ups before getting into the meat of the practice!
Legal Disclaimer: Please consult your physician or another healthcare provider before participating in any exercise program described.