Here in Edinburgh I am beginning to sense the first stirrings of autumn coming…today we are bathed in blue skies and sunshine (a blessing at anytime of the year in Edinburgh!) but there is a crispness in the air and a definite chill in the evening as the nights begin to darken. As I look around me, I see nature just beginning to slow down and I am reminded that we too are part of nature.
I love how the changing seasons offer up their wisdom and guidance on how to live our lives in a more balanced and harmonious way. And for me, autumn offers us a time to truly nourish ourselves by slowing down, resting and replenishing our energies.
Slowing down isn’t always easy…
You’re not alone if slowing down doesn’t come easily for you, it’s one of the things my students most often say to me is how busy and on the go they feel. Whilst at any given moment your needs and rhythm might be different from mine, one of the sure fire ways I’ve come to recognise when I need to slow down is when my breathing has speeded up and I’ve lost the pause at the end of the exhalation – take a moment now and tune into your own breath and notice – is this pause is present for you?
Give Yourself Permission To Slow Down
Giving yourself permission to slow down is probably one of the most important (and overlooked) first things you can do in restoring moments of pause and rest in your life. Simplifying your life is another – below are some of my favourite ways to reconnect to this quality:
- Take a slow walk in nature – generally just slowing your pace does wonders in slowing down your breathing, especially if you bring in a quality of mindfulness with it
- A soak in a warm bath, sips of hot tea, a nourishing bowel of soup (especially in autumn)
- Early to bed
- Taking a moment at the start of the day to tune in to what life is asking of me (sometimes I get a real surprise when what comes up is quite different to what I was busy planning in my head!)
- A delicious afternoon session of iRest Meditation (20-30 minutes at any time of the day is so restorative)
- A gentle, slow, mindful practice of Hanna Somatics & Somatic Yoga
- Pause – take a moment to stop what you’re doing and just pause, tune into your breath and come back to whatever you were doing with mindful attention, one thing at a time
A Poem For You
Sometimes poetry is the way in….
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, I have made this place around you. If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. you must let it find you.
by David Wagoner (1999)
Autumn Term Classes To Help You Slow Down, Rest & Replenish
Experiencing the body from within through somatic movement practices is one of the best ways I know to really slow down the thinking mind and release chronic muscle tension accumulated through stress (repetitive and emotional) and general busyness. If you’re free on a Wednesday morning I’d be delighted to welcome and share this wonderfully restorative approach with you in either my Hanna Somatics or Somatic Yoga class starting next week 31st August 2016. Please hit reply to get in touch if you’d like to book or have any questions, I’d love to hear from you.
Over To You
What ways have you found that really help you to slow down, pause and replenish? Please share below, also what does autumn means for you and any poems that you especially love?