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Hello, Autumn. This week officially marks our first equinox of the year. Throughout history, cultures across the world have honoured this annual event; the moment when day and night are of equal length. Marking the transition into the winter months of the year, the autumn equinox invites us to embrace  darkness; a slowing down of rhythms, restoration, the unknown, and the inward journey.

The Symbolism of Light and Fire

Naturally, light has long been revered as a symbol of warmth, vitality, and transformation. In Ayurveda and yoga, the concept of inner fire is known as agni. Agni represents the transformative energy within each of us. It’s both destructive and creative — capable of burning away that which no longer serves us… as well as igniting our passions, and new beginnings.

Honouring Darkness, Igniting Light

As the days grow shorter and the nights longer, it’s only natural we slow down. Yet our lives and workplaces may not be fully set up to account for this. This means it’s extra important that we ourselves honour the natural change of pace. Whether that’s through yummy soups, or other warming snacks; signing up for a cozy mountain retreat with us; or totally shifting diets… our minds and bodies deserve a sense of rest. For this reason, we’ve listed some  autumn equinox (or simply winter) suggestions; to bring intention, space and grace to this transitory period…

Trataka (Candle Gazing Meditation)

Trataka, derived from the Sanskrit word traṭak, means ‘to gaze.’ This ancient meditation practice involves focusing on a single point, typically the flame of a burning candle. By fixing our gaze on the flickering flame, we stimulate our inner fire, still the mind, and summon our inner light. Simple, but oh so effective!

Journaling

As nature retreats, we too can embrace this quiet energy to reflect on the year thus far. We’ll never stop advocating for the power of Journaling. This intimate and profound act can allow us to explore the depths of our inner worlds, and to reconnect with ourselves. Journalling regularly paves the way for transformation, and deeper levels of knowing your “why.” If it’s been a while, I encourage you to try it daily for a week. Observe what happens!

Breathwork

Pranayama (yogic breathwork), is a powerful tool for cultivating vitality, and igniting an inner fire. Some pranayama techniques are cooling, while others will warm the body. For example, Ujayii breath gently stimulates our energy without draining us, making it ideal for the winter season when the body and mind may feel a little lethargic.

Yoga

As the seasons shift, so too should our yoga practice. Restorative and grounding practices help us reconnect with our bodies and balance the energies within. Yin yoga, with its long-held stretches and gentle stimulation of the inner fire, is especially beneficial around and following the autumn equinox.

As we embrace the darkness of the autumn equinox, let’s remember that within every shadow lies the potential for light. By honouring the shifting seasons and nurturing our inner fires, we’ll naturally begin to navigate the darker months with wisdom and inner strength that they ask of us.

 

Why not slow life down with a warm and wonderful winter retreat? The Blue Mountains are truly gorgeous at this time of year, and we would love to have you!