Autumn: It’s hot, cold, windy, calm, clear, and rainy all in one season. It’s a time where the fiery summer gives way to dry, airy elements.

In Ayurvedic terms, Autumn is vata, the air/ether quality. When in balance, vata tendencies include lightness and adaptability. Too much vata results in light-headedness, irritability and ungroundedness.

I’ve designed a yoga practice to counter this tendency of too much vata by adding the other two elements of pitta (fire) and kapha (earth). Here’s how this sequence helps balance the elements:

  • The sequence starts and ends on the ground to cultivate a sense of grounding and solidity.
  • The standing and seated sequences focus on forward folds and twists. The forward folds encourage introspection. The twists help lubricate the spine and nourish internal organs with blood and lymph movement.
  • I’ve omitted sun salutations completely to focus on fostering stillness and stability, which includes the headstand variations. Feel free to omit them if headstands aren’t your thing.
  • In the Spring and Summer I breathe fully and deeply. In the Fall, I tend to breathe more abdominally and with a light touch. Breathwork creates vata, and we don’t need more of it in November-December. So breathe into your abdomen (especially in the forward folds and twists) to encourage lymph movement and digestion.

We can honor and celebrate the season while practicing in a way that acknowledges the erratic nature of Autumn. Namaste!

Sequence for Warmth and Grounding