4 season circle of yoga practice.

Autumn is about pulling in, less asana, more breathing. Maintaining the meditation as the wind picks up, taking your mind with it. The body seems to dry out with the leaves on the trees, and the fascia needs attention. Aches and pains abound. More water must be consumed, take it warm not cold. The skin needs oiling and massage is key. Perhaps a fever if the summer heat needs shifting.

Winter is about hunkering down with ones practice. Willpower is needed- to pull yourself out of a warm bed in the morning. A bit earlier to bed, perhaps a later practice. Heavier, warming food, more protein. Perhaps a little indulgence to help motivate. Leading to a naturally heavier, warmer, winterised body. More effort to get warm, little chance of sweating, more focus on alignment to keep the body safe. Inner reserves and careful cultivation of life force. Warming pranayama. Meditation blankets. Slow asana, even slower vinyasa. Longer, slower breathing. With commitment, great strength can be attained in winter, just as flexibility runs for cover.

Spring is about motivation. A renewed zeal for practice. Jumping out of bed and rolling out the mat with excitement, reaching for the sun like like a sprouting seed. The breath speeds up a little. Taking good care to ease back into postures lost over winter, even when the motivation goes through the roof. Lighter food, lighter steps… perhaps a detox, or a mucous expelling cold if winter was indulgent.

Summer is about flexibility, in mind and in body. Early mornings, less sleep, lighter food- sometimes forgetting to eat at all. The strength achieved in winter may dissolve, making way for a lightness and fluidity of movement. A little sweating or plenty of it, so much more water intake is key. Humidity, supple skin and fluid fascia. Summer is great for outdoor practice, and hence concentration practice, as being surrounded by a beautiful view can lead one off the mat all too easily. Connection to nature and the life force around. Cooling breathwork. Often difficult meditation practice!

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