Today in the Northern Hemisphere marks the fall equinox. The equinox is the point where the Earth’s rotation produces equal hours of daylight and darkness. After today we will slowly be slipping into longer evenings and shorter days. Celebrating and living with nature’s cycles reminds us of our own individual and internal cycles. The change from summer to fall has always felt the most dramatic to me. Maybe it’s the leaves changing colors, or the layering on of clothes over once naked skin. The crisp air of fall ushers in a new season and a new cycle. The equinox marks the time for gathering the final harvest of the season. This time of year is perfect for reflecting on our own harvests. How have we grown this year? Where has our inner journey taken us? This is a time of year for gratitude, reflection, and celebration. Compiled below are a few suggestions for celebrating the autumnal equinox.
Today nature is in balance with equal hours of daylight and darkness. Find a place of balance within you by stepping on to your mat for yoga practice. Focus on asanas that make you feel connected to the Earth and grounded. Mountain pose, warrior I and II, child’s pose, and of course tree pose are all good places to start.
Have a Seasonal Meal
Decorate your table with natural objects found in nature such as leaves, apples, grapes, feathers, and pumpkins. Plan a meal that is in accordance with the seasons. Focus on either finishing up the last of summer’s produce or celebrating the delicious fruits and vegetables of fall. I am a sucker for anything featuring pumpkin or butternut squash. Wild mushroom ravioli with butternut squash sauce anyone?
The harvest is a time of recognizing abundance. Give thanks for all that has come into your life this year, the good and the challenging. All has been instrumental in your growth. Practicing gratitude changes your outlook on everything. A gratitude jar is a great way to remember the harvest’s abundance throughout the season.
Tie Up Loose Ends and Plant New Seeds
Fall is a time of beginning to turn inward. Use this season to finish up projects with loose ends before the year comes to a close. The longer hours of darkness provide the perfect opportunity for contemplative work. Sit in stillness through meditation and reflect on what new seeds can be planted in your life. Use this time to prepare for new beginnings.
Shorter days are on the horizon. Celebrate the glory of light by turning your face skywards to the sun or performing some sun salutations. Light candles to create a cozy environment. Perhaps you may consider eating or sitting by candlelight alone. This would create the opportunity to sit with and celebrate both the light and the darkness. Practice finding the beauty in cycles- life and death-light and dark.
Spend Time in Nature
Winter will have us bundled up inside soon enough. Take advantage of these glorious crisp days. Breathe in fresh air tinged with the smoke of fires. Feel leaves crunch beneath your feet. Spend time in nature watching fall slowly unfold.
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
with love and pumpkins,