Letting the Body Lead the WayAug 31, 2022
We’ve arrived at Late Summer in the Northern hemisphere, the fifth season of the year according to the Five-element theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine that begins around the third week in August and lasts until the Fall Equinox.
It’s a transitional season when the fiery, outward energy of Summer gradually gives way to the earthy, inward quality of Autumn. It’s a time of ripening and transformation in nature when the last bursts of growth happen before the Fall harvest.
For us as yoga practitioners, it’s a great time for self-nurturing, taking time to reflect on the lessons and experiences of the summer, and going a little bit slower when you can to find grounding and stability as we head into Autumn.
It’s been several years now that I’ve wanted to move slower in my asana practice. I do other activities for vigorous movement, but in asana I want to take my time and move deeper rather than faster. I want to linger, feel, and enjoy the freedom to explore where my body and breath want to go in a pose.
Long-time yoga teacher Judith Lasater speaks about “going at the speed of the body.” It’s the mind the wants to go fast, but the body wants to go slow.
Going slower is a receptive stance that invites sensitivity and awareness. It’s about letting the body lead the way, rather than the mind for a change. It’s an approach worth exploring for all of us seeking to create greater balance and harmony in ourselves, especially at this time of year.