September 21 is known as the Fall Equinox and signifies the transition from summer to fall. From an Ayurvedic perspecitive,It is also a transition into the season of Vata dosha, the energy that governs movement. It's an ideal time to tune into your authentic self and use the change in season as a means of self-study. On this day, there are equal hours of daylight and night. As we turn our attention inward, we can reflect on the intentions of the spring, the seeds we sowed personally, and connect to the fruit of the labor as we nurtured those intentions throughout the summer.
The Fall Equinox aligns well for our chakra series. This week we focus on the second chakra, svadhishthana, the energy center represented by the water element, which expresses the unconscious depths of our desires. Here is where the life force begins to express itself and is responsible for our outward movement of vitality and potential reach into the world. We are either in touch with our needs and wants and can satisfy them in a healthy way, or if this chakra is out of balance, our energy is dissipated and we are attached to the pleasure and the gratification of our cravings. To stay healthy here, we need to define boundaries and to strengthen our physical and emotional resilience.
Thus, in your daily practice, work against the dryness of the season by oiling and massaging the body (abyhanga) to remove toxins before showering and after bathing, lubricate the body again with warmed carrier oils like coconut, sunflower or sesame oil, infused with essential oils like lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, geranium, eucalyptus and rosemary. See pp. 23 and 24 in Essential Yoga Practice book. Massage the belly in clockwise fashion to aid healthy digestion/elimination and massage the joints too! In addition, incorporate healthy fats into your diet and eat seasonally. In your yoga asana practice, create balance in both the mobility and the strengthening of the hips with poses like Baddha Konasana, Bound Angle pose, stabilizing standing poses like Trikonasana, Tree, and all Virabhadrasanas, Warrior poses. Cultivate core strengthening with poses like Salabhasana, Locust pose and Navasana, Boat pose. End with a counterbalancing pose like Jathara Parivartanasana, Revolved Stomach pose and a restorative like Balasana, Child’s pose.
The literal meaning of svadishthana is “her own abode,” the abode of Kundalini energy, which implies that the goddess Kundalini, when awakened from her slumber in the muladhara, the root chakra, resides here, and our desire is one and the same as Divine desire. When we are healthy in our svadishthana chakra, we are no longer ruled by personal likes and dislikes, but rather, we are instruments in the hands of the Divine, connecting to our “purpose” at the deepest level of our being.
Want to learn more? Sign up for our Essential Yoga Practice Sangha, our 2 week online course designed to delve deeper into the practices of using yoga and aromatherapy. Yoga Alliance teachers will receive 10 CEC hours. Sign up here: https://essentialyogafall2017.eventbrite.com