Well, it's been quite an epic summer. I have been lucky enough to enjoy many outdoor adventures- especially on the water, and some of the highlights of my summer have included a week on Cape Cod with family, two wilderness canoe/SUP camping trips, mega blueberry picking, and an adventure to Mont Tremblant Canada, to attend Wanderlust Festival. I feel blissed and blessed. I also enjoy each season as it comes and feel ready for the advent of Autumn.
Although I sometimes get the 'end of summer blues' this time of year, I also look forward to slowing things down, hunkering in, storing away the bikes, boats and gear, and turning inward. In part, it's about accepting change as it comes along. Attending Wanderlust Festival in Tremblant tied my entire summer together for me. It was an unexpected ritual that allowed me to totally nourish myself as a yoga teacher (who teachers MANY classes every week but doesn't always take the time to give that back to myself), be in a completely different environment (and country!), sink onto my mat for some deeply restorative classes, and re-memeber that I too need to be a student, learner and beginner sometimes.
Two things were very serendipitous about Wanderlust this year. 1) My dear friend Samara won 2 tickets, which enabled and inspired me to go and 2) My parents had their honeymoon in Tremblant almost 46 years ago! Although Wanderlust tends to shine a light on the commercialization of yoga and everything related to that, it's also an amazing and potent forum for yoga teachers to come together, learn, teach, play, and shine their lights. I like to think of it as yoga summer camp for adults! The highlight of Wanderlust for me didn't have much to do with yoga asana at all. It was hiking up the ski mountain at sunrise and sunset to experience the live bass of Garth Stevenson, who huffed his huge Bass up a very steep and rocky slope to play for us with the birds sining right along- utterly moving! Many of my fellow wander-lusters were moved to tears. (see photo above)
Wanderlust produces a journal for each event, and in it, are letters that popular Wanderlust yoga teachers wrote to their younger selves, just when they were beginning their yoga journey. Brilliant! Elena Brower's letter resonated and touched me the most. Here it is verbatim:
" Dear EB,
Remember that your best practices aren't the ones with the most perfect poses. Your best practices are the ones that leave you feeling nurtured, held, loved, seen, and full.
Every season is a new beginning, fall is a new beginning and each time we step onto our yoga mats is a new beginning. How do we wish to live it? How do we wish to live our yoga, our relationships, and our careers? From an internal place, not from an external one, how, in essence, to we want to feel each time we practice? The contradiction of Wanderlust is that it highlights both the true essence of yoga and also the sheen of glittery external expectations and the ways that appearances have overshadowed this true essence. But it only takes a moment to re-member ourselves, To let go for a moment of how a pose looks or how we look in our latest yoga outfit, and to find out what that deep core of truth is inside of ourselves. Happy Autumn everyone and may you live the questions as we journey into this new season with an open heart, inquisitive mind, and connection to our true deep core or essence.
Asana Suggestions: Autumn is a great time to cleanse, clear and detox from all the wild, outward energy of summer. Try some twists, inversions or restorative poses to calm the fires of summer and create a quiet space to listen as we head into the cooler months.
Contemplations to Deepen Your Practice:
* What would you like to release from the summer season? Maybe it's the practice of being too busy, or maybe there is an identified pattern or stressor that you would like to let go of as summer winds down.
* Ritualize It! Create a ritual to tie all the lose ends of summer together. Maybe it's a hike to the top of a mountain with friends or perhaps a campfire where everyone talks about one high and low from the summer. Ritually let go of this magical season to create some space to welcome autumn!
* Journal or contemplate 3 goals for autumn. What is it that you would like to do, be or have in the coming season? These goals could be personal or work-related.
* Contemplate your own yoga practice: How is it going? Where could you take more risks? Are there new classes you would like to try out? Where are you stuck in a rut?
* Write a letter to your younger yoga self and, from a place of the heart, offer yourself some sweet advice or thoughts from this perspective to get back to the essence of your yoga and carry you forward.
I am standing
on the dunes
in the heat of summer
and I am listening
to mockingbird again
who is tonguing
and, in the distance,
weed loving sparrow
who has but one
which he sings
again and again
my own unmusical self
thanks for the beauty of the world.
Thanks for my life.
- Mary Oliver
As always, I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to hit Comments, below to post your thoughts and if you would like to join me in sacred space for a retreat this Autumn, check out my Ocean Goddess Retreat on Cape Cod. It's the perfect way to celebrate the shift of seasons and give yourself a nourishing gift for the soul.