We face seasonal transitions from September going into October. The symbol for the astrological sign of Libra in the Zodiac is a scale, an offering of balance. As warm temperatures begin to fall and we welcome crisp air, our bodies and minds also transition. We are creatures of the Earth and biologically fall at the mercy of nature. Those that were born under this sign might feel especially passionate, loyal, inquisitive, or like my partner whose birthday fell on September 29th, lucky (hence why this sign is often called the Lucky Libra). It’s their time to shine right now, however, you and I and everyone else might be feeling the intensity of our heads in the clouds, or quite literally feel like “Airheads”. I’m speaking strictly for myself when I say that this entire month I have been off my flex. I’ve been searching for it everywhere but just become more and more scattered brained the harder I look.
In my quest to get my flex back I’ve had to do what I’m best at and sit down and write about it. For me, writing has become a form of self-care. It’s a way for me to find balance and get my thoughts straight. Self-care is incredibly important especially in these transitional seasons and periods when one can feel, for lack of a better term, batshit crazy. Now maybe it’s not that intense for some of you, that could just be me. But maybe you are having a hard time checking things off your to-do list or you’ve become fatigued with the shorter days; maybe you just can’t focus. If any of that sounds like you then below are some helpful yoga poses and self-care techniques.
All yoga poses are subject to modifications and variations. Your yoga does not have to look like my yoga or anyone else’s yoga. Be cautious in doing any of these poses if you have sustained any injuries or otherwise noted by your doctor or medical professional.
One of the most familiar yoga poses and a get place to start testing balance is Tree! This pose aligns your left and right hemispheres while improving posture. It can leave you rooted and connected to the earth with an overall centered feeling.
*PROTECT YOUR FLEX*
In tree pose do not let your foot rest at your knee when balancing. Any added pressure on the knee can lead to knee pain or injury.
OPPOSITE ARM & LEG
The action of raising the opposite arm and leg in different directions while on hands and knees challenges what we know about balance. This pose looks subtle on the outside but takes developing coordination and lots of muscle engagement.
*PROTECT YOUR FLEX*
Grab a blanket, towel, or something soft to place on your knees if they get achy under pressure.
Oh look a super intimidating arm balance! Not. Arm balances look intimidating because they ask us to transform our arms into our legs. Not only do you have to figure out how to do this in your mind but also build up some strength in your arms, shoulders and core. You do not necessarily even have to get your feet off the ground to experience the balancing dynamics of Crow.
*PROTECT YOUR FLEX* There is a bit of a fear factor in Crow and other arm balances because of face planting. Start small and build up to it. Allow yourself to become comfortable with your face being close to the floor. Your hands are what protect your face in everyday life so when our hands are being used to hold us up we become vulnerable. This feeling improves with balance and more practice.
Standing Splits allow the practitioner to feel light and airy while working on flexibility. The forward fold in this pose offers stress relief and the action of the flying leg reaching upward challenges you properly align. Do not forget to do the other side!
Oftentimes, varying from person to person, one is either leaning more forward or backward in their posture. If you feel wobbly in SIDE PLANK you might need to build up some strength in the obliques or shoulders. However, it might be because you are leaning too far forward or backward. Make sure your shoulders are stacked and your tailbone is pointing down.
Going upside down and changing your axis can do wonders for your equilibrium while being great for stress relief. As the season are changing and transitions arise it can be beneficial to get your hips above your heart.
*PROTECT YOUR FLEX*
Any time you go upside your neck and face are vulnerable. If you are feeling unbalanced but ambitious make sure you practice how to fall. This is an amazing skill to learn in yoga. If you are upside down and feel yourself falling backward, tuck your chin to your chest and roll through the fall instead of landing flat on your back and injuring your neck.
LEGS UP THE WALL
Finding balance in the physical body can improve many other areas of your being. Having your legs up the wall in a simple restorative position can lead to balanced hormones as old blood from the legs get recycled back to the heart and new blood circulates back through the system. This is also a great position to be in when the transitions of life are working themselves out.
Improving balance in this light, airy transition season is sure to help you take on anything in life with ease, comfort, determination, and motivation!