I’m excited to welcome Ingvild Skodvin Prestegard as the latest guest blogger to join Body and Soul Yoga. Ingvild, author of a lunar meditation companion, The Moon Journal, will be contributing every so often with her unique take on the seasons. I will be using the Moon Journal to theme next year’s classes.
The seasons are so distinct where I live in Bergen, Norway. Autumn has just begun, and from my living room window I can see the rich mixture of deep greens and russets in the leaves on the trees on top of the hill. Around the corner from where I live is the sea, and it’s taken on a darker, more steel grey these last few days. The geese flew south weeks ago, now there are mainly seagulls, crows and pigeons flying around.
I love the changing of the seasons – it makes me feel alive and complete. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or cold, there is something about the four seasons that speaks to my bones and my life blood. Some people have a favourite season – mine is whichever we’re in. I feel it so deeply, I love it like nothing else. And then we slip into the next season and I love it like nothing else. I love it so much that I’ve designed my entire yoga program around the wheel of the year. Now it’s autumn – and I love it like nothing else.
Autumn is the time of year when we withdraw into ourselves. At the Autumn equinox we move into the winter season, and the days become shorter. This means more time with cups of tea, candles, good books and snuggly blankets. It means walks along windswept shores and rain from heavy skies. The first autumn storms arrive, tearing leaves from their branches and tempting me to stay indoors cooking something delicious. Autumn encourages inner reflection and dialogue with the deeper self.
Autumn also symbolises the Crone archetype, one of the three goddess archetypes. The Old Woman, old age and everything connected with it, is a theme of autumn. Wisdom and insight, loss and grief, understanding and compassion too.
I love how we can feel the seasonal changes in our bodies – as a Dru yoga teacher I am always keen to encourage my yoga students to tune into themselves. Our bodies are stiffer in autumn and winter than in spring and summer. It’s meant to be this way, and I encourage my students to enjoy it and appreciate their limitations. Learning to respect their limits and working within them, is the best way to avoid injury. But it’s also the best way to embrace spiritual growth and physical strength. When we recognise our boundaries we will also notice them expanding. When we are ready to, gently and harmoniously.
One of my meditations this autumn is on letting go of what no longer serves me. As I walk among the trees and their leaves blow around me, I breathe and release. I allow the wind to take my baggage and carry it away with the autumn leaves. I send gratitude along with it, both for the lessons I have learned and for the grace of letting go.
If this way of connecting with the seasons appeals to you, you may like my Moon Journal 2019, available on Amazon. I also have an online forum where we can share our thoughts and experiences, and I’d love to hear from you 🙂
Wishing you a glorious autumn,
Much love, Beste helsing