Call me crazy, but fall and winter are my two favorite seasons. There’s something about these seasons that allow me to focus inwards, look at what I need over the upcoming months, and work toward my goals. I believe that fall is the perfect time for self-reflection, because like spring, it is a season of change. Changing seasons can stir up a lot of emotions for us, so it’s particularly important to use this to focus on what will serve you in the upcoming months, and get rid of the things that won’t serve you. Think of it like a spring-cleaning for your mind.

One of the ways I like to focus inward during the fall is through Yin yoga. Yin is such a reflective practice, and is particularly good at helping you get rid of things that aren’t working for you.

If you feel like you need some time for self-reflection this season, try this Yin yoga for fall:

Meditation

Start in a comfortable seated position on a block or a bolster. Place your hands comfortably in your lap, and close your eyes. Breathe in through the nose, breathe out through through the mouth. Stay here for five to 10 minutes before beginning your practice to clear your mind and center in.

Butterfly Pose

I love hip openers, and since we tend to store a lot of emotions in our hips, they’re the perfect pose for the changing seasons.

Draw the soles of your feet together in front of you, and let your knees fall open towards the floor. You want your feet further away from your hips then they normally would be in Cobbler’s Pose, so your legs are in a wide diamond shape.

Take a bolster or pillow and place it in the middle of your diamond shape, and begin to fold at the hips over the bolster. When you’ve found a comfortable position on top of your bolster/pillow, let go of any muscles that aren’t being used to keep you in place. Close your eyes, and breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Stay here for five minutes before gently rolling up off your bolster. Stay seated upright with a long spine for a few moments before moving on to the next pose.

Janu Sirsasana

From Butterfly Pose, extend one of your legs out long with the knee pointing up to the ceiling, and draw the sole of the other foot in towards the hip, placing it against the upper thigh of the extended leg. Take your bolster/pillow and place it on top of the extended leg.

Inhale, and as you exhale, fold at the hip over the bolster and extended leg. Stay here for two and a half minutes before switching sides.

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose is always an excellent way to center in, even in Vinyasa classes, which is why it’s a great pose for Yin yoga for fall.

From a kneeling position, spread the knees out so they’re about mat-width apart. On an exhale, walk the hands forward towards the front of the mat so that your forehead is resting gently on the mat. Continue breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, and stay here for five minutes before coming to lie on your back.

Knees-to-chest

From lying on your back, draw your knees up into your chest, giving yourself a little hug. Stay here for for a minute or two, before stretching out fully into Savasana and staying there as long as you like.

Yin yoga for fall tips

When I practice Yin yoga for fall, I like to make myself as cozy as possible, so there are a few things I like to do:

  • Wear cozy, comfortable clothes. I usually go for some thermal leggings and a soft, warm sweatshirt or sweater. Also, keep a blanket nearby!
  • Turn off some of the lights and light some candles. Make your space as comfortable and calming as possible so you can really focus on yourself.
  • Listen to some calming music. One of my favorites to practice to is Bija by Todd Norian. I find it very relaxing and centering!
  • The best thing you can do for yourself when practicing Yin yoga for fall is giving your body exactly what it needs in that moment, so listen to what it has to say.

    Happy practicing, and happy fall!