With the changing of the seasons and the Autumn equinox it is a natural time to reflect and renew. The excitement and Yang energy of the summer has faded and given way to an easier more gentle pace. With this calm comes reflection. Energetically it is time to look within.
I have always looked at September as the beginning of a new year. Even though I am no longer in school I still practice this belief. As the seasons change and we enter the Yin calm and slow pace of Fall and Winter I take inventory of my self. This year I have chosen to draw my attention to self-gratitude and self-truth.
In Kundalini yoga the appreciation of self-truth is expressed through the mantra, “Sat Nam.” “Sat” is defined as the truth and “Nam” is defined as calling upon. To chant Sat Nam is to call upon this truth of self. Truth is your core, your identity, and its purity runs within all of us. Reciting this mantra awakens that inner connection to your truth, Satya, as well as the connection to the universe and all other beings.
Practice chanting this mantra out loud or with your inner voice, reciting “Sat Nam” after a deep inhalation, for 10-20 rounds.
Here is a seasonal Vinyasa sequence to help embrace your self-truth. Throughout this Yin/Yang practice draw your attention inwards as you connect to the earth, grounding and balancing your muladhara (root) chakra, and deepening your core connection through agni, manipura chakra, movements.
- Begin with the Sat Nam chant exercise. Identify with your truth and let that truth shine.
- Pranayama – 1) Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Emphasis is on the prolonged exhale. Relaxing the breath releases blocks in the root chakra. 2) Agni Prasana “Breath of fire” – agni stoking breath stimulating the Manipura chakra. Breathe in deeply through the nose and then quickly force the air out through the nose, drawing the low-belly up and in. Allow the next inhale to come naturally and quickly as you force the air out once again. 10-20 rounds.
- Malasana – Separate feet about mat width apart with feet turned out at a 45 degree angle and squat as low as you can. If your heels do not easily stay on the ground you can roll up your mat and place your heels on the edge. Place your hands in prayer pose, Anjali mudra. Focus on lengthening through the spine and reaching your tailbone straight down to the ground. Heart is lifted and open. Elbows rest on your inner thighs and gently help press the knees over the toes and open up the pelvis.
- 3-5 rounds of Surya Namaskar A and B. Focus on connecting to the earth in each asana and drawing your strength from the core.
- Tree Pose.
- Savasana – focus on the sensation of being grounded and strength within you. Know and live your truth.