To Everything There is a Season

Posted on September 17th, 2013 by in Life Lessons

seasonsThe temperature was only 39 degrees this morning, the lowest it’s been in months. Walking the dogs at 6:00 am, I huddled into my insufficient fleece jacket, hands punched deep in my pockets. Where were my gloves? Scarf? Hat? It seems like only a few minutes ago that I put all those wintry things away.

I feel a heartbreaking ache that summer is ending. Surely snow and ice can be only a moment away now, as the freedom of summer’s warmth disappears into memory. Yet I also feel a profound relief—no more guests in our tiny house, less traffic on the roads, and liberation from what can feel like the pressure of taking in as much as possible of Berkshire County’s culture and beauty.

Change brings both heartbreak and renewal. The fluidity of the seasons models that change and reflects those transitions.

Do you find yourself living with some aspect of change? I frequently ask guests this question, and usually receive a full-hearted yes. Change is perhaps the one thing that we can count on, yet it’s a thing we tend to resist or attempt to control. Yoga practice on the mat can help us cooperate with change, reducing our struggle with it and opening us up to its fluidity and perfection. No matter your current experience with change, living your yoga can help you.

Just like on the yoga mat, whenever you notice yourself struggling with change or with the moment, take a breath. As it does on the mat, the breath will relax you, reduce the tension of your holding on, and open you to fluidity and movement. The breath moves through the vagus nerve, shifting us out of the sympathetic nervous system of fight-flight-freeze, and into the parasympathetic nervous system of rest-and-digest. Breathing is a profound and powerful intervention, shifting us into a more relaxed physiological state. And the more we relax, the easier one moment transitions into the next, just like on the mat.

As an experiment, when you take a yoga class, count how many times a Kripalu Yoga teacher reminds you to breathe—probably dozens of times. Consider how breath works in your body on the mat.

And remember, living yoga is a 24/7 proposition. The inquiry doesn’t end just because you’ve rolled up the yoga mat. Utilize the gift of breath to move you more easily through the change of seasons and the inevitable changes of your life.

The sun is out now, warming the day and softening the chill in the air. I sit on the porch, looking at the trees. Swirls of red cover their leaves. It’s the time of letting go. I want to draw strength from this season of transition around me, to support myself in relaxing into this change and into all the changes that will come with it. I choose to relax, to breathe, and to imagine the best about what might be. And, as I relax, everything becomes possible.

Tags:

About Aruni Nan Futuronsky, Life Coach, RYT

Aruni, Senior Life Coach and Program Advisor for the Kripalu Healthy Living programs, is a certified professional-level Kripalu Yoga teacher. She has been teaching in a variety of diverse venues for more than 35 years and has been on the Kripalu faculty for more than 20. Author of Recovering My Voice: A Memoir of Chaos, Spirituality, and Hope, and her latest book, Already Home: Stories of a Seeker, Aruni has also developed the Kripalu coaching methodology, based in presence and right action.
  • Carol Rodi

    “I feel a heartbreaking ache that summer is ending.” I feel those words. My husband of 49 years died on August 28, a mere three weeks ago. He had been ill for a long time and I was his primary care giver. In the end, he needed to be taken to a beautiful peaceful hospice facility which gave me eight days to just be his wife and love him as I said good bye. The end of Summer and the approach of Fall will always have a sad significance for me. On the day before he slipped away, I read to him the little book, The Falling of Freddie the Leaf by Leo Bascalia. An amazing little book. My husband was heavily sedated but I had hoped that somehow he knew I was with him and reading, touching, and being still. My grief is strong…harder than I ever imagined. Physical and emotional but I have been encouraged to stay with it and embrace it and feel…hard work. I had no idea I loved him so deeply…

    I have not practiced much for a while now between the busyness and the sadness of care giving…sometimes there was just no time or energy. The transitioning in creating a new way of living my life will be to take it all to the mat. You have encouraged that with your thoughtful and moving words that touched me deeply as I read them this morning.

    Thank you…
    Namaste

    Carol

  • Aruni

    Carol, I am so touched by your words. I hope that you give yourself full permission to relax, to take it easy, to allow yourself to integrate. Please know that prayers are with you.

    Best, Aruni

    • Carol Rodi

      Aruni, Thank you for taking the time to reply and I so appreciate your prayers.
      Peace,
      Carol