It’s that time of year again! The air is cooling, energy is shifting and I find myself nesting.
I’ve suddenly had the urge to cleanse my space, not just deep clean, but completely re-organize my office area, bathroom, and the daunting task of my walk-in closet! I was quickly able to donate 5 bags of clothing that I’ve been clinging on to for years, as well as donate art supplies to school teachers.
Oftentimes, we have to actively step away or “burn” our past habits and stuff so that we can make space for new growth. In this area, we build heat to gain the power of “I can.” A strong third chakra reflects the ability to move forward in life with confidence and power. Therefore, we must keep our core in balance by making conscious choices to choose and to act.
This third season of the year, Autumn, is a time for letting go and releasing things that have been a burden to make room for reflection and production.
Simultaneously, some of my friends were also in the mood to clear out their closets and Rachel Tabor threw a Clothing Swap Party before we took the remainder of the clothes to the local Goodwill. Its such a blessing to share these experiences with friends, uniting in this often challenging task of letting go.
Buddhist teacher Sharon Saltzberg, another of Living Spiritual Teachers, writes about letting go: "Generosity has such power because it is characterized by the inner quality of letting go or relinquishing. Being able to let go, to give up, to renounce, to give generously — these capacities spring from the same source within us. When we practice generosity, we open to all of these liberating qualities simultaneously. They carry us to a profound knowing of freedom, and they also are the loving expression of that same state of freedom."
What has sparked this change?
Fall is a season for accepting the impermanence of things.
Do you ever wonder why the leaves change colors in during the fall season?
Autumn leaf color is a phenomenon that affects the normally green leaves of many deciduous trees and shrubs. During a few weeks in the fall season they turn various shades of red, yellow, purple, black, orange, pink, magenta, blue and brown.
All the colors in the rainbow can be found during the fall season.
"Leaves change color because trees kill them," explains Paul Hetzler, a Horticultural and Natural Resources Educator.
The word fall comes from the Old English word feallan which means “to fall or to die.”
What do you need to leave behind (do away with) in order to move forward and grow?
According to Hetzler, as the weather turns cooler, deciduous trees begin to create a waxy layer between the leaf stem and the twig. This prevents any stored nutrients or moisture from reaching the leaves. The pigment that gives leaves their green color, chlorophyll, is the first to fade away.
The reds, the purples, and their blended combinations that decorate autumn foliage come from another group of pigments in the cells called anthocyanins that are actively produced towards the end of summer in the sap of the cells of the leaf.
Their formation depends on the breakdown of sugars in the presence of bright light as the level of phosphate in the leaf is reduced.
When we consume sucrose, the enzyme beta-fructosidase separates sucrose into its individual sugar units of glucose and fructose.
Humans need glucose, as this simplest form of carbohydrates, to support the immune function and because it is the primary source of energy for all cells, especially brain cells.
Since carbs are important for energy, most of your caloric intake, about 45 percent, should come from this macronutrient.
Starch is a carbohydrate formed from the bonding of several glucose units, and is the most common form of stored energy from plants that is present in the human diet.
Starch is a type of complex carbohydrate that takes many steps of transformation in order to break down in our gut.
Fire is that part of nature that transforms one state of matter into another. Our internal fire lies in our third chakra, the Manipura in Sankrit.
This yellow sphere swirls like a mini sun behind our naval, representing the light of a lustrous gem as we transform and direct the energy that we consume.
Spiritually speaking, our third chakra, solar plexis, is our energy fire center of transformation that aids in processing starchy carbohydrates.
The energy of this chakra allows us to transform stagnation into action and movement.
It places importance in discipline, which comes from the word disciple, meaning the willingness to be a student of something. In other words, it requires change and growth.
Desire is momentary but willpower has a larger purpose, the long range effects of our actions. Our will should align with the universe. Will is not aligned with every desire, we must choose which desires are most important in the long run. For example, I may wish to help myself to seconds and thirds of the mashed potatoes or yam casserole, but my greater will refuses to behave in excess and knows that one serving is all the energy I need for this day's actions. My will wants to keep my sugar levels low and my body feeling healthy. It is through our willpower that we exercise and watch what we eat in terms of quantity and quality. We can also use willpower break ourselves from old patterns and habits to create new behavior.
Starchy vegetables provide approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving. We must use discipline to watch our portions and only consume what is needed for our energy output. When eaten in large amounts, starchy vegetables can contribute to weight gain, because the stored energy which is not burned through exercise will be converted or transformed into fat, another form of stored energy.
Energy must be directed through intelligence, a dance of cause and effect.
For Fall starchy vegetables, an appropriate portion of pumpkin or butternut squash is one cup, while sweet potatoes or yams are half of a cup per serving, along with a balanced plate of proteins, fats, and other nutrients.
Orange represents new beginnings, balance, and enthusiasm!
Starchy vegetables are also a good source of fiber. A high-fiber diet aids in weight loss and weight management since fiber fills you up quickly and staves off hunger. Moderate portions of starchy vegetables at meals (such as half a sweet potato or butternut squash) are a nutritious addition to any weight-loss plan. Eating a diet rich in fiber can also help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
By excluding foods that contain toxins (like gluten and lectins) we can enjoy natural carbohydrate-rich foods that are also high in nutrients. Sweet potatoes, for example are a rich source of Vitamin A, which contributes to the growth and repair of the body’s tissues and may also protect your skin against sun damage. The intensity of the sweet potato's yellow or orange flesh color is directly correlated to this beta-carotene content. Sweet Potatoes are also a good source of iron with anti-inflammatory benefits.
Photo Credit: Laughing Child Farms
Sweet Potatoes are often harvested between September and December. In fact, this season we call Fall was once referred to simply as “harvest” to reflect the time when farmers gathered their crops for winter storage. These veggies are for much more than Thanksgiving casseroles and they are certainly more nutritionally dense than their white-potato counterparts.
Sweet potatoes are native to Central and South America and are one of the oldest vegetables known to humankind. They have been consumed since prehistoric times as evidenced by sweet potato relics dating back 10,000 years that have been discovered in Peruvian caves. They have historically been staple foods that provided a lot of energy for labor-intensive needs. In most U.S. grocery stores, you should assume that you are always purchasing a sweet potato, even if the sign says "yams.
In San Diego, Fresh & Fit Meals provides the perfect sized portions for your healthy fall starches combined with other nutrients to make for a balanced and energetic meal!
These chef-inspired meals are made-to-order fresh, not frozen with no preservatives, artificial flavors or sweeteners. The majority of the produce is organic, seasonal or comes from local, sustainable farms. They use cage free, organic chicken & all natural beef and fresh, all natural fish.
Save time with no shopping, cooking or cleanup required. Simply heat to your preference and enjoy. I try to steer clear from the microwave, so heating my meal on the stove top skillet is an excellent option.
You can sign up for 5, 10, 14 or 21 weekly meals, choose from over 50 different meals, receive free home or office delivery every Monday at simple pricing, with no contracts or hidden fees.
Celebrate this season of fall by cultivating more energy towards yoga through self-discipline.
Check out my four-part course to have fun with yoga!
On sale this week only at $12 for 4 full hour-long video sequences with detailed instructions and inspirational Fall Concepts.
If you are challenged by facing the time change and cooling weather and you want to explore a fun way to exercise and feel energized than this course is for you!
I designed this course for individuals and families who want to celebrate life, abundance, and themselves, by reducing stress, and building strength and flexibility for a balanced body.
This Course consists of 4 sections:
• Fall Color and Transition
• Celebration of Light Through Diwali
• Death, Yoga, and Day of the Dead
• Costumes and Identity
In each section you will find:
• written discussion about the topic
• video explanation with key ideas to reflect on
• breakdowns of foundation and alignment to keep you safe and activated during key poses
• physical yoga sequence video that includes warm-up, Sun-Salutations, key poses, inversions, cool down, final resting pose with music.
After completing this course, you will be able to:
• Demonstrate physical fun poses that will build strength, flexibility, and balance
• Move consciously with your breath
• Activate and share your light within
• Become more at peace with transitions
Thank you for your interest in my course and I look forward to hearing more about your path to finding balance!
As a reminder to accept transitions and carefully transform your energy, purchase some Fall Leaves Yoga Leggings!!!
Please share some of your fall transformations in the comments section below!
Hannah seeks to find relationships between nature, cultures, yoga, and art through her writing.
Fun Yoga On the Bay
Travel the world with me through yoga!
These themed lessons are fun for all ages and levels at Mission Bay Park.
See the page, Park Yoga, for more information!
Lessons from Abroad