September is a time of transition in nature when we transition into autumn. The warm and humid conditions of summer give way to cooler, more changeable autumn winds. The once lush green of leaves hint at yellow hues and there’s a distinct change in the energy around us. A slower pace awaits us in the coming months. This is when the plants pause their growth, animals retreat into hibernation, and it once again becomes acceptable to add cinnamon to practically everything! Before autumn arrives however, there’s a period of stillness and a sense of nature preparing itself for what’s to come.
A Moment To Pause
The fraction of time between late summer and early autumn may not be recognised in modern western seasonal perspective. However, ancient wellbeing schools of thought like Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Tibb or Sufi Medicine understand that this time of transition into autumn is a special season all of its own. This time is known by the Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners as ‘Dojo and as ‘Ritu Sandhi’ (the ‘junction’ of two ‘seasons’) by Ayurvedic practitioners. During these times, the world around us is neither too yin or too yang. As we move out of the fiery pitta energy of Summer towards the colder, drier air energy of vata in Autumn, nature is poised for change.
Preparing For Change
Within this roughly two week period of pausing, the advice is to release any excess Summer energy. It’s time to clear metaphorical and physical space for the season ahead. Summer’s Ayurvedic quality is pitta, made up of fire and water, creating acidity and irritability. If you’re currently experiencing inflammation, skin issues, digestive problems or emotional instability, this is the time to focus on self care and protocols to address these aspects. Observe your current diet; have you picked up unhealthy eating habits from summer holidays? Are you consuming a lot of hot, acidic or sugary foods? Are you pushing yourself too hard physically or mentally, or is there a relationship issue you haven’t dealt with yet?
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, we’re moving out of the ‘yang’ phase of Summer and towards a more ‘yin’ time of year. The element at play here is earth. Earth is linked to the stomach and spleen meridian lines, which need nourishing at this time and can be focused on with yoga postures that open the inner thighs, hips, stomach, throat and sides of the body.
The most important practice at this time is a connection to nature and a commitment to being present in everyday life. Notice what your body is naturally drawn to eating and doing. Opt for seasonal foods and time spent outside in the morning light. Spend time with those who balance and comfort you, consume meals in a mindful and quiet manner, and observe how the changes in nature are mirrored by the natural changes within ourselves on every level.