What is Seasonal Yoga?
Where to start, I like to think Seasonal Yoga is an all encompassing holistic healing system where you synchronise your life around what is happening in nature and the energy in each Seasons of the year. If we look at our ancestor they would have lived, worked and designed their daily routines around these season, sewn the seeds in Spring, got out and about in Summer, harvested in Late summer and Autumn and hibernated in Winter. The way they ate, slept and moved would have differed depending on the Season because of factors like daylight, temperature, weather and the food available.
This is known as the circadian rhythm and we still see this with the birds and animals that migrate and hibernate all around us in our countryside and gardens.
We are in Late Summer just now, moving into Autumn in a few weeks, we can see the leaves changing colour, berries on the bushes, its getting colder. What most of are not aware of, are the glands and parts of our brain that are tuning into these subtle changes, registering the shorter days, colder temperature and dampness in the air.
These signals are then past around the body and the body and its organs and systems respond, they make us start to slow down, feel more tired, to eat differently and maybe eat more and specifically sweet sticky filling food with the intention of getting us to put some weight on, all to prepare us for winter, the cold and hibernation.
As Seasonal Teachers we follow two very ancient system to promote health and wellbeing.
One is TCM Traditional Chinese Medicine and the 5 element theory, you might have experienced this system if you've had acupuncture or acupressure done or been to a Tai Chi or Chi Gung class as they work around the Seasonal Theory also.
The other is Traditional Indian Yoga with its philosophies and health.
We combine the two systems to bring you a system that is both great for your health and mental wellbeing and can heave a healing effect on us.
In the 5 element theory from Chinese health, each Season has a set of organs that comes into there own in each Season. Late summer is the spleen , pancreas and stomach. Why those organs you may ask? If you look at the food that is around at this time, its all the harvest food like plums, pears, apples, peaches, pumpkins, all sweet and sticky comforting food. If we look at the organs and what they deal with, funny enough its digestion and especially digesting sugar. So this is one factor the other is our Immune system, its very important our body starts to work on strengthen this system now to get ready for the cold of winter.
Autumn organs are the lungs and large intestine, a time to work on your breath and pulmonary system,. Again cold/flu time, strong lungs tend to mean we are less likely to have complications from those illnesses.
Winter is Kidney and Bladder, the Chinese see the kidneys as our batteries and they need a good charged every year, winter should be our hibernation time, more rest, more sleep and time to rejuvenate and time to recharge.
Spring, liver and gallbladder. Great time to spring clean the body, detox and give our metabolism a kick start.
Our Yoga practice then follows the theory, postures are specifically done to either boost, strengthen or open the energy into all of these organs and the meridian energy pathway.
Pranayama breath work reinforces the postures to again vamp up the organs.
We also offer Seasonal Food tips, health routines and tips to keep you in tip top condition in between classes.
Summer practice looks dynamic, flowing and quicker, like the energy of summer, Winter is slow, deep stretchy poses with lots of breath and pauses.
Seasonal Teachers study and train for a full year to completion. 200 hours of this training is done with their Tutors and at least another 100hours at home. Some Teachers then go on to complete their 500 hour accredited award and by this stage your looking at your teacher having under taking 2000 to 3000
hours of study.
So I safely say you are in very experienced and professional hands in a Seasonal class.
It can become an extremely powerful experience if your Seasonal Teacher has an additional complimentary therapy behind them too, like Reiki or acupuncture or massage.
Seasonal Classes are great for both beginners and experienced practitioners as there is always something in the practice for everyone to achieve. Flows start to prepare you for the next practice in the next Season and the practice changes every 2 to 3 months, so you never get bored doing the same thing.
Recently a lot of classes have moved to online and pre-recorded classes are popular for those on shifts, or who just love rolling out their bed and onto their mat in a morning.
I highly recommend giving a Seasonal class a go, your body will love you as you sync back into the natural rhythm with nature and the Seasons.