Tomorrow September 22 2016 at approximately 14:21 GMT we will reach the Autumnal Equinox of 2016.
What on Earth are you talking about Jen???
The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because at the point of the equinox, the night and day are of equal length.
The Equinox phenomenon occurs twice a year (around 20th March for the Spring Equinox and 22nd September for the autumn).
The reason of this being, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the centre of the Sun lies on the same plane as the Earth's equator, resulting in an equal duration of daylight hours to darkness. From here on in the nights will creep in consuming our daylight hours making them shorter until we reach the shortest day of the year - Winter Solstice, 21st December.
This equal length of night and day, offers us an opportunity to balance the light of our consciousness with the darkness of our shadow that resides in us all. This process involves letting go of anything that no longer represents us so that we can exist in our most pure form, our “truest self”.
The natural cycles of our planet remind us of the universal laws that govern all of life (and none us are immune to that – although we often think that we are). We are not in control and we should come to honour the Bio-Rhythms of Mother Nature just as all non-human life does, the Winter, with its long nights, encourages us to sleep more and focus inward, whereas the summer, with its long warm days, beckons us to sleep less and venture outside.
The Equinox is the perfect opportunity to find our centre and walk in a place of balance.
But isn’t that why we come to yoga anyway???
Seeking balance between the Ha and the Tha (Hatha yoga, being ALL physical Asana), strength and flexibility, night and day, Masculine and Feminine, yin and yang??? etc.
Yep, it is! This day (although definitely not restricted to this day) is a perfect time to release, restore and reflect on our experiences of the year thus far. But tomorrow we will have the power of our whole Solar system behind us!
You may of noticed last Friday 16th sept, the Harvest Full moon, signifying the end of the summer of growth and abundance. The harvest being a time of gratuity and humility, while we appreciate the gifts of the earth, we also accept that the soil is dying and the impermanence of everything, as the Northern Hemisphere now moves into its time of restoration and renewal over the winter months.
So I invite you tomorrow to just sit for a moment to find balance between reflection and intention. Take time to consider
- What is your own personal harvest?
- Who has helped you to achieve this and how could you thank them? (this could be a negative experience as well as positive)
- As the trees let go of their leaves, what do you wish to let go of?
- And what seeds do you want to incubate over the winter, ready to grow and blossom next spring?
Bring forth your intention to your yoga practice, today and tomorrow consider your physical practice as a means of releasing any negative mental and emotional patterns we have stored up in our physical bodies. Cultivate a sense of presence in our bodies and minds which facilitate inner peace and wholeness in our being. And plant the seeds of your intentions for manifestation in the coming spring.