Finding Your Fall Flow

By: Caroline Rodway

In typical Virgo fashion, I always find fall to be one of the best times of the year. Going back to school ignites a fire within me; freshly sharpened pencils, the vigor of academic routine and most of all, the perfect opportunity for a fresh start. 

However, this year, as sweater season approaches, I find myself falling out of touch with the world around me. So, as of right now, I am committing to reconnecting with myself and I hope you’ll join me in finding your fall flow!

The easiest way to spot when I am losing touch with myself is by doing a quick self check-in. The simplest way to do this is to find a quiet place, close your eyes and take a deep breath in. 

I try to notice every feeling in my body. Am I holding tension in my jaw? Are my shoulders relaxed? Can I feel a loop of energy pulsating from my head to my feet? If the answer to any of those questions is ‘no,’ then I try my best to re-connect.

Though I have been practicing yoga for almost eight years, some of the most important lessons I have learned can be taught in a matter of minutes. For starters, focusing on expansive breath is so important. Imagine your chest is surrounded by box and try to focus your breath to touch each of the four walls of that box as you inhale. A deep ‘four-way’ breath helps me to find my center and reconnect when I am losing touch. You can do this in the middle of a stressful lecture, long commute or right before you go to bed. Reconnecting with your breath is the first step to re-connecting with yourself.

Once I have used my breath to find my center, I try to connect to my physical body through movement. Being able to build an at home yoga practice has helped me bring added movement into my everyday routine. 

I start my at home practice with some easy going music (some of my favourite artists to flow to are Sleeping at Last or Vance Joy) and gentle movements – carefully rolling my neck in semi circles, leaning side to side and sometimes a couple of calf raises. 

These gentle movements are enough for me to check-in with my physical body and notice where I am holding stress or tension. Focusing on your physicality gives your mind the opportunity to relax instead of fixating on the exterior pressures that cause you to lose touch with your surroundings. Deeply rooting myself in a physical act is crucial to my own understanding of self.

Overall, connecting breath to movement allows me to connect my mental self with my physical self. Taking time during a morning commute to do a quick centering exercise or finding five minutes before going to bed to move your body are all simple ways to ease into a deeper practice of self-awareness during the school year. 

Remembering to consistently check-in with how you’re feeling and actively taking steps to recenter yourself is essential to finding your flow this fall.