Balance is something we do all the time, something we strive to be, and yet it is neither and both of them at the same time. Balance to me is an adaptive continuum—a sort of wave-particle non-dual fact of life that defies our rigid ways of identifying through nouns and verbs, subjects and objects, beings and doers.
Balance is also what our planet is approaching this very week, which offers us an opportunity to be with whatever we’re trying to balance in life, maybe successfully or maybe not so much, and redefine our approach to that elusive, impossible state of stillness. The fall equinox is on Wednesday, and for a brief moment in time the earth will be positioned to receive equal amounts of daylight and night. And then we will blink, and it will be over. We will, together, start to tilt toward darkness, and yet we will still be on the balance continuum. Without vata—our dosha of movement and sensory perception—the ability to move toward and away from the light in the life-giving way Earth does would be impossible. Without perceived imbalance, we would not have that magic equation of elements that gave rise to all of this.
Between the full moon today and the equinox on Wednesday, the cosmos seems to be beckoning for us to step into a mode of surrender. Releasing things from our closets, minds, bodies, and hearts is never easy, and allowing for space to grieve the loss might be part of your rituals this week. You’re welcome to try these Ayurvedic practices to support you with this work of clearing out what’s no longer in season.
3 Ayurvedic Rituals for The Fall
- Ceremonial cacao—This deeply nourishing plant supports balance in the mind and gut. Prepare your favorite cacao drink from Root & Nourish, or simply heat 1 tablespoon cacao, ½ teaspoon cardamom, ½ teaspoon ashwagandha, and ½ teaspoon reishi powder in 1-2 cups milk for around 8 minutes. Before you take a sip, hold the mug in your hands, close your eyes, and deeply inhale the aromas. Let them waft all the way down through your legs and feet, and feel the energy draining back into the earth, where it will be stored and harnessed during the season ahead.
- Nadi shodhana pranayama—This version of alternate nostril breathing uses visualization instead of the traditional hand mudra. Try it this week as part of your morning meditation, or during savasana.
- Recycling love—All of us have experienced loss over the last year. No matter where you are in your healing and grieving journey, take this moment to honor whomever and whatever is no longer in your life the way you once knew them to be. In the spirit of nature’s ability to release and renew all matter, whether it’s our exhalations feeding the plants or the ocean’s exhalations feeding the atmosphere, find some material item from the being you knew before and repurpose it. Giving it new life will help their energy continue to live on in your present—and future.
If you try any of these rituals, please reach out to share your experience! I hope they support your sense of balance.