Cultural Moments

6 fall equinox rituals to bring balance and gratitude

The first day of autumn is here! It’s difficult to believe it’s that time again—another seasonal shift.

The first day of autumn is here! It’s difficult to believe it’s that time again—another seasonal shift. With most of us stuck in a quarantine time warp, it’s more important than ever to acknowledge, integrate, and celebrate the passage of time. If we feel like the days keep blending into one, honoring the transition to fall on the equinox can help us get unstuck, and feel present and grateful for what we have.

This year, the equinox falls on September 22, at exactly 9:31 am EDT. The word “equinox” comes from the Latin “aequus” meaning “equal” and “nox” meaning “night,” indicating that, at this moment of the year, the day and night are of roughly equal length. After the fall equinox, the days become short and the nights become longer, signifying our entrance into a more internal or reflective period. Also called “Mabon,” it is known as the time of the harvest; time to reap what we have sown and invite balance and gratitude.

Though this has been a difficult year, remember that all is cyclical, and endings and beginnings are always occurring around us. Over the next few days, take some time to practice a ritual that will mark the change from summer to autumn in your life. We’ve included a list of our favorites to inspire you.

  1. Take time for balance and reflection. Sit quietly and reflect on what might be out of balance in your life right now and dedicate yourself to making those lifestyle shifts. It can help to write your thoughts in a journal and conclude by creating three small action steps. 
  2. Create a fall harvest feast. There are so many seasonal vegetables available right now. Instead of mourning the loss of summer fruit, celebrate the abundance of pumpkins, gourds, and root vegetables that are filling the produce aisle. Try out new recipes and cook a feast for whoever you may be in quarantine with (even if it is just for yourself—you deserve it!).
  3. Take a walk in nature. Go outside and observe how the trees are shifting, the smell of the air has taken on a new note, and the light has evolved. Consider taking pictures of things that you see on a daily basis. Then, when we celebrate another season, take more pictures so you can compare and observe the power of seasonal evolutions
  4. Bring the outside in. While carving pumpkins for Halloween may seem like a child’s activity, there is just something about bringing tastes of the season into your home. Especially right now, it’s helpful to have small seasonal reminders that allow you to feel grateful and celebratory. Gourds as a centerpiece, a full bowl of fresh apples, scattered acorns, or a few fallen leaves can help you connect to nature and the passing of seasons.
  5. Read out loud. As the season turns and we spend even more time indoors, a nice way to break up the binge-watching is to gather around a book and read it out loud. This lost art has been making a comeback during these times. We use a different part of our brains to read out loud and yet another to visualize the story. These both enhance creativity and support mental focus.
  6. Infuse the spirit of the season into your practice. Of course, your yoga practice is a powerful way to attune yourself to the rhythms and cycles of nature. Our Fall Equinox class collection is full of classes that will help you adjust to the energy of the new season. Choose the one that speaks most to you to honor this day of transition.

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