3 Centering Practices for Late Summer

In Denver, today is the first day it actually feels like Fall. Last night, the nearly-full moon was a creamy orange, dreamsicle color from the wildfires. Being under her light in the cool night air after a long, hot Labor day was exquisite–both soothing and invigorating.

Late summer is laced with a sweet melancholy for me. My birthday is at the very end of August, and this time of year signals a closing to the carefree laziness of summer, a time where we get to work. Not only school work, or job work, or the socio-political work that we’re seeing come to a head all around us.

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This too is the time that deep spiritual work that comes with the energy of Autumn. The kind of work that can make you squirm with discomfort as we turn inward and reflect upon what is working and what requires release.

Staying mindful is always a good idea during times of turbulence and transition, and the more firmly we can establish these patterns now at the beginning of this introspective period, the more likely we are to stick with them, and have a strong foundation from which we do that work.

Here are 3 of my favorite practices that help keep me centered during late summer.

Viloma Pranayama, or Three-Part Breath

This is something I picked up from the yoga practice: This breath is so grounding that I use it when I’m feeling anxious, need a break, when I’m beginning my day or settling in for meditation.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Find a comfortable seat. Sit tall so that you can breathe full and deep.
  • Take a few rich, long breaths to start.
  • Exhale completely, then inhale 1/3 of your lung’s capacity.
  • Pause 1-2 seconds.
  • Inhale 2/3.
  • Pause again, 1-2 seconds.
  • Inhale fully, then sip in a little bit more air.
  • Pause again, then slowly empty out completely.
  • Start again.

When you pause, keep your throat relaxed. Sometimes we constrict the top of the throat when we pause our breath, but stay relaxed the whole time.

If you’re pregnant or the pause doesn’t feel good, skip it, and focus on inflating a third at a time.

Take a Sunrise Walk

Now, it’s tempting to sleep in as the sun rises later and later. But pre-dawn is a magical time before the world gets going with the day–take advantage of it! Continue to wake up early, or find out when the sun rises and set your alarm for 20 minutes beforehand. Lay out your clothes and commit to a 10-minute walk. Ten minutes is not a long time–it’s about the time it takes to walk four blocks–you can do that.

The trade-off is immense: The cool morning air is ultra-invigorating, you’re alert by the time you begin your day, and reveling in the quiet moments as the sun rises is nourishing to the mind and spirit. Not to mention that you get to catch a gorgeous sunrise, the air smells amazing, and you get to start your day off with a great habit, which makes it easier to move well, eat well and take care of yourself for the rest of the day.

Intend the Crap outta Today

I’ve recently picked up this practice and I’m totally hooked. The idea behind it is that we begin our day with what we’re excited for, sending a message to the Universe that you are open and ready to receive those gifts of abundance, bliss and all the joyful juju.

The key here is to really feel it. In your chest and in your body, in your unavoidable smile, in the leap in your belly.

Get excited for your day!

Something amazing is going to happen to you today!

All is well & there is so much to be grateful for!

It seems a little cheesy at first, but starting your day this goofy-optimistic is good for you. From here, form an intention. What is it you’d like to manifest more of today? Phrase it in the present tense, like this:

  • I intend I am receiving prosperity from all sources.
  • I intend I have all of the energy I need to thrive at work, the gym, and at home today.
  • I intend my meeting goes spectacularly and I get that new client.

Also, this Code from the Intenders of the Highest Good has been rocking my world lately. I say the Code, then my intentions for the day, and it has totally put manifestation in overdrive.

So those are my faves for this time of year–what do you think? Drop me a line via email or in the comments with a few of your favorite practices.

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