Return to Essence this Fall

Posted on October 11th, 2015


Autumn invites us to let go, lighten up, and distill our beings to their essence. Tune up the metal element this Fall with practices that help you clear out the clutter in you mind and define your intention with clarity.

Uttarabodhi mudra 2_opt

Uttarabodhi Mudra (Mudra of the highest enlightenment)

Crystal clear light, vast blue skies, and crisp, cold, clear air—ahhh Fall, my favorite season is here! According to Chinese Medicine, Fall is the Season of the metal element. The stage in our yearly cycle, when all of nature is in a process of contraction, decay, and decomposition-returning all matter to source to fertilize the seeds of Spring’s rebirth.

Through a process of releasing and refining, the metal element transforms matter to pure essence. The Autumn leaves, brilliantly ablaze, offer their last bursts of vitality before drying up and dropping back to the earth. In the end, the essence of the tree remains, a sculpture carving a line drawing in the vast sky and the unseen roots below, stabilizing, grounding and nourishing. The sap of the tree draws into the interior of the tree and sinks back to the roots. In Fall, we also pull inwards, slow down, and become more internal to refine our being as we move towards the stillness and rest of Winter.

Fall is the time to cleanse and organize the clutter in your home, release the agitation in your mind, and clear out the chaos in your life. It’s time to shed the non-essential, resolve and release unhelpful habitual thoughts and emotions, and let go of unhealthy relationships and patterns. By releasing the non-beneficial, we create space for recognizing the essence of who we are and clarity for our intentions.

But letting go is not easy, we resist it. Often we don’t want to change. We want to hang onto Summer, our youthful yang energy, the fullness of the day. We get fearful of the dark, the time and space needed to nourish the new. The stillness and quietness is unsettling and a sort of anxiety sets in as we head towards the fallow Yin time of Winter. We are used to constant stimulus, distraction, and busyness. But this nonstop activity and productivity with little rest, leaves us depleted, stressed out, and burnt out. In the Fall we often need supportive practices to help us as we  undergo these elemental processes of letting go, releasing, and surrender. Seasonal yoga, food, and lifestyle practices can help us attune our internal rhythm more with the natural cycles and deepen our connection to ourselves and our environment.

Fall is a good time to nourish the internal practices of meditation, mantra, and mudra to quiet the agitation in the mind, deepen concentration and open insight. Try practicing Uttarabodhi Mudra this Fall to nourish the metal element and the lungs and large intestines, our Fall organs. Place your index fingers together facing upwards and thumbs together facing downwards. Interlace the rest of your fingers together. Breathe and enjoy! This mudra helps open the lungs to expand the inhalation as well as stimulates elimination through the large intenstines. As conductor of electrical and energetic impulses, the metal element enhances our ability to draw in prana (vital energy) from our environment, connect with cosmic energy, as well as recharge our inner source of wellbeing.

Leigh in light_opt






Joyous heart!



Bhudi Mudra

Posted on October 8th, 2015


Bhudi mudra (fluid mudra)

Try Bhudi Mudra (fluid mudra) to help nourish the water element, balance your second chakra, and restore fluidity and easeful emotional flow in your being.

According to Ayurveda, Vata dosha, the air element, gets aggravated in the Fall. As the winds start to pick up, we begin to dry out. Our lips get chapped, our skin feels dry and we reach more often for the lotion. As the leaves start to turn their beautiful colors, dry up, and fall off, we also start to feel parched and depleted. We experience the same effects as nature because we are made up of the same elements. Ayurveda suggests nourishing the water element inside us to bring vata dosha back into balance. The grounding, stabilizing, water element offers fluidity and lubrication for the internal dryness.

Bhudi Mudra can help revitalize and maintain fluid balance in our bodies which are 50-70% water. This simple sacred gesture, helps when you have dry and burning eyes, or dryness in the mouth, kidney and bladder issues. It is said to improve the sense of taste, which is the sense organ for the second chakra.

Leigh in light_opt




Balance Vata Dosha in the palm of your hands

Posted on December 3rd, 2014


Are you feeling a bit scattered, overwhelmed, fragmented this Fall. Is it difficult to focus and complete projects? If you are harvesting your living space, did you run into some difficulties? Suddenly you wanted to clear everything out all at the same time and there were piles everywhere and you flitted from one pile to the next and nothing got organized and it all became too much?You might be feeling the effect of Vata dosha out of balance. According to Ayurveda, Vata dosha, the air element, tends to gets out of balance in the Fall. The qualities of vata are dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, clear, and erratic.Is your skin suddenly super dry? Just last week my skin started getting really chapped and I started reaching for the lotion constantly. We’re feeling dry at the same time as these leaves are turning their beautiful colors, drying up, and falling off. We feel these same effects as nature because we are made up of the same elements.Other vata qualities we experience in the Fall is the erratic weather. One minute it’s warm and the next cold and rainy. With the windy Fall days, we feel the mobile quality. You may experience this increased erratic and constant movement reflected in your thoughts. Are your thoughts spinning all over the place making you feel fragmented and overwhelmed? Have you been experiencing insomnia from racing thoughts?

Mudra to Balance Vata Dosha

Here’s my favorite mudra to do to help calm down my spinning thoughts and awaken my inner listening. I learned it from my Ayurveda teacher, Dr. Vasant Lad. I am always amazed at how effective it is in helping me and my students focus. It helps the spinning thoughts quiet down. As the excess mind chatter dissolves, we begin to listen inside and hear our inner wisdom and intuition. Clarity emerges as we connect to our deep innermost Self.

Mudras, are sacred hand gestures that redirect prana and enhance vitality. They assist us in connecting with cosmic consciousness and shifting negative energy to positive energy.

Ankush Mudra


Sit in a comfortable position.

Place your middle finger on your thumb and put all the rest of your fingers at the base of your thumb. It looks like a hook.

Rest your hands on your lap.

 Close your eyes.

Relax and breathe deeply.

 Stay here for 5-8 minutes.