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Iyengar Yoga Institute Milano

Journal

Iyengar News Pratica Scienza

19 Ottobre 2022

Seasonality: the climate outside and the climate inside us

Chiara M. Travisi


Seasonality: the ‘climate outside’ and the ‘climate inside’ us

a project by Chiara M. Travisi with the collaboration of Svenja Karstens as graphic illustrator

 

 

No matter how experienced we are as yoga practitioners, ‘seasonality’ is an issue to be addressed in our personal practice. Not only meteorological climate and the ecosystems in which we act do change (cities, natural landscapes, agricultural areas, pristine environments, etc.), but also our internal ‘climate’ keeps on varying in order to adapt to the surrounding environmental conditions and to the different daily routines we have to tackle with (work, leisure, family, etc.). In other words, we find ourselves dealing with a ‘climate outside’ and with a ‘climate inside’.

 

Modifications are on different time-scales: yearly, monthly, weekly, daily and even smaller. In our daily yoga practice, we can feel that every single day our embodiment is different from the previous day. We are used to reason on a daily-based scale (or monthly, or yearly) but transformation is actually a constant and a continuum of our biological life which evolves seamless adapting to the ‘climate outside’, thus generating the ‘climate inside’.

 

Bio-chemical processes occurring in our body are at the base of the transformations that we, as yoga practitioners, learn to perceive by empowering our awareness and interoception through our system of embodied exercises. Our internal ‘climate’ depends on the way our bio-chemical processes are affected by the stimuli we receive, either from outside (weather condition, stress or de-stress, pathogens, etc.) or from inside through the way we nourish ourselves. The body’s response to such stimulation generates a peculiar ‘climate inside’ us: the body adapts but may also generate inappropriate responses depending of its health condition.

 

Transformation, what we can call here ‘seasonality’, is a fundamental principle to be taken into consideration when we practice. In Sanskrit, this concept goes on the noun of pariṇāma and it refers to the continuum evolution of prakṛti, the materiality constituting what we call ‘reality’.

 

In order to address such an important topic, but only as simple suggestions and evocations of the idea of pariṇāma and interdependence between the ‘outer’ and inner ‘climate’, I have developed four different sequences, each of those titled under the name of one climate season: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.For each of the four seasons I have addressed one topic which, for my understanding and awareness, is more peculiar to that period of the year. The beautiful and satvic illustrations are by @svenjakarsten.

 

No matter our experienced we are as yoga practitioners, ‘seasonality’ is an issue to be addressed in our yoga practice. Not only meteorological climate and the ecosystems in which we act do change (cities, natural landscapes, agricultural areas, pristine environments, etc.), but also our internal ‘climate’ keeps on varying in order to adapt to the surrounding environmental conditions and to the different daily routines we have to tackle with (work, leisure, family, etc.). In other words, we find ourselves dealing with a ‘climate outside’ and with a ‘climate inside’.

 

Modifications are on different time-scales: yearly, monthly, weekly, daily and even smaller. In our daily yoga practice, we can feel that every single day our embodiment is different from the previous day. We are used to reason on a daily-based scale (or monthly, or yearly) but transformation is actually a constant and a continuum of our biological life which evolves seamless adapting to the ‘climate outside’, thus generating the ‘climate inside’.

 

Bio-chemical processes occurring in our body are at the base of the transformations that we, as yoga practitioners, learn to perceive by empowering our awareness and interoception through our system of embodied exercises. Our internal ‘climate’ depends on the way our bio-chemical processes are affected by the stimuli we receive, either from outside (weather condition, stress or de-stress, pathogens, etc.) or from inside through the way we nourish ourselves. The body’s response to such stimulation generates a peculiar ‘climate inside’ us: the body adapts but may also generate inappropriate responses depending of its health condition.

 

Transformation, what we can call here ‘seasonality’, is a fundamental principle to be taken into consideration when we practice. In Sanskrit, this concept goes on the noun of pariṇāma and it refers to the continuum evolution of prakṛti, the materiality constituting what we call ‘reality’.

 

In order to address such an important topic, but only as simple suggestions and evocations of the idea of pariṇāma and interdependence between the ‘outer’ and inner ‘climate’, I have developed four different sequences, each of those titled under the name of one climate season: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. For each of the four seasons I have addressed one topic which, for my understanding and awareness, is more peculiar to that period of the year.

 

Each sequence will be presented with an explanation regarding their purposes and accompanied by a bibliography with relevant references.

 

The sequences and texts are by @chiaratravisi. The beautiful and satvic illustrations are by @svenjakarstens.

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