Facing Change with Equanimity

Prana mudra is a beautiful gesture which embodies the cycles of life and teaches us to savour each changing moment with equal delight. By Lauren Bloxham

Reading time: 4 minutes

Watching the seasons change is a part of life that can have a real impact on our psyche and sense of wellbeing. Think for a moment about how it feels to see the first daffodils of spring after a long, cold, dark winter. They can bring such vibrant hope, a constant reminder of longer, warmer days ahead, a sense of relief from the long winter.

As autumn emerges and we watch the leaves turn golden, red, and brown, we witness the spectacular beauty of change. This is a fleeting moment between the passing of the fruitful abundance of summer and the arrival of the stark bare stillness of winter. Autumn ushers in a sense of letting go; subtly, it brings with it grief and the need to turn inwards.

Change is inevitable in life. It’s the one thing we are assured of, and it can often have a similar impact on our psyche and sense of wellbeing as the changes of the season. Some changes in life offer hope and new beginnings; these kinds of changes can excite and engage us, they can re-invigorate us and motivate us. Just like spring, they can feel like the dawning of something bright, vibrant and hopeful.

But what about the kinds of changes that arrive like autumn; a spectacular burst of beauty, a moment of pause which says ‘it’s time to move on’ at the exact ripe and fruitful moment of full bounty? Just like picking ripe fruit and veg is the moment we have waited for in the process of nurturing our plants, the culmination of all that has been poured into the process, it’s also the moment of passing. Whether these are changes that we have invited, or they are changes which have arrived with us unexpectedly, they come with a sense of loss as we recognise the need to let go.

It’s these kinds of changes that can trigger darker times, grief and loss and can bring a sense of emptiness. Just as we are so full of the bounty or the love we have cultivated and shared, we are also aware of the emptiness it leaves behind once it’s passed. Whether it’s the passing of a loved one and the space that is left, the passing of the summer bounty and the emergence of the dark stillness of winter, once change sets in, the process must be honoured.

The autumns of our lives are inevitably followed by winter because this is the natural law of things. It is a time of passing which invites stillness, where nothing grows and the pieces of the passing continue to fall around us, each time a reminder of what has been lost until there are no pieces left. And it is only when the very last leaf has fallen, and we have spent enough time with our bare souls exposed to the cold, that we find our way back to light and to warmth.

Letting go of something beautiful can also invite us to take stock; to find the subtle nourishment it brought us in the form of memories or lessons learned. Letting go asks us to find deep gratitude for what has been offered, the offering itself, the impression the offering has left behind and its tailwind of resonance. When we eat the fruits and bounty of the summer, we not only enjoy the meal, but the meal becomes us. The innate wisdom of our bodies transforms the meal into flesh and bone, the smallest molecules of fruit become the building blocks for the cells of our body. The meal lives on within us, and depending on how aligned with our needs it was, we enjoy its resonance for long afterwards. The same goes for experiences and relationships. The same is true of good books, the kind that we savour and devour with such delight that we feel a simultaneous grief at the idea of them ending.

Change reminds us that all things have their moment, and all things come to pass and that passing, just like the golden, red leaves of autumn, is beautiful and inevitable.

As we stand amid the stark emptiness of the winters that follow a passing, we continue to be nourished by what was rich, bountiful, and beautiful. As we begin to move on, we seek and cultivate light to sustain us. We seek and cultivate the shoots of new possibility which offer hope and ultimately, we find them, so that the process of nurture, love and growth can begin all over again.

It’s this natural law, the continuing cycles of life, our engagement in the process, that reminds us so gently and so beautifully that we are loved, supported, and sustained, that we can savour the moments as they arrive and pass with equanimity.

Prana mudra

The practice of Prana mudra (gesture of life) is a beautiful embodiment of the cycles of life:

Come to a comfortable sitting position. Allow the palms to rest in Bhairava mudra. Becoming aware of the ebb and flow of the breath, the passing of each breath as it leaves the body and the arrival of the new breath. As we begin to honour this cycle, we embody the gesture of life by inviting the engagement of Moola Bandha at the very end of the exhalation, when the lungs are empty, and the breath has passed. We engage and embody emptiness.

Inevitably, the urge to inhale follows like the first shoots of spring, releasing Moola Bandha, breath draws into the belly, chest and throat and hands follow the journey…with palms facing the body and fingertips lightly touching until the lungs are full and the arms are raised and open above the head, basking in the fullness of breath. The fullness of breath, the height of summer, the culmination of all that has been nurtured…this is a turning point, and a glorious moment of stillness before the breath leaves the body again, the hands following a journey back down the body, like autumn leaves falling from the trees until they rest again in Bhairava Mudra and engage Moola Bandha in the deep stillness of the wintering breath.

Practice yoga with Lauren Bloxham online at, movement, mindfulness and meditation for slow movers and gentle souls. You can also join her on ‘The Wild Medicine’ retreat at Bala Brook, Dartmoor National Park on 16-19 May, 2024 & 14-17 November, 2024. Follow her words of wisdom on Instagram @blackdogliving

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