As we slide out of October, into November, there’s the need to throw on additional garments, to dress “for the weather”. Like some autumnal rite of passage we begin to pull sweaters and hoodies out of their moth protecting bags, to review long socks, thick tights and gloves to see if new is needed or last year’s will do. To consider, in fact, something every Canadian understands: the act of layering. In doing so, there’s that syncing of layers with task and mood!
The hoodie with puffy vest: zippy and casual for when one feels high energy - the go-to for walks along the shoreline, jogs with the dog, or for warming up after practice. Then there’s the toque, the multi-coloured hand knitted one, quirky but dedicated to fun and late fall leaf-kicking walks; the cocky cord peaked paperboy, stylish and funky for those Saturday afternoon strolls downtown. The long and colourful ribbed scarf, poncho, or wrap-around shawl, a match for when one feels a little boho. Then there are leggings and woolen socks, essentials for snowy days and, of course, for the yoga practitioner wanting to keep muscles warm.
In mentioning yoga, one is also reminded that there are five layers of self - called koshas. These are layers of being that could be thought of taking the form of a matryoshka – those Russian dolls of ever-declining size stacked neatly inside one another. On the outside is the Physical body - our physical form and dimension. Next there’s the Energy body – our chi – controlled and harnessed through our breath. Thirdly there’s our Mental body – the full tumble of our emotions and mental state. Up next: our Wisdom body – where “self” awareness lives. Lastly there’s our Bliss body – that ultimate state of connectivity, peace, and blissfulness felt only when all five koshas are in perfect balance. So this fall as you reach for that toque, hoodie, or any of those layering essentials, be conscious that we are not just what we wear, but that we have “layers of being” and that, like the cozy layers you choose to put together as part of your fall look, all play their part in you being you.