Embracing the Seasons Series – Spring: Welcoming Change

by | Yoga Insights

Dear Yoga Family, We have now transitioned through this year’s spring equinox, Spring is here! As nature yet again begins the cycle of renewal, growth and expansion, by the universal law of resonance, the energy within our very being does the same. In this season, we reawaken parts of us that remained dormant throughout the winter. Spring and summer are the yang time of year. Yang is everything that is: heating, active, light, masculine, creative, fire-like, bright, energetic, and moving. Spiritually, springtime presents us with a beautiful opportunity to open our hearts and embrace the change – which ultimately is the only constant. As we simultaneously enter the time of the astrological sign of Aries. This sign represents the dawning of light and is all about self-development. As in yoga we create unity with all, we can align our being with the beneficial energies of the universe, and tune into some of the most beneficial qualities this sign brings: new beginnings, action, assertiveness, intellectuality, and fire energy. SPRING YOGA PRACTICE • Kriyas In the spring season, we want to ideally boost our body’s digestive system, and detox. For this, we can emphasize practicing the kriyas in Yoga. Kriyas are cleansing techniques such as: kapalabhati (stimulates and purifies the brain), neti (purifies the nasal track), trataka (eye excercises which purify the mind and eyes), nauli (abdominal purification and optimization of digestive fire), dhauti (cleansing of intestine), and vasti (cleansing of the rectum). • Pranayama Moreover, with the current events transpiring worldwide, it is key to also keep our respiratory health on point. We can do this by practicing lots of pranayama (breathing excercises in yoga), and going on long park or forest walks while meditating on breathing deeply. • Anahata Chakra – Opening the heart With spring being a time of embracing change, there is an openness needed for us to do this, and the most loving opening that we can experience occurs at the level of the heart chakra – anahata chakra. In our home yoga practice, we can integrate yoga postures that specifically work at this level, such as for example: cobra pose (bhujangasana), mow muzzle pose (gomukhasana), frog pose (bhekasana), turtle pose (kurmasana), diamond pose (vajrasana), and the king of doves pose (rajakapotasana) to name a few. Also, meditating on the heart chakra with the support of gentle music, especially the kind of soft harmonious piano and/or violin will help to tune into this beautiful chakra – the centre of our being where our soul resides, where we can find the true source of universal love. Overall, spring season is a time to try something new, do something you have never done before, get creative, tap into new positive vibrations, and be playful! Let us remember that life is a playground. Not a game to play, but a place to play for the sake of playing – celebrating the gift of life. SPRING & AYURVEDA The spring season is the season of kapha dosha (water and earth) in Ayurveda. It has this energy of awakening from a long slumber (the winter season). It can take some time to get us going. So, from an Ayurvedic standpoint, it is ideal to take some self-care time first thing in the morning to get rid of any lethargic kapha energy. Then, and get your system going by practicing some kriyas (see the list mentioned above under the section “Spring Yoga Practice”), yoga postures and a few minutes of pranayama. You can drink some warm lemon-ginger tea to ignite your digestive fire and prepare your body for breakfast. Just as an additional comment, the kapha hours of the day are between 06:00-10:00 and 18:00-22:00 – times of the day during which agni (our digestive fire) is at its lowest, which explains why these practices mentioned here are ideal to do first thing in the morning. In your spring diet, you can opt to decrease the amount of kapha foods you consume (heavy and creamy/milky foods such as: starchy carbs, dairy, meat and puddings), and increase your intake of kapha balancing foods (these are light and easy to digest, such as: clear vegetable soups, spice teas, leafy greens, and beans) LET YOGA BE YOUR MEDICINE In her book Mana Yoga: Discovering Your Yoga Nature, Denby Sheather shares with us: “Spring herald’s new standards and new beginnings. It is a time of growth and renewal, of moving forwards and embracing new experiences. Survival of the fittest – we must connect with our innate primal response to adapt to circumstance – and learn to morph not only our bodies, but our minds, hearts and spirits – if we are to survive.” So, let us be courageous and embark on a journey of profound transformation this season. Letting go of the old and preparing to build a more sustainable world. Through these times, let us let yoga be our teacher, our medicine, our motivation, and our teacher to embrace change, and tap into the creative universal energy which infinitely available for us all. Wishing you all a healthy spring season! With love always, Aldona

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