Honoring the seasons is so important to me and my yoga practice. Where many operate on the traditional calendar year (starting with January 1), and the business world operates on the fiscal year (this always baffles me)…I actually find my best rhythm with the seasons. It’s how I set goals, and do regular check-in’s with myself, my family, my business.
Last week, we celebrated the Spring Equinox on March 20, 2019. And, what does that even mean? Officially, the Spring Equinox is the time when the sun moves across the celestial equator going north. This crossing of the equator only happens twice per year (just twice!). It’s also the time when day and night are of equal length, and following the March Equinox, the days become longer than the nights…aka the official transition from winter to spring.
In yoga and Ayurveda, there’s a belief that the microcosm reflects the macrocosm, and the macro the micro. Essentially, we recognize that nature is reflected within us and we are reflected in nature. I think it’s why we are naturally so excited about the spring. We can feel the warmth of the sun, see the budding trees, notice the tulips and daffodils pushing their way through still somewhat chilly ground. The Earth is literally alive with new energy and so are we.
So, why not use a yoga practice to honor that? Why not usher in a new season with ritual, meditation, journaling, and invigorating movement? It’s not too late to welcome the spring with ceremony and delight. For me, I had a loooonngg practice focusing on “bird of paradise” - a flower inspired yoga posture that’s beautiful, but so challenging for my toddler carrying shoulders - and a check-in with my intentions from the start of 2019.
Here are some ideas for you:
Practice a clearing breathing technique before a yoga practice or meditation, such as Kapalabhati Pranayama, to invigorate the body, mind and the senses. Note: Do NOT practice during pregnancy.
Journal. After a season of introspection and reflection (winter), where do you want to plant seeds of growth and discovery? What is intriguing you lately? What curiosities do you want to follow? Write those intentions in a journal at the beginning or end of your yoga practice.
Go for a walking meditation. Walk SLOWLY. Leave your phone at home. Get quiet. Breathe in the spring air, feel the sensation of the wind on your face, notice the budding trees. End with a seated meditation, perhaps outside in nature.
Try a dynamic and briskly paced yoga practice with twists and hip openers to clear “stuck” energy in the body (tightness often accumulates in the hips and lower body during winter).
Pull out your calendar and set your goals for the spring season (join me!). Remember, there may be satisfaction in attaining the goal, but this is more about your growth and experience on the path towards achievement, rather than the achievement itself.
Does anyone else fall into a natural rhythm with the seasons? Or are you one of those people where the fiscal year actually makes sense (just kidding…sort of)? How are you honoring spring? What’s a curiosity you have or a path you want to walk down? I’d love to hear from you.