I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it is Spring!
In the beginning here I was dreading the cold climate of the Netherlands. I felt as if it was a long long winter until June. Every month that was cold or cool I felt as winter, because I come from a very warm country (Israel). But seasons change, and in the NL it is vivid and colorful and magnificently noticeable. I came to appreciate it.
In the NL you can see, smell, touch and feel the change of season. Temperatures really change in average, you need different set of clothing for each season, the colors of nature are strongly visible everywhere you go. In Spring you can also smell fertilizers on the ground (beside the blossom of flowers) and the days become soooooo long, you can actually see the course of the sun (from my apartment in the west).
It is not accidental that a lot of cultures and religions all over the world celebrate the spring in some kind of event. Seasons have effect on humans, it is natural. We celebrate the change in weather and we celebrate the earth changing, giving us food and life. We used to be more connected to nature before the industrial era and urbanization.
In yoga every season is celebrated by a devoted practice. The transition can come from within, you can ask yourself “how do I want to get ready for the coming season? What do I need to do mentally and physically?” “How can I integrate the change in season into my life goals?” “How do I want to feel in the coming season?” “What are my natural physical and emotional tendencies in the coming season?” Etc.
Asking those questions help you becoming clear about the change that is coming. You will work toward it with your subconscious. When you ask questions, the universe has a way to show you the answers :) Also you can answer some of them yourself.
It is recommend to eat seasonally and to change your diet according to the season. (Hearty soups in winter, light cold food in summer, fruits of the season, etc.)
Your yoga practice can defer as well. In spring it is appreciated to keep airways clean :) for all hay-fever sufferers and for smelling the blossom, thus it is good to add more Pranayama to the practice. Pranayama are breathing techniques, I talk about it in my post here: https://goo.gl/zRlyy2 .
Spring represent change and new beginnings. It represents growth, blossoming, evolving, spirit of renewal.
I made myself some promises for new beginning this Spring and for the change in practice I added dance, different transitioning, different postures, A lot of chest opening and strengthening the core, because Spring is also a time for courage.
Spring yoga is stimulating, energizing, expressive, heating, varied. Here are some poses for you to integrate to your practice:
Toe stretch – Starting with the toes is excellent, we want to rejuvenate them in preparation to be exposed soon in Summer :) After a long winter, tucked in closed shoes, let’s free our soles!
By stretching the soles of our feet, we awaken the entire body and stimulate almost every meridian point. You’ll feel energized after this one!
Invigorating stretches and core poses:
Dolphin pose, Side plank, boat pose with variations.
Revolved chair- Great twist to detox and improve guts function!
Chest opening poses: Half bridge, Fish pose, lord of the dance, the wild thing.
Enjoy the practice and the weather !