Did I sleep through Spring and wake up in Summer?
Last week I was huddled in a thick jacket, chunky boots and upon returning home my slippers were never far from my feet. Fast forward a week later and my beloved Birkenstocks have returned from their winter hibernation and my tootsies are out as the sun shares what feels like unexpected and unlimited warmth. Last week, I felt sluggish, snoozing through my alarm and the intention to make it onto my yoga mat first thing in the morning felt impossible. This week everything feels easier, possible, I’m waking up at dawn with no need for an alarm and practically skipping to my mat.
As I wandered about yesterday lunchtime I noticed its not just me that is emerging. So is the blossom, the magnolia, the sweet little lambs, the clusters of friends sat on the beach, and the families lunching in overflowing pub gardens. Sunglasses are out and everyone is smiling. In four short days shoulders that felt like they were touching our ears have softly melted down by the attentive and tender Spring warmth.
I’ve also observed that I’m a person of two halves as the season changes and we enter Spring. Part of me isn’t quite ready for Winter to be over, I’ve enjoyed the quietness and permission the season gives us to hibernate, rest and be quiet. The other half of me has already jumped into Spring feet first, taking every opportunity to sit in the sun and actually be sociable again. There is a realisation that from the head up I see Spring and therefore I am. From the neck down my body is still in Winter-mode, contracted, ready to brace against the wind, the rain and the damp. How do I ease all of myself into Spring?
Water, fire and energetic Transitions
Yoga is my tool to support and guide my body, mind and energy through seasonal change. Here’s why. In the East winter is associated with the water element. It’s a yin time of year. Summer is defined by the element of fire and yang energy. These energetic transitions are experienced by all of us. Often we will leave the winter season with excess yin / water energy as this time of year is typically less active. A little light internal spring cleaning through yoga can help us to naturally transition from water, building fire in our belly as we move into mid-Spring and Summer.
Here’s eight reasons to inspire you to begin your yoga journey this Spring:
- Spring is the perfect time to begin your yoga practice. Linking breath with slow, conscious movement helps to stimulate the body and soften tension in parts of us that feel tight or contracted.
- Lao Tzu once said “nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished”, the same goes for integrating a yoga practice into your life. To bridge the seasons of Winter and Spring explore restorative yoga practices alongside slow, gentle flows as you build strength and awareness.
- Moving in the morning wakes up and kickstarts our immune system which is able to be more efficient when our blood flow and lymphatic system is able to circulate easily.
- Explore sun salutations to support your energy. This ritual helps to lengthen, strengthen and condition muscles and supports cardiovascular health, future-proofing from fatigue and lethargy and supports us to feel grounded and present.
- Let the weather inspire your practice. On sunny days where your energy is feeling in flow, try a vinyasa class. When the April showers arrive, take advantage of a cosy practice, use this time as an opportunity to replenish your energy in a different way.
- Switch on the parasympathetic nervous system through your practice. This branch of the nervous system is known as the rest and digest state where are all systems in the body are able to function as designed, increasing the health of body and mind immensely.
- Observe the shift from the inside out. As you become more spacious in your body and tension reduces through a regular practice how are you responding to life differently? Journal the changes to remind you and reinforce how this movement – for as little as 10 minutes a day – is benefiting your body, mindset and energy.
- Practice outside when you can – your mat and Emberly membership are portable. Believe me when I say there is something rather wonderful about consciously moving and breathing to the sound of the birds and the bees, with the sun on your skin.
- Related course: Yoga: Energy & Focus