Fresh green spring leaves against a blue sky (Photo credit: Stella Tomlinson)
The bright fresh green leaves of spring bursting into life…

I love this time of year.

I love noticing the leaf buds as they gradually unfurl into new life. I love the bright lime green leaves and fresh blossom on the trees and in the hedgerows. I love the lengthening of the days. I love the feeling of renewal and new possibilities.

I love spring!

Previous years, when I’ve had my head down working, I’ve only half-noticed the changes going on in the natural world around me and never quite felt I had the time to appreciate fully this time of year.

Full of the joys of spring

But this year is different and I feel something stirring in me ready to spring into life – rather like the leaves blossoming into life after the dormancy of winter.

I’m literally feeling full of the joys of spring and this is showing in my yoga practice.

For the past week or so I’ve found myself wanting to practise postures which I haven’t felt enthusiastic about all through autumn and winter.

Feel the power!

I’m finding myself drawn to:

  • Triangles (Trikonasana) and Warriors (Virabhadrasana) where I’m enjoying feeling the strength and power they engender : I feel myself grounded with strength through my legs, yet open in my upper body and welcome to new possibilities and ways of looking at myself and the world;
  • Twisting postures such as Sitting Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana): the twists are wringing out tension and toxins in my body;
  • Inversions such as Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana) which I feel is akin to tipping out accumulated rubbish and having a good spring clean of my energetic system;
  • The sun sequence – come on sun, you know you want to come out really;
  • And Dru yoga sequences such as the Power Sequence which is great for enhancing confidence and self-esteem.

See things differently

My senses feel sharper and I’m willing to come to postures with a fresh view.

Yesterday I decided I’d try Rotated Triangle (Parivritta Trikonasana) without bending the knee of the leading leg and without supporting my hand on a block, something I normally do because I thought I needed to and always have done in the past.

Well, it turns out that now I don’t need do either of these things – straight leg and hand on floor, way- hay! (Just goes to show that if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got…)

Feel the connection

I’m feeling into the poses with more of a connection to my body: I’m feeling the strength in my legs and openness in my hips as I stretch and twist. I’m feeling the subtleties of slight changing in alignments such as how lifting the arches of my feet engages my leg muscles in wide-stance poses.

I’m also enjoying practising the Dru Earth Sequence which connects us to the vitality of the energy that the earth is giving us as this time of year; and Salutation to the Four Directions, where we give out qualities such as courage, generosity, acceptance and love as we turn to the north, south, east and west and open ourselves to receiving them in turn.

And Pranayama such as Kapalabhati (cleansing breath) and Bhastrika (bellows breath) are great at this time of year; they focus my mind and leave me feeling energized.

Spring has sprung

So, new life is springing into action all around us and I believe that whether we consciously notice it or not, this has an effect on our mind, body and emotions.

But if we actively decide to connect to the nascent power which is beneath our feet and bursting out all around us at this time of year, imagine what we could achieve!

What effect is spring having on you and your yoga practice?

I was inspired to muse on the joys of spring by Yoga for Calm’s recent post: Alternative Spring Cleaning

Spring into life with yoga
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5 thoughts on “Spring into life with yoga

  • May 16, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    The weather really doesn’t help, does it?! It was winter again, yesterday…

    My spring tide began when the earth began her Spring, many weeks ago when the snowdrops were breaking through the soil. A practice almost-but-not-quite dormant due to the demands of life suddenly and unexpectedly found new energy and inspiration – all from observation of someone close to me… to whom I owe so much for everything they do and are, but especially for showing me how to approach my yoga with the spontaneity and joy of a child at play! Casting off the shackles of my ‘old’ expectations and ideal of ‘perfection’, I now find myself with a daily practice that is flexible in form and timing to suit the demands of the day, and yet ends up being much longer than I ever expect. It’s not always perfect, and mostly it doesn’t involve my mat at all – but it always works, and is always beneficial.

    And for me too, Triangles and Warriors! I have shied away from these for a long long time… but have been irresistibly drawn for weeks, now. And that’s another aspect of my spring-cleaned practice – these are helping to shed some long held ‘blockages’ that have been holding me back. No more!

    It’s powerful stuff, yoga…

    • May 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      It’s funny, I’ve shied away from triangles and warriors too for a good while, and have, quite unexpectedly, found myself wanted to do them and really enjoying them. I think being given Utthita Parsvakonasana (Bhima) in my assessment turned a corner for me. It was a pose I hadn’t done much because I *thought* I didn’t like it. Love it now!

  • May 17, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I love spring. It’s definitely my favourite time of year. Every day I go out into my garden and see something new. The birds seem to be singing more cheerfully as well. My yoga practice feels more inspired and my body feels as if its becoming more flexible and I seem to have more energy and enthusiasm as the weather gets warmer. This is just as well because the amount of bending and lifting I’m doing in the garden is terrible for my back. I’m usually guilty of doing too much and then having to rest for days to recover. This year I’m doing lots of postures to help strengthen my lower back and it’s really working.

    • May 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      I know what you mean about gardening and an aching back! But yes, yoga really helps it. Hey, there’s an idea for a niche yoga class: yoga for gardeners!

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