Spring... a time for new life, new beginnings and snow?! Ok so this spring hasn't been the sunniest of starts, however, we can still spring clean our lives and yoga practice in preparation for the season ahead.
As we step out from winter and ready ourselves for growth and budding new life, we have the opportunity to restore ourselves energetically. This yoga sequence is sure to put a spring in your step and support you to cleanse your mind, body and spirit.
Child's Pose is the ideal starting place for any new beginning. From a kneeling position, bring your big toes together and take your knees wider than your torso. Fold forward resting your forehead onto your mat. Relax your arms by your sides or extend them out ahead with your palms grounded into the earth. Lower your hips towards your heels as you exhale winter.
Close your eyes if this is comfortable for you and focus on setting an intention for yourself as you begin this new season. This may be to 'let go' of anything that has troubled you during the dark winter months, welcoming new light and life into your life. Stay in child's pose for 10 breaths or longer if you wish to.
Push upwards from child's pose into downward-facing dog. From here, step your right foot forward to meet your right hand and lower your left knee onto your mat. Inhale the spring air as you raise your arms above your head parallel with your ears. If it's accessible for you bring your palms together. Take 5 nourishing breaths here before returning to downward-facing dog and repeating on your left side.
From your downward-facing dog, step your right foot forward once more towards your right hand. You can either lower your left knee or remain on your left toes this time. As you inhale rise upwards as you did for Anjaneyasana and bring your hands into Anjali Mudra as you exhale. As you press your palms together at your heart centre, twist your torso toward your right thigh.
Place your bottom elbow to the outisde edge of your bent knee. This is a deeply detoxifying twist. Allow yourself 5 deep breaths in this posture and then return to downward facing dog, ready to repeat on your left side.
From your down dog, step your left foot forward first this time. Step your right foot forward a third of the way in. Straighten both legs and fold forward as you exhale. As you inhale, lift halfway keeping your spine long, take your drishti/gaze forward and bring your hands to your hips. Take a moment to pause as you exhale. As you next inhale lift your torso and left arm towards the sky.
Ground your right palm to the outside of your left foot onto a brick or your mat for support. Take 5 deep breaths here and transition though downward facing dog onto your other side.
From your down dog float forward into plank pose. Lower your forearms to the floor and align your elbows under your shoulders. For additional support you may want to interlace your fingers. Draw your chest forward and draw your shoulders back away from your ears. Inhale your navel to support your lower spine. Align your feet hip width apart and send your energy back towards your heels.
Keep your neck long in line with the rest of your spine and take 5 deep breaths. Press back up onto your hands and gently lower yourself onto your mat.
Rest your forehead into your mat to begin. Bring your big toes together and bend your knees. As you draw your heels toward your sitting bones, take hold of the outside edges of your ankles or lower shins. Roll your shoulders back away from your ears and as you inhale lift your chest upward away from your mat. Reach with the crown of your head towards the sky. Lift your knees up from your mat and press your shins towards the back of your mat. Take another 5 deep breaths here, inhaling and exhaling before lowering your knees, forehead and arms back down to the earth. Push back as you exhale into child's pose.
From child's pose bring yourself onto all fours, cross your legs behind you and roll back onto your sitting bones into Sukhasana. Ground your left hand behind you and lengthen through your spine as you inhale. Place your right hand on your left knee, relaxing your shoulders away from your ears. As you exhale twist a little deeper and take your drishti towards the back of your mat. Take 5 breaths here and repeat on the other side.
Beginning in Dandasana, bend your left knee bringing your foot towards your right side or if its more comfortable keep your left leg straight. Bend your right knee and place the sole of the foot flat to your mat, aligning the heel with the left sitting bone. Root your left hand into the earth behind you, a few inches behind your tailbone. Sweep your right arm towards the sky, lengthening through your spine as you inhale and bend the elbow and place to the outside of your right knee as you exhale. Inhale to find length in your spine once more and as your exhale twist towards the back of your mat, taking your drishti with you. Breathe here for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Again starting in dandasana, as you inhale sweep your arms over head as you draw your shoulders down away from your ears. As you exhale, reach forward into spring with your heart and fold forward from your hips. If its comfortable for you, grasp the outer edges of your feet with your hands. If grasping your feet causes your spine to round, try sliding your hands back and using a strap for support around the balls of your feet. A gentle bend in your knees will also help to keep your spine elongated in this posture. Flex your toes upward towards the sky and take your drishti towards your big toes. Allow yourself 5 deeply restorative breaths here, healing your abdominal organs as you breathe.
Draw your focus back into your body as you rest your entire body into the ground for support. Gently close your eyes and visualise planting your mind, body and spirit back into the earth ready for renewal. Let your breath come and go naturally and give yourself permission to fully relax as you root down. Lie here for 10 minutes or longer if you need to. There is no time limit on your Savasana, it takes as long as it takes!
In your own time rise up towards the light of spring into a comfortable seated position. Keep your eyes closed or your gaze softened. Turn your palms to face up towards the sky in Chin Mudra, a gesture of receptiveness. This meditation is a practice for opening up to all the abundance of life this new season has to offer.
Begin to turn your awareness to your breath,
finding ease within each inhale and exhale.
As you breath steadily and evenly, consider what you are welcoming as you enter this new phase of light and life. What intention will you set for yourself for this budding time of abundance? Grant yourself 5 to 20 minutes in meditation. When you are ready to emerge and embrace the spirit of spring, slowly open your eyes and focus on your renewed perspective.
This nourishing yoga practice is sure to support you to spring into action and shake off those cold winter months!