The Spring Equinox (Monday, 20th March 2017), also known as the Vernal Equinox, is celebrated as the first day of Spring and is regarded as the “Festival of Balance and Potential”. It marks the point of perfect balance when day and night are equal in length and thus when light and dark are in perfect balance. This feeling of balance is translated into a sensation of union and harmony in ourselves.
I decided to host my most recent Yoga and Relaxation workshop on the eve of the Spring Equinox in order for all those attending to benefit from the collective positive energy created when a room full of like-minded people join together with a common aim: to enjoy yoga and celebrate the Equinox. We had a large group of beautiful people ranging from the age of 12 to 72 so the energy crossed the generations too!
I created a practice that would help prepare us energetically for the arrival of Spring and give us some space, away from our busy lives, to reflect on what we might want to awaken in ourselves over the coming months leading from the Spring Equinox to the Summer Solstice.
By tuning into the transitions of the seasons we have the perfect opportunity to align with the powerful energies that Mother Nature and the Earth provide. However, in order to “tune in” properly, we first have to slow down long enough to listen to ourselves and to what we already instinctively know. This is how taking time for ourselves can help to provide that space.
The start of Spring is a time for “Spring Cleaning” – the idea of “out with the old, in with the new” with which we are all familiar. Consider how in Winter we are cold, often introspective and huddled up under layers and layers of clothes, and then how Spring is the first opportunity to cast off these layers and lay ourselves open to new possibilities and opportunities.
The return of the light, the warm air and the earth awakening after a long Winter all encourage us to listen to what is yearning to come forth and blossom within us.
In our workshop today I tried to encourage all those who participated to set an intention for this next chapter in the transition of the seasons, relating perhaps to something they wanted to bring into their lives, something they wanted to work towards or simply relating to their yoga practice. The questions to ask yourself in this next phase are:
“What do I want to awaken in myself?”
“What do I need to let go of?”
“What clutter do I need to clear in order to create space for realising my dreams?”
By setting clear intentions, by saying them out loud, we are letting the Universe know exactly what we want to manifest for ourselves as we transition into Spring.
In our workshop we used our time together to slow down, listen to and connect with our breath, we paid homage to the Sun through our Sun Salutations, we connected to and engaged our liver and gallbladder meridians (both of which are dominant in Spring) through postures that engaged the inner and outer legs through our standing postures and then stimulated our digestion and opened our hearts in our seated postures.
We restored balance to the two hemispheres of the brain, bringing peace and tranquility, by working with Nadi Shodana (Alternate Nostril Breathing) and then enjoyed a lovely long Yoga Nidra guided meditation in which we reflected again on our Sankalpa, or intention, and just provided an opportunity for deep rest and nourishment of our bodies and minds.
Everyone appeared well rested at the end of our time together and some even commented on feeling “energised”. The combination of breath work, physical yoga postures and the deep relaxation of our Yoga Nidra practice will have given everyone the space, both mentally and physically to prepare for Spring and the coming months.
A wonderful morning, spent in great company. Namaste ૐ