Sunshine, the smell of the earth, the greening grass and milder temps...it must be SPRING! March 19th is the official start to the season, but can't you feel it already? Do you sense the restlessness, and feeling that something is trying to emerge?
The following yoga practice is a great way to release the dormant feelings of winter. Mind and body sluggishness accumulates during the cold and more inward-focused season. This Dancing Warrior Flow will help you let go of the shell we cover ourselves in and make space for light and inspiration for projects on the horizon. Make space to bloom!
SPRING YOGA PRACTICE
Begin by sitting comfortably for a few rounds of breath awareness. Set your intention to release stagnation and create space for inspiration and new light.
CAT/COW - Come to all fours for a few rounds of cat and cow, moving the spine in each direction with the breath. Exhale lift the navel center as you round the spine and chin lowers toward the chest. Inhale to open the front of the body, arching the back and your tailbone and gaze lift. Flow gently with the breath for about ten rounds.
CHILD POSE - Sit back on the heals and let your forehead come to the floor or a block with arms resting next to the feet. For a few rounds of breath see yourself as a seed under the earth; nourished, protected, and ready to emerge.
DOWNWARD FACING DOG - Come back to hands and knees and then lift the hips and come into an inverted V-shape supported by hands and feet. "Pedal the heals" by bending one knee and then the other, alternating sides and moving with the breath until you feel a sense of waking up the whole body.
MOUNTAIN POSE - Walk the feet forward from Downward Facing Dog and come through a forward bend to standing Mountain Pose. Stand tall with arms to the sides for a moment. Then begin to sweep arms out and up as you inhale, palms meeting overhead. On exhale, release arms downward to the sides. As you do this for 10 rounds of breath, imaging bringing light and new energy into the whole body as you raise arms upward and let go of stagnation on the exhale.
WARRIOR FLOW - Step the right foot back into a Warrior 2 position with chest and shoulders aligned with the right, long side of the mat and arms extended outward from the shoulders. Fingertips should reach toward the front (left hand) and back (right right) of your mat. Left toes stay pointing to the front of the mat and left knee is bent with shin bone vertical so the knee is positioned over the left ankle. The right leg is straight with foot angled so the toes are facing about a 2 or 3 o'clock position.
Keep the Warrior 2 leg position throughout the following flow:
From Warrior 2, bring the right hand to the back of the right leg and raise the left arm skyward, possibly even farther back for a deeper left-side bend. Come back to Warrior 2, then to Side Angle with left hand to the left knee and right arm skyward or even deeper with the right bicep over the right ear and fingers reach beyond the crown of the head while the left forearm rests on the left thigh.
Take a full breath in each pose and keep flowing from one pose to the next. Try moving through the sequence about five rounds. One full round is Warrior 2 - Reverse Warrior - Warrior 2 - Side Angle.
Step back to Mountain Pose. Pause. Notice how you feel. Notice the breath. Then step the left foot back for Warrior 2 and repeat the sequence on that side the same number of rounds.
MOUNTAIN TO FORWARD BEND - from Mountain Pose, float arms upward on the inhale and fold completely forward on the exhale. Inhale up / exhale down for three rounds and then keep the hands on the floor and step back to downward facing dog for a breath or two, then to hands and knees, then Child's Pose with arms extended forward to the front of the mat. Hold Child's Pose for at least five breaths.
SAVASANA - When you feel the breath has returned to normal come onto the back. Allow the limbs to stretch out in a way that feels expansive and comfortable. Imaging light shining on your whole body. Soak in the warmth, the comfort, the deep peace and inspiration. Rest for as long as you like.
Yoga and meditation teacher since 2003, I love discovering and sharing information about natural health and the mind-body-spirit connection through yoga and mindfulness. Join me and be changed for good!