Spring Cleaning Your Yoga

by Tracey Rich

In springtime there is excitement. There is inspiration. In spring there exists the sense that we can begin again. As the sap flows and the bulbs burst, the light beckons us outside ourselves into nature and community. It even entices us to clean up the residue of our hibernation as we feel a surge of new energy and the desire to slough off old skin. We can do this figuratively by cleaning out a closet or opening the windows letting fresh air invigorate the house. Or we can literally cleanse by using a salt scrub or dry brushing the whole body to feel rejuvenated and get the lymphatic system flowing. Perhaps a juice cleanse or a massage is on your list of options.

Springtime can also be an inspiration to begin a different approach to a yoga practice that has become stale or dull. Take three poses you do regularly in your practice and consciously rethink them. Find two vectors or intersecting junctures within a pose and see if you can increase the energy and nerve flow to these areas with micro movement, breath, and attention.

Next, take three poses in a sequence that you repetitively string together and exchange two of the three for something different. When making your choices, use poses related to those you are exchanging. Now, change two of the three postures again, but this time choose two asanas entirely unrelated to the ones you normally string together. Finally, create a whole new set of three postures that flow. Please choose postures that make sense when linked. There are numerous options when you put into play your intuition and knowledge of how the body moves.

As part of your yoga cleanse, go to a class you have never tried or a teacher you have never explored. You can also download an online class. Take time to develop a personal practice, perhaps the most rewarding spring fling you could ever engage in. If you already have a home asana practice then extend this into a pranayama practice or a sitting practice. This is your moment to expand with the natural energy that springtime awakens in us. Om Shanti.