The Spring Equinox is two days away, and over here in Massachusetts we are ready to welcome in Spring! Spring brings forward birth and growth, light and longer days, renewed energy, an itch to spend more time outside, a rush to cleanse and clean. The Spring Equinox is a welcome change for many people, and I have some great ways to incorporate yoga for everyone in the family as we welcome this time of year.
Saluting the sun! What a great time of year to practice sun salutations. On the equinox, the sun crosses over the equator, giving us equal light and dark, and from here on till the Summer Solstice, longer days of light than dark. Sun Salutation (Surya Namascar) is a sequence of poses used to bow to or adore the sun. It is also a wonderful sequence to stretch and use every part of the body. See instructions for this sequence at the bottom of this article!
Balance is a wonderful concept to ponder as the length of light and darkness in a day are equal and balanced on the day of an equinox, and while meditating on how we might find balance in our own lives, we can also practice balance poses to embrace balance in a physical sense. As the buds are starting to form on the trees, I love to embrace tree pose (Vrksasana), holding the pose on both sides, focusing on a dristy (gazing at one spot), and growing my branches, my arms up above me. Another great pose for the equinox is flower pose, loved by kids and adults, imagining the flowers to come.
In Spring, we often take time to smell the flowers, and this is a wonderful way to focus on our breath work. Even simply taking a long inhale, to smell the flowers, holding the scent right before we slowly exhale. We are taking time to be mindful and deepen our breathing. For a more energizing breath, I love doing a quick bunny breath to get my energy going. Take 3 quick breaths in through the nose, and one slow long breath out the mouth. Your nose will wiggle like a bunny.
Take time to meditate on balance, the return of light, your own personal growth. Start new projects, spend time outside, start some personal cleansing or good old spring cleaning. Incorporate some breathing and poses, find mindful moments, and enjoy what the Spring Equinox has to offer! Make sure to find some time to stop and smell the flowers.
**For Surya Namascar A (commonly referred to as Sun A), starting with hands at heart center in Mountain Pose (tadasana), inhale your arms up into an upward salute (urdhva hastasana) and exhale into a standing forward fold (uttanasana). From here, on an inhale, flatten your back raising your hands onto your shins, and then exhale, fold again. On your inhale step back into plank pose, and lower slowly, with control, on your exhale into four-limbed staff pose (chaturanga dandasana). On your inhale, open your chest into upward facing dog pose (urdhva mukha svanasana) and exhale, rolling over your toes into downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana). Find a few breaths here. On your inhale, step or jump to meet your hands at the top of the mat in your standing forward fold (uttanasana) for your exhale. Inhaling again to a flat back, exhaling to fold. On your last inhale, rise your arms in a reverse swan dive to your upward salute, and exhale your hands to heart center, in mountain pose (tadasana).**
yoga, food, family, and travel. these are what drive my life! as a stay at home mom of 2 little girls with an active yoga practice. i longed to find the perfect yoga class for my own children. i felt a calling to a kids yoga teacher training in early November, 2017 and answered the call. in 2018, i felt called towards a greater mission. teaching teens & adults. today, i am living my dream.