5 Tips for Your Spring Time Yoga Practice

I love changing up my yoga practice to suit the season.  We do this with the food we eat and the clothes we wear so why not how we move our bodies? Primarily,  I use the 5 Element Theory brought to us through Chinese Medicine to find which parts of the body to activate,  but there are even more ways to tap into each season.  Check out these five things to remember during your spring yoga practice to keep your body aligned for the springtime weather.

TWIST A LOT,  it wrings out toxins from the organs that promote natural detoxification. The movement of toxins that have stored up in the body and twisting is a natural way to help your body wring itself out.  Twisting poses tonify the organs and help them to remove things not needed in the body.  Wearing an essential oil blend like PURIFY can aid the body in this process. Utilize these practices for natural purification.  

TAP INTO YOUR CORE with movement and pranayama to jumpstart spring energy. We must activate the energy that has been lying dormant over the frozen winter.  This energy lies deep in our core.  The Chinese call this the "dantien." This energetic space is the seed where rebirthing energy comes from.  To further support grounding down you can activate the core of your body which supports the energy of the spine.  Kapalabhati breath promotes groundedness but also heat with thaw out all the gunk that has accumulates through the body in the winter.  It activates our spring energy by breaking up stagnation and moving toxins out of the body.  This pranayama represents new movement and the energy of Spring coming alive.

GROUND DOWN.  Rooting yourself into the earth while you grow through up your spine. Springtime is all about rebirth.  After the "death" of winter tress and flowers come alive again blooming into spring.  Seeds that were planted take root in the earth and begin to grow out into the spring air.  Spring for this reason brings forth creative forces as we rebirth new ideas and start fresh.
Trees and plants could not thrive without a strong root system supporting them and for this reason we must root down into ourselves connecting with the 1st Chakra and using that energy to grow up out of ourselves, lengthening our spine and growing up from the roots below.  Starting your practice with a grounding practice such as mediation or simple pranayama can activate this groundedness.  Sitting in a simple seated position,  connecting to your Root Lock and keeping the spine long activates this Spring Energy.

OPEN UP YOUR HIPS TO ACTIVATE THE LIVER AND GALL BLADDER CHANNELS. According to Chinese medicine, each season has two organs which work the hardest and should be nourished the most during this time. The spring organs are the liver and the gall bladder and further explains the theory of detoxing.  The liver is the primary chemical factory of the body.  Any substance that cannot be broken down and used for energy ends up in the liver for detoxification.  It filters good things in and bad things out.  The liver meridian or energy channel in the body runs up the inner leg and into the ribs. The gall bladder channel runs through the head down the neck over the shoulders and down the outer hips. Practicing asanas that open up these areas of the body bring attention to those parts of the body and nourish the liver and gall bladder energy.  Poses that open up the hips and shoulders alike are important for spring.

MAKE YOUR MOVEMENT SLOW AND SMOOTH to promote smooth blood flow to soothe the liver but activates the muscles. When it get overwhelmed you can tell.  The healthy way that energy and blood run through your body is smoothly. When the liver and gallbladder are overwhelmed,  the body's rhythm, gets choppy and uneven.  This is how muscle soreness or pain can occur.  You can also feel it mentally through nervous tension and irritability. The energy associated with gallbladder is decision making.  So you might feel a little spacey, out of focus or muddled. Slow and smooth flowing practices are best for this time of year.  We must focus on movement but mirror the smooth flow of liver energy. You can enhance clarity and ease sore muscles by wearing RESTORE.

Whats your perfect asana for spring? GOMUKHASANA.  It roots you into the ground while opening the hips.  The shoulder position promotes lengthening the spine and opening the shoulders and ribs.  Release the arms to the side to practice pranayama exercises or lean forward with your head towards the ground to depend the stretch in the hips to open up the channels.