In Chinese Medicine, spring marks the rise of Yang energy. Yang is characterized by activity, movement and light. This time of the year has longer days, more sunlight and heat and a bubbling, buzzing energy that's palpable throughout all of the natural world. We chose these four postures to sync you energetically with the magic of spring.
This move is excellent for focus, balance and stability. Plus, it opens up your lungs and improves circulation helping to ready the body for the warmer, brighter months ahead. From down dog, step the right foot forward and turn the back heel down. Move the right foot to the right a little to give yourself space. Bring the torso up and take a second to orient and organize the lower body. You want to feel both hips facing forward. Once the lower body is set up, start to find a back bend behind the heart. You can press palms overhead or reach the arms up and keep the hands shoulder width apart. The final piece is your gaze: lift it up and open up your field of vision. Hold for ten breaths (or whatever you can manage) and switch sides.
Standing Spinal Twist
Spring clean your digestive system with this powerful twisting posture. From down dog, step the right foot forward, keeping the back heel lifted. Raise up to crescent and bring the hands into prayer infant over the heart. Twist towards the right, hooking your elbow outside your bent right knee. Anchor with your back leg and revolve using the leverage of the contact between your elbow and knee. This wrings out the center of the body. Hold for five breaths and switch sides.
Winter boots are coming off!! Time to open up and express the arch of the foot and ensure health and vitality in the feet, a huge energetic powerpoint in the body. Tuck all your toes underneath (even that sneaky pinky and sit up on your heels). Grab opposite elbows overhead and stretch your chest, shoulders and ribcage as your arches get fully expressed.
What better move to sync you with the natural turn of spring than tree pose, building strength and power as it fills the body with tranquil energy. Move your weight into your right foot and lift the left leg, bending the knee and pulling it toward your chest. Open the knee out and place the foot as high on your inner right thigh as possible. Stabilize the lower body. Once you feel balanced, play with arm variations. Grab your elbows, press the palms overhead, or try reverse prayer. Do ten breaths and switch sides.
As spring's Yang energy rises, seek to harmonize. Use this exciting and energizing time within the seasonal cycle as inspiration. Practice with more effort, appreciate the blossoming - and spring clean, mind, body and soul. Our mantra for spring: “I am energized.”
Sian Gordon and Kyle Miller are co-founders of Love Yoga in Venice, California. Four years ago the two set out to create a space that would offer students everything they need to have a meaningful, evolving practice set within a fun and inspiring community. Kyle and Sian still teach, study, practice and run Love Yoga, continuing to evolve and develop through technique and insight. Love Yoga Silverlake is slated to open August 2017 and Love Yoga's 200-hour Teacher Training begins in September.