Wherever you might be at proper now, on this very second; nonetheless it’s you might be pondering and no matter it’s you’re feeling, it’s at all times fluctuating. It can turn out to be completely different; it can transmute into one thing new.
Spring is a chance for renewal and rebirth—for planting seeds to nurture, and to witness the never-ending cycle of develop and alter. It’s also a reminder that we can’t be born once more till we expertise a form of loss of life—a shedding of previous layers, habits, and outmoded beliefs. Once we acknowledge that every waking second is a chance to be born once more, it’s right here, within the now, that we are able to expertise the sheer pleasure of current second consciousness.
Within the Northern Hemisphere on March 20, the Vernal Equinox has been honored for hundreds of years as a celebration of life and fertility; a time for hanging a stability between yin and yang—and as a “spring cleansing” of stagnant power that has been saved over the lengthy, darkish and chilly winter months.
This yoga sequence is designed to facilitate that awakening; to assemble and draw power inward, after which launch it outwardly as a metaphorical planting of seeds.
Dynamic Chair Pose (Shakti Uttanasana)
In Hindu mythology, Shakti is described as primordial cosmic power, representing dynamic forces that transfer all through the universe. On this variation on a standard Chair Pose, consideration is directed towards the cosmos, after which to the longer term and previous, empowering us within the current.
From Mountain Pose (Tadasana), inhale the arms overhead to press the palms collectively, then exhale to shift weight into the heels and sit again right into a chair place. Discover the feeling of the tailbone extending back, whereas the palms and gaze attain skyward, experiencing these highly effective opposing forces. On an inhale, decrease the palms to shoulder peak, gazing on the ideas of the thumbs. Breathe in, then exhale to increase the suitable hand all the best way again. Hold the hips sq. and gaze over the suitable shoulder, seeking to the previous. Take a deep breath in, after which exhale to deliver the suitable hand again to fulfill the left. Inhale to return each palms pressed to the sky.
Cactus Crescent Lunge
From Chair Pose with the palms pressed collectively overhead, step the left foot again to a excessive lunge place and hold the again heel lifted. The suitable knee stays stacked over the suitable ankle, with the kneecap monitoring ahead. Following the identical dynamic actions as earlier than, decrease the palms at shoulder peak, then lengthen the suitable palm all the best way again, earlier than bringing it ahead to fulfill the left once more. Don’t be shy about making a fantastic huge clapping sound, both. From right here, open the guts and chest by drawing the arms right into a cactus place, bending the elbows to about 90 levels and drawing the shoulder blades collectively on the again physique, letting out a giant exhalation. Inhale to return the pressed palms collectively overhead.
Kali Goddess Squats (Utkata Konasana)
Kali is the Hindu goddess of loss of life, usually related to sexuality and fertility. She can also be thought-about a matriarchal determine. We will work with Kali’s power on the Equinox to honor the infinite cycles of life and loss of life, embodying the character of duality. With the palms pressed overhead and legs in a crescent lunge place, inhale to straighten the entrance leg and switch all ten toes to the left to parallel the toes. From a large stance and with the heels simply barely turned in, exhale to sink right into a Goddess Squat, drawing the thighs parallel to the earth and knees bent at 90 levels. Inhale to straighten each legs, and exhale to squat. Repeat as much as 4 occasions.
Broad-Legged Ahead Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana) to Scandasana
The important thing to attaining concord inside this motion is hanging a stability between effort and effortlessness. Sustaining the identical extensive stance and straight legs, deliver the arms to the hips after which hinge ahead on the waist, releasing fingertips to the earth with straight arms. Inhale, lengthening out of the waist and increasing the crown of the top ahead, then exhale to decrease the torso ahead and give up. Breathe deeply right here, after which stroll the arms towards the left, sinking into the left hip to take a seat down on the left heel, with the ball of the left foot lifted. The suitable leg stays straight in the meantime, besides the toes flex upward to the sky (by now the heel might have slid additional out towards the suitable). Optionally available, attain the suitable arm overhead, getting into the complete aspect lunge, Scandasana. Permit for an brisk change between your fingers and the proverbial fertile soil, utilizing every inhalation to create extra size; every exhale to determine extra launch and grounding. On an exhale, launch the left fingertips again to the earth and straighten each legs, returning to a wide-legged stance and a protracted backbone.
Pyramid Pose “Pumps” (Parsvottanasana)
From a wide-legged stance, stroll the arms all the best way round to the suitable to border the suitable foot and hold the again heel lifted to permit for extra freedom to roam. Inhale to let the hips drop and bend via the suitable knee, lifting the chest and gaze towards the sky, then exhale to straighten via each legs. Once more, inhale to bend the entrance knee; exhale to straighten each legs and fold ahead and in, letting the top be heavy and neck relaxed. Repeat as much as 4 occasions to discover a deep releasing sensation of the outer proper hip and a mild lengthening of the entrance of the left thigh (the psoas).
Ahead Fold with Half Lifts (Uttanasana)
To finish the sequence on this aspect, step the again foot as much as meet the suitable and inhale to look ahead with a protracted backbone. Exhale to bow ahead and in, preserving sufficient bend within the knees to permit for a hinging of the waist, conscious the again will not be overly rounding. Permit the top to be heavy and neck launched, attaining minimal effort. Repeat as much as 4 occasions, earlier than inserting the arms on the hips. Inhale, main with the guts to return to a standing posture. Reestablishing a basis again in Mountain Pose, it’s now time to repeat these actions on the opposite aspect of the physique.
Photographs courtesy of Beth Kessler Images
Andrea Rice is a author, yoga and meditation instructor, and Wanderlust Pageant presenter. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Occasions, Yoga Journal, The Wanderlust Journal, NY Yoga + Life, mindbodygreen, and SONIMA, amongst different publications. She has been instructing yoga since 2010, first in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and now in Raleigh, NC, the place she presently resides. She can also be co-authoring a guide in regards to the utility of seasonal rhythms and yoga philosophy to fashionable life, which might be printed by New Harbinger in early 2020. Join with Andrea on Fb, Instagram, and Twitter, and join her quarterly newsletters on her web site: www.andreariceyoga.com.