1. Twist it out
After the Winter, we are all on a look-out for the best ways to revive and detox our bodies. It’s easy to forget how much capacity we have to assist ourselves in this process by subtle movements of the body and conscious awareness of our breath during our twists. During any twists you take in your home practice or yoga class, enjoy drawing the navel in towards the lower back on your exhale. Endeavour to allow the twist to come from the low belly rather than overstretching the neck. We have so much ability to heal ourselves – try taking your twists with just a little more engagement and awareness and I guarantee you’ll feel a difference on that release. Some excellent twists for Spring include:
Cobra twist 2
Thread the needle
2. Root down to rise up
It wouldn’t be a Spring blog without mentioning tree pose or vrksasana! This is such a lovely, wonderful posture – next week I’ll be completing a full exploration of this asana. For now, I encourage you in your tree pose to really focus of pressing the heels strongly down to the ground, switching on the legs, engaging your core which runs from the inside edge of the feet all the way through the midline of the body to the crown of the head. Lift the upper body high, extend out of the side body and lift the heart, either to the thumbs at heart center, or lift the gaze to the fingertips pointing strongly up overhead to the sky… Root down to rise up. This is as much about the lower body as it is the upper body. Make sure to enjoy it and have some fun as a tree!
3. Try lions pose pranayama (breathing exercise)
I’ve begun adding this to my classes as I noticed the difference in my practice when I exhaled with my tongue sticking out. Making a funny face is always fun but notice how the sharp, exaggerated exhale allows the body to complete rest and release in that moment. This pranayama exercise can be used in down dog, childs pose or sat back on the heels. Simply take a deep inhale, sharply exhale whilst sticking the tongue out. Try with the eyes opened and closed – it’s a matter of preference but for me I prefer my eyes shut to notice the sensations in my body. Enjoy the funny photo!
4. Enjoy some deeper back bends
If you’re used to working with shalabasana (locust pose), consider moving into bow at this time of year. Our back may have tightened a little over the Winter months but in Spring we have a little more space to draw the shoulders back and down, open our throat, lift the gaze and allow our heart to shine…perhaps with a little smile too 😀 If you’d like to try your deeper back bend as a balance perhaps dancer’s pose…
Make sure to counter pose in child’s pose or hugging the knees to the chest to protect the lower back.
5. Add a couple of drops of essential oil
I’m now a wellness advocate for @Doterra Essential oils. These oils are 100% pure and in my opinion, the best available in the market.
I’ve been working with lemon oil to begin my practice. Starting by lying on my back I like to take a drop, run between my palms and inhale the scent. By rubbing the remainder on my chest, the scent lingers with me during my practice helping me to feel invigorated and revived.
To close my practice, after coming out of sivasana, I sit up with the soles of my feet touching and rub a drop of lavender into the soles of my feet. The soles of the feet are a lovely place to massage in essential oils – the pores of skin are slightly larger here allowing for better absorption and quick entry into the body promoting better circulation, reviving the body.
The combination of lemon and lavender is a beautiful blend for spring. These oils combined produce a natural mood enhancer that helps to eliminate stress, fatigue, dizziness, anxiety, nervousness and tension. They help to create a positive mindset free of negative emotions, chasing away any of those nasty lingering Winter blues…