Seasonal Yoga – Spring

By Libby Scanlan

This time of year, late winter into early spring is characterized by the qualities of Kapha: wet, cool, heavy, dense, and slow. I suspect that during this time many of us feel a little bit like a groggy bear coming out of hibernation, moving a little slower, carrying a little extra padding, not quite on our game. What’s a yogi to do? Fear not, our sister science of Ayurveda is at hand to help us find our way and navigate this transitional season with ease.

DInacharya:

According to Ayurveda, dinacharya (daily routine) is one of the keys to developing and maintaining good health at any time of year but most especially when we are transitioning between seasons. Rising early (preferably before dawn), tongue scraping, oil pulling, neti pot rinsing, nasya oil application, skin brushing, abhyanga (self-massage), pranayama, meditation, and asana practice are all a part of the recommended daily disciplines. According to Kathryn Templeton, a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and senior Para Yoga teacher, dinacharya helps cleanse the body, preventing the buildup of toxins, helps to keep the senses and mind clear and nourishes the body. In addition, repeating a routine every morning sets your day and gives you a feeling of stability and steadiness. Admittedly, incorporating all of these techniques to your daily morning routine can be intimidating. Try just one or two to start and see how it goes. Before you know it you may become so comfortable with it, you won’t be able to conceive of a day that doesn’t start with a good tongue scraping!

Diet:

Another way to find balance in this kapha season is to adjust the diet. One of the defining principles of Ayurveda is like-increases-like, opposites pacify or reduce. Since the qualities of kapha are cool, wet, and dense, eating foods with the opposite qualities can help us move towards balance. Include foods that are lighter, drier, more pungent, and warming. Eat the first bounty of the season: sprouts, berries, dandelion and other spring greens. Keep it light.

Asana:

To counter the heaviness of the kapha season incorporate more dynamic heating postures such as utkatasana, the warrior poses, and any of the surya namaskars. Basically, any warming practice (vinyasa flow anyone?) that helps us lighten up physically, mentally and emotionally will help us brighten up and move towards balance. 

Spring Cleanse:

A spring cleanse is the perfect way to clear out the toxins that have built up through winter and prepare our body, mind, and spirit for the rebirth of spring and all the gifts thereof. Starting April 7 and running for three consecutive Fridays Prana will be offering a “Spring Tune Up”.

Based on the time-tested wisdom of Ayurveda, the Spring Tune Up program will guide you through a 21day detoxification process of your physical, mental & emotional bodies to bring clarity to shift your momentum to thrive! You will lose weight, burn toxins, boost energy, improve mood, increase immunity, and identify goals for transformation. All 3 sessions for $150. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED – Fridays, April 7, 14 & 21, 6:30 – 8:30pm