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"How to Bloom into Spring: Yoga, Meditation, and Healthy Outdoors"



Living in a country that moves through significant seasonal shifts, we all know what it feels like to look forward to warm, bright Summer days, the golds and reds of Autumn, cosy Winter evenings and the hope that a flourishing Spring season brings.


Spring is just around the bend and it’s time to shake that winter blues away!


There’s a reason each season evokes strong emotional responses within us, whether that’s happiness or sadness; these experiences are linked to how humans have evolved.


We have always lived in partnership with nature, and the boundaries between human, plant and animal life haven't always existed. Yet we were and still are nature. We evolved to wake at sunrise; spend our time outdoors in natural daylight; consume seasonal and local foods; move and sleep differently depending upon the season; and even socialise differently throughout the year. These variations in our seasonal routines meant we rested when we needed to; we were more alert and active when necessary.

Eating seasonal foods gives our bodies and minds the nutrients they need at the exact time to support healthy digestion and detoxification. Now we can eat all foods all year round, but it may contribute towards health issues that could be improved with simple changes.


So how do we start living more seasonally, reconnect with nature and shift our daily routines throughout the year?


Kicking off with Spring the journey through the seasons starts. Nature's New Year. Maybe setting our New Year resolutions would be more successful in Spring rather than the dark and cold January.


The world starts to come alive again, we move from the Yin of Winter we open into the Yang of Spring. Energy is beginning to move and awaken, it is time for us to do the same. Let us transition towards a brighter lighter way of being.


Do some spring cleaning

Not just a trivial practice but an opportunity to let go of old stagnant energy too. Get rid of physical possessions, a house full of things we don't need pulls energy down, donate or give away items you no longer need to create more lightness and physical and mental space.


Sleep-wake with the sun

Although sleep is incredibly important year-round, we evolved to sleep slightly less in Spring and Summer than in Autumn and Winter. Just like movement, our sleep is deeply connected to the sun, and our circadian rhythms (the body clock). When the sun rises early, this supports us to wake earlier too, and when the sun sets later, we may feel like staying up a little later than usual. It’s important to recognise that sleep is key to overall health, so if you’re feeling tired and drained, choose a sleeping schedule that allows you more rest. If you feel like aligning your sleep with Spring, however, try to not use an alarm clock when you next have the opportunity, you may notice you wake early with the sunrise.


Socialising – getting out into the world again

Whilst Winter is all about connecting intimately to loved ones and close friends, Spring encourages us to get out into the world a little more. This is a great time of year to plan get-togethers with those you may not have seen over Winter and to re-establish friendships you really value. When it comes to big parties and meeting lots of new people, however, that is best saved for the height of ‘yang’ energy in Summer.


Spring foods and herbs

When you think of Spring foods, think ‘green’. Leafy greens and vegetables are exactly what our bodies are craving right now, and if you’re able to shop locally and organically, you’ll be providing your body with the exact nutrients needed to prevent seasonal allergies and illnesses too.


The foods we eat provide our bodies with information; resulting in our body starting to align with Spring energy. When adopting a lighter Spring diet with seasonal greens, you may notice your energy levels rise, and your digestion may improve too. This is largely due to the abundance of bitterness present in kale, chard, spinach, chicory, and other greens.

Bitterness is a very important taste to include in order to boost digestion, cleanse heavy energy, and encourage a healthy liver, yet lacking in most processed foods. Greens are said to hold the most energy or ‘prana’ during Spring too, so include these as much as possible.

Hedgerows and woodland are all very high in nutrients: nettle, dandelion, wild garlic, wild garlic mustard, cleavers, and wood sorrel.


Get Moving - get outdoors

Walking and cycling outdoors is a great way to reconnect to Spring energy, tapping into our innate human desire to spend more time outdoors in this season. Join a Yoga Class or treat yourself to a Yoga Retreat.


Practice Yoga for a fresh start  

Gentle Energising Vinyasa Yoga Flow to Re-Energise, Detox, and Get Your Body & Breath Moving…choose a flow that will gently stimulate and energise to help create us get more clarity & vision for the expression of Springs energy. Yoga Nidra - A more relaxed sleep yoga settles you into new starts, new energy, new ideas: chances to start again.


Join Zest Yoga's Spring Yoga Retreat on Saturday 23rd March, 2024 1-4 pm at Oddfellows Hall in Stafford. Kickstart into Spring, with yoga practices and enjoy a wonderful afternoon tea with lick-minded: a wonderful opportunity to embrace everything that Spring is by making new friends.


Yoga Asanas for Spring

To reawaken and re-energise your body and mind in Spring, try more twisting postures such as Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes pose), reclined twists, and Parivritta Anjaneyasana (Twisted lunge). Core-focused asanas like Navasana (Boat pose) can boost circulation to the digestive system, and a few rounds of Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) each morning, is a great way to stimulate physical and subtle channels, raising your mood and energy.

Whilst Winter is the perfect time for deep yin and restorative yoga, Spring is the time to bring in a little more movement and flow. If you feel as though you curled up and spent much of Winter in a hunched and rounded position, this is a great time to reintroduce heart-opening backbends and postures that open the chest and lungs.


Pranayama

The beginning of Spring can also be the beginning of hay fever season, Kapalabhati breath is a great way to cleanse the sinus passages, as well as give a boost of energy and clarity. To shift from a state of ‘yin’ to ‘yang’ energy, practices such as Surya Bhedana (‘sun activating’ breath or simply ‘right nostril breathing’) awaken the Pingala Nadi channel of energy, linked to feeling more vibrant and energised. Any type of deep, diaphragmatic breathing you’re able to practice will go a long way to boosting energy levels, brightening your mood, and encouraging more oxygen saturation in the muscles and organs.


I hope these tips have inspired you to start reconnecting with nature, the simplest way to begin is by heading outside. Which plants are growing around you? How does the sun feel on your skin? Which scents can you smell? Which colours can you see? How does Spring make you feel?













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