Spring Equinox 2018 | Cultivating Balance
Cultivating Balance by Lacey Hickox
The transition of seasons is upon us! March 20th, 2018 marks the first day of Spring (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere) & the time when the Sun shines directly on the equator. Earth’s axis becomes aligned with the center of the sun during an equinox, creating an almost equal balance of Day & Night. This celestial alignment offers the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate our own practices & to cultivate deeper alignment with our own intentions.
Balance is something that we, as yogis, must cultivate on and off the mat. How we show up on our mat can be directly translated into how we live our lives. Our attitude, places of resistance, acceptance, aversion and how we meet challenges are all opportunities to take notice and witness our habitual patterns. This practice is an invitation for self inquiry and an opportunity to get closer to our true essence. On our mats we seek balance between effort and ease, yin and yang, giving and receiving. With practice, you may begin to realize the direct effects of bringing these principles off the mat, and witness more balance in all aspects of your life. Setting the intention of balance allows us to continually meet ourselves with equanimity and ease on and off the mat.
Here are 3 practices to help cultivate balance as we make this transition from darkness to light.
1) Practice Ayni, a concept originating in the Andes of Peru which is loosely translated to “sacred reciprocity” or “proper relationship” and is the central principle of life. Put simply, Ayni is about recognizing that all of life exists in a sacred balance of give and take. Ayni is gratitude, respect, honor and reciprocal living. When observing Ayni, we give back to the earth whenever we receive, and by giving to the earth, we know that we’ll be blessed to receive something in return. By treating the earth with respect, we learn how to treat ourselves with respect. By expressing gratitude for what we’ve been given, we receive even more to be thankful for.
“The union of nature and soul removes the veil of ignorance that covers our intelligence.” ― B.K.S. Iyengar
2) Sun Salutations
The nurturing energy of Spring is one of reawakening and revitalization. Practice energizing sun salutations or Surya Namaskar to greet the Sun and Spring’s longer days while combating winter stagnation. ‘Surya’, meaning ‘sun’ and the root ‘nama’ meaning to ‘bow’ invokes deep reverence for this powerful practice. The simplicity of linking breath and movement through sun salutations creates physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual harmony. The opposing actions cultivate a balanced and complete practice. A balance of inhale and exhale, strength and surrender offer an opportunity to shift your consciousness and return to equanimity.
3) Spring Cleaning`
Eliminate negative and noxious energy from your life with simple mediation breaks. For one minute, focus your attention on your breath and bring awareness to thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Consciously release any negative thoughts, people and energy with each exhale and breathe in fresh prana, positive energy and light with each inhale. Use the cleansing property of your your breath to cultivate sattvic energy and a balanced state of mind.