Spring Renewal – Rejuvenating Yoga Practices
Rejuvenating Yoga Practices by Lacey Hickox
The energy of Spring is one of renewal and lightness. The days are becoming longer, the earth is blossoming and we are emerging from the grounding time of Winter with fresh energy and perspective.
Here are 3 rejuvenating yoga practices to clear winter stagnation, combat Spring allergies and open up to receive the beauty within you and all around you.
1) Kapalabhati is a pranayama practice to clear energetic stagnation. It is also called “shining skull” breath as it gives the practitioner an appearance of radiance. It cleanses the lungs, bronchial tubes and bloodstream, eliminates carbon dioxide from the body, stimulates every tissue and clears the mind. This fresh intake of oxygen makes the blood richer and renews the body’s tissues. Use this practice to cultivate heat and energy.
Kapalabhati is a forceful exhalation through the nose while drawing the belly up and in. There is a natural inhale that follows but the emphasis is on the exhale.
From a comfortable seated posture, exhale all the breath from the body.
- Inhale a ¾ breath to begin and exhale through the nose drawing the belly in. A short inhale allows the belly to release and expand naturally. Repeat for 10 – 30 rounds while keeping the shoulders and chest soft and still.
- On the last Exhale, release all the breath from the body.
- Inhale fully, Exhale fully.
- Inhale to a ¾ breath and retain. If you are uncomfortable or dizzy at any point return to your natural breath or continue to retain the breath as long as you like. Exhale slowly and return to breath awareness.
2) Jala Neti, or water nasal cleansing, is a kriya practice that cleanses the nose, nasal passages and sinuses. This practice is beneficial for headaches, migraines and sinus pressure, flushes the tear ducts and brings lightness and clarity to the mind. If you are experiencing leftover winter mucus or spring allergies, we recommend this practice.
Dissolve ¼ – 1 tsp of sea salt in 2 cups of lukewarm purified water and add to your neti pot. Without inhaling, use the neti pot to flush each nostril 2-3 times, pouring the water through one side and allowing it to come out the other side.
3) Heart Openers: Asanas offer a multitude of benefits to various systems in the human body. More than just stretching and toning the physical body, yoga postures can also stimulate the digestive system, calm the nervous system, open the nadis (energy channels) and chakras (psychic centers) of the body etc. Yoga poses purify and assist the body’s healing process, as well as control, calm and focus the mind. Heart Opening poses in particular are the perfect antidote to the energy accumulated in winter. These poses, such as wheel, upward dog and camel, have an energizing effect. They also strengthen the back and core and expand the chest, cultivating space around the energetic center of the heart. These poses can create a deep emotional release and bring in a feeling of lightness and contentment. Practice heart openers to release heavy energy, invoke positivity and open up to receive beauty, joy and bliss!