I woke this morning to rain, a rare and wonderful novelty for March in Southern California. The air was fresh and crisp. I could hear the birds chirping. I could feel a sense of gratitude flood my heart at the possibility of growth, newness, cleansing! Today is the Spring Equinox, a reminder to those of us in the northern hemisphere that we are coming out of darkness and into light.
For many, this winter has been especially challenging. We are still living with the harsh realities of a global pandemic. Many of us continue to watch in horror the atrocities unfolding in Ukraine. Climate disasters and gun violence make daily headlines. The coming of spring, the long warm days, the new beginnings and new opportunities are almost here and we welcome them.
Nature is a wonderful guide through all seasons of life. Essentially, we recognize that nature is reflected within us and we are reflected in nature. I think it’s why we are naturally so excited about spring. We can feel the warmth of the sun, see the budding trees, notice the tulips and daffodils pushing their way through still somewhat chilly ground. The Earth is literally alive with new energy and so are we. Spring invites us to gently awake from our winter hibernation. Look around at the vibrant, optimistic colors that promise the coming of warmth and consider shedding what is no longer needed as you venture back out into the world. Spring is a time for dusting ourselves off and stepping into the new, whatever that may be.
So what does that look like in practice? Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Commit to compassion. Spring does not bring an end to violence, disease or destruction. But we can individually and collectively plant seeds of compassion by committing to non-violence, non-judgment, forgiveness & mindfulness.
- Practice a cleansing breath technique before a yoga practice or meditation, such as Kapalabhati Pranayama, to invigorate the body, mind and the senses. Note: Do NOT practice during pregnancy.
- Plant some actual seeds. The plants/shoots/blooms will serve as visual reminders of your spring intentions. Don’t let space be a deterrent, many things can grow indoors and in small pots. You could choose from:
A tree you’ll nurture over the years
- Go for a walking meditation. Walk SLOWLY. Leave your phone at home. Get quiet. Breathe in the spring air, feel the sensation of the wind on your face, notice what’s in bloom. End with a seated meditation, perhaps outside in nature.
- Create some space for the new, by carving out time for some good ‘ol Spring cleaning. Get rid of anything that does not serve a purpose or bring you joy. Open your windows and let a fresh breeze blow through your house.
- Join me for yoga during the month of April as we learn more & practice these seeds of compassion on our mats. Sign up here.