By Ariana Kamprad
Springtime is typically a period for balance and renewal. The seasons are shifting, our bodies are starting acclimate to changing weather and our minds are beginning to prepare for the warm and busy summer. The seasonal shift can lead to scattered emotions and weakened immune systems which is why allowing your body and mind to search and find balance is so very important! As I enter into the spring season, about to deliver my first baby, balance is my priority to work to transition out of pregnancy as well as the winter season. I’ll be blogging all season about how I’m adjusting my practice, my diet, and my schedule to incorporate a healthy balance into my life! Let’s start today with suggestions on modifying your practice for spring!
ON CHANGING YOUR PRACTICE FOR SPRING
In traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurvedic healing, practitioners use the spring season to cleanse their system to allow the return of balance. We can start to release, detoxify and balance through a mindful yoga practice that works to both heat and stimulate the body and cool and calm the mind.
1. ADJUST YOUR PRACTICE SCHEDULE
I’m always guilty of throwing 100% of my energy into a vigorous vinyasa practice, but without taking the time to slow down, become more mindful, and let my body restore through a gentle practice as well, I’m only getting half the benefits of what yoga has to offer. Consider finding a better balance to your weekly yoga schedule. If you are doing Power Vinyasa on Sunday, consider taking a morning to join a gentle yoga class or even an evening Yin Yoga class. As a result, your vinyasa practice will start to change shape.
On the flip side, if you tend to to gravitate towards a gentle or meditative practice. Consider adding 1 vinyasa class to your schedule a week. Vinyasa classes are not always fast moving and challenging. Classes like beginner vinyasa or candlelight vinyasa still build heat through the body without taking your practice to a difficult place. You will find that adding a heat building practice to your schedule may give you more energy and sharpen your thinking throughout the day. This will return an improvement to your mindful practice and allow your mind to go places it hasn’t been able to before.
2. let the weather inform your class choice
The weather has a big impact on our mood and emotions, so why shouldn’t it impact our practice? On colder rainy days we always want to curl up and hibernate while warm, sunny days motivate us to go out and be active. The spring is full of ups and downs when it comes to weather. One day it might be below freezing, the next it might be 75 degrees. Allow your yoga practice to balance out the way your body and mind are impacted by the weather. Instead of hitting fast moving vinyasa classes when it is warm out, consider letting the body cool down with a meditation or yin yoga. When the weather is cold and dreary, change your mood with a vigorous vinyasa flow that will boost endorphins and bring heat back to your body.
3. don’t disregard what life is bringing you
Above all, always let your body and mind take priority. External factors like stress, grief, and fatigue make a big impact on your health. Allow your practice to balance out the feelings that come along with just getting through daily life. Our instinct with stress is always to sweat or run it off. When the body and mind are feeling stressed, the change in hormonal balance that we need to subdue the stress is best delivered with a gentle practice. If you are feeling depressed, allow your body to re-calibrate with a boost of endorphins delivered from a more rigorous practice like vinyasa. Whatever you are battling (and we are all battling something), let your practice help to return you to our natural balance.
Join the SPRINGtime balance challenge
We are excited to bring you another challenge just in time for spring based on this very concept. Join our Springtime Balance Challenge and work to balance your practice schedule with at least 1 gentle and mindful practice and 1 heat building practice a week!