spring yoga poses
The seasons change and so does our desire for certain foods and activities. Reading, covered by a warm Scotch wool blanket, seems like the perfect exercise during wintertime but doesn’t cut it when we whole-heartedly embrace the arrival of spring. We start to feel the need for movement, sweat and challenges. Our hunched over shoulders want to travel back and down, creating openness of chest and heart. We feel the need to wring out the old and start a new. We have the strongest desire to extend our ‘we-have-made-ourselves-as-small-as-possible-for-it-is-cold-and-wet’ shriveled bodies. The three poses I’ve chosen for spring are great in general but specifically help you do all of the above. You can choose to practice these poses separate or use them to end my yoga for spring class. Enjoy their incredible benefits!
'Spring has sprung and I’m hopping aboard the fit-train.'
TOP 3 POSES
Stimulates bowel movement and the act of physically and mentally ‘letting go’, opens the heart and chest and creates space for new possibilities, aids breathing for example in those who suffer from asthma or seasonal allergies, improves mild backaches, increases energy and reduces anxiety and menstrual discomfort.
Be careful practicing this pose when you experience high or low blood pressure or migraines. Skip this pose when you have seriously injured you neck or back.
Lie on your belly with your hands alongside your body. Bend your knees and bring your heals close to your buttocks. Reach back with your hands, turn them out and grab your inner ankles. Make sure your knees don’t point out but stay as wide as your hips. Inhale, lift your heels away from your buttocks and raise your front thighs off the floor. Open your chest forward whilst still keeping your lower ribs touching the floor. Look forward and relax your shoulders down. Kick the ankles back into the hands without having the ribs come off the floor. Stay here for a few breaths then slowly come down. Do a short 1 minute belly savasana then continue with the next pose.
Lengthens and strengthens the body, re-establishes your sense of balance, helps you while going through changes, mentally makes you more adaptable and flexible, calms the mind, relieves stress and improves mood.
Skip this pose when you have high blood pressure, a headache, heart dis-ease or during the first days of menstruation.
Place your fingertips approximately 5 cm (1-2 inches) away from the wall. Your hands should be shoulder-width and spread. If you noticed you have tight or closed shoulders, turn your fingertip out slightly. Roll your upper arms outward, this keeps your shoulder blades broad. Now pull the shoulder blades in and down to create length and stability. Press your hands firm into the floor. Step a bit closer to the wall with one (left) foot. Bend that (left) knee slightly to give it a bit of bounce. Firm the other (right) leg by extending through the heel. Find your momentum and, after an out breath, consciously swing your (right) leg up, still extending through the heel. Follow with the other (left) leg. When both legs come off the floor contract your abdominal muscles to ensure the lift of your legs. Place your legs together against the wall and look down in between your hands. You may choose to either point your feet or shape them into Barbie feet. Do what feels good to you. Stay here anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds. Don’t forget to breathe deep.
Relaxes the nervous system, increases blood flow to and from abdominal organs, cleans the gut, helps to realign the spine, opens the chest and relieves tension in the back, hip, shoulder and chest muscles.
Skip this pose when you have serious back or spinal injuries or in case of (chronic) pain and restrictions in hip and knee joints.
Lie on your belly, prop yourself up on your hands and bend one (right) knee in a 90 degree angle. Your other (left) leg is long and relaxed. Now thread your left hand underneath the right arm and lie it down on the floor in a 90 degree angle with your torso. Your right hand travels up and over to the right side of your body while you lay your back down onto the mat. Look up and feel the twist in your upper body. Stay here for 1-3 minutes then change sides. Relax down, let go and breathe deep always.