Spring is a natural time for cleansing, rejuvenation, and creating a fresh, clean start in our bodies and minds. As a yoga teacher, this time of year is a perfect time to invite your students to consciously engage with the change of seasons. With the proper tools, we can help our students activate the benefits of spring—both on and off their mats—in support of improved overall health and well-being.
Harnessing the Power of Spring
For most of us, there is a natural sense of lightness, inspiration, motivation, and joy that accompanies the arrival of spring. It is a beautiful time to set new intentions, renegotiate self-care practices, and recommit to supporting wellness on every level. But without the proper support, many of us would easily miss this opportunity. This is where your guidance is indispensable.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, spring is a distinctly kapha season, ruled by the water and earth elements. It is a time when the earth becomes saturated with water and pregnant with possibility. This lends the season a certain heaviness, slowness, density, and stability. Because opposites balance, the spring season invites us to embrace a kapha-pacifying routine characterized by extra lightness, dryness, warmth, stimulation, fluidity, and movement. These qualities can be incorporated into every aspect of our lives—from yoga and pranayama to diet and exercise. This season is a fantastic time of year to wake up early, embrace being active, and shake off the sluggishness of winter.
Elements of a Supportive Seasonal Routine
Below, we will explore some of Ayurveda’s most potent tools for activating a healthy and revitalizing spring season. These practices help to release stagnation, improve flow, and cultivate renewed strength and stamina. You can offer some of these tool through direct experience in your classes, or you may prefer to encourage your students to explore outside of class.
Yoga for Spring
The moist heaviness of spring provides a natural buffer for our systems that allows us to be more active and mobile without the same consequences that we might experience at other times of year. This means that your students will likely be served by a dynamic, invigorating, and expansive yoga practice that is appropriately challenging, well-paced, and heating to the body. This is a good time to focus on precision and muscular effort and to invite your students to push themselves a bit. The chest, lungs, and kidneys are among the primary sites of kapha in the body, so emphasizing asanas that open and support these areas is especially supportive during the spring season. Backbends, including Fish, Camel, Locust, and Bridge or Full Wheel, are particularly helpful, as are poses that stretch, compress, and otherwise stimulate the solar plexus, strengthening the digestive fire—poses like Cobra, Bow, Side Plank, and twists such as Revolved Chair.
Pranayama for Spring
Pranayama can also be hugely supportive of the cleansing, activating energies of spring. In particular, kapalabhati and bhastrika help to clear accumulated kapha from the lungs and sinuses, while encouraging fluidity and flow throughout the lymphatic system and other tissues. These practices also help to kindle and strengthen the digestive fire and support the natural pathways of detoxification so critical to a revitalizing spring season.
Dietary Strategies for Spring
There is a natural intelligence in our bodies that awakens as winter gives way to spring, especially if we are consciously listening. As we have already seen, spring is a time for clearing, cleansing, and shedding the accumulations of winter. The denser and heavier foods that were warranted during the winter months are gradually replaced with lighter foods that align with the springtime harvest—fresh fruits and vegetables, light grains, pungent greens, salads, and legumes, all of which have powerful detoxifying properties. Thus, our bodies begin to crave lighter fare and experience a reduced need for protein and fat. This is a perfect time to embrace a kapha-pacifying diet, to favor the pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes, and to reduce the influence of the sweet, sour, and salty tastes. We can further bolster the body’s natural detoxification processes with turmeric, Liver Formula, and Kidney Formula.
Follow Your Inspiration
At the end of the day, there are countless ways to catalyze the renewing energy of spring in our own lives and in the lives of our students. If you are hungry for more guidance, check out our Spring Guide, where you’ll find a number of additional suggestions for adapting a supportive springtime routine. This is a great time of year to change things up, try something different, and activate the energy of newness. This spring, may each of us take a few powerful steps toward realizing our full potential.
About Banyan Botanicals
Banyan Botanicals was founded in 1996 with the mission to help people achieve and maintain optimal health and well-being. As an Ayurvedic lifestyle company, we specialize in products made from Ayurvedic herbs that are organically grown, sustainably sourced, fairly-traded, and made in the U.S. Banyan is committed to providing exceptional customer service, inspiring educational content and the highest quality Ayurvedic herbs that are safe, pure, and effective.
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This article was written by Banyan Botanicals and does not necessarily reflect the views of Yoga Alliance.