The vernal or spring equinox is also known here in the North as the official beginning of spring. Sunrises begin to get earlier, sunsets begin to come later and temperatures begin to rise. Energetically, this is a time of new life, new beginnings, optimism and hope. To add to the celebration, this year will be the earliest arrival of spring (or the earliest spring equinox) since 1896! Looking for ways to mark this special occasion? Here's three suggestions:
1. The Wacky
There is a myth/urban legend/folklore/story (whatever you want to call it) that says that during the equinox the position of the sun and other planets produce special gravitational forces. With these special forces, you can balance an egg on its end and/or stand a broom up on its own. If that's your kind of thing, why not give it a try? 😄
2. 108 Sun Salutations
The equinoxes and solstices are about the journey of the earth around the sun as we chart the sun's position relative to the earth. Sun salutations are the yogic tradition of expressing our gratitude to the sun. Why not honour the coming season with 108 sun salutations with a group. We will be doing 108 sun salutes at Yoga You4ia tomorrow night (March 21) at 7:00 PM. For information about the event click here, for the significance of sun salutes and 108 click here or feel free to contact me for more details.
3. Breath Work & Setting Intentions meditation
As the spring equinox marks a time of new beginnings, why not think about what you would like to do or start in the upcoming cycle of spring and into summer. Is there a new hobby you've always meant to try? Do you want to get your garden going? Is there a new place you would like to travel to over the holidays? Is there a particular way you want to feel this year? Start by choosing one intention and phrasing it into a statement. Ideally, your statement is an I AM statement (though it doesn't have to be), it is worded in the present and it is positive. Some examples could include: I am creating amazing paintings, I am growing my own food, I am enjoying London, I am happy, etc.
To begin your practice, find a comfortable spot where you have a straight spine. You can be sitting on the floor, on a chair or lying on your back. Begin by bringing your intention to mind and just saying, visualizing or feeling this intention for the first few minutes. When you feel ready, begin to deepen and lengthen your breath. You will then begin to bring your breath into a specific pattern. On your inhale breathe in for a count of 6, then hold the breath with your lungs full for a count of 3. On the exhale, breathe out for a count of 6, and then hold the breath with your lungs empty for a count of 3. Continue this pattern until you feel comfortable with it. From here, begin to create a picture of your intention. As you inhale, feel this intention being drawn towards you. As you hold the breath, begin to add colours and more details to your picture. On the exhale, see this picture surrounding you and being a part of your external world. As you hold the breath out, get into the feeling of what this picture will create. How will you feel when it is actually here? Continue like this for 10 minutes or more. When you feel finished, start to release the breath as you sit with the picture you've created for the last few minutes. Finally, release the picture you've created knowing that you can come back to it at any time and not worrying about how it will eventually get here. Then, gently open your eyes and nice and slowly begin to get back to the rhythm of your day.
Enjoy this special time, create an amazing spring and see you on your mats!