One of my favourite principles of life is that change is the only changeless law. One way to accept the outward changes at this time of year is to make our body more flexible. In Dru Yoga, we use side bends to increase our mental flexibility and openness to change. These movements from Energy Block Release One are a great way to experience this?
Side bends to create inner flexibility
Breathe in and raise your right arm sideways until the hand is overhead, keeping your right hand slightly in front of your shoulders, just on the edge of your vision. At the same time position your left hand in front of your lower abdomen, palm uppermost. Lengthen your spine on that inbreath. On the next out-breath, bend to the left, moving from the base of the spine. As you bend the spine, the right arm reaches gently over the head towards the left. To return to the upright position, breathe in, press down into your left big toe and allow the spine to come upright. As you breathe out, your arms begin to reverse their positions, the right arm lowering down, the left arm coming up. Breathe in again as the left arm curves over above the head. Now bend to the right. Repeat this sequence a few more times, then relax your arms by your sides.
Have a change-of-seasons detox
Chinese medicine says that our bodies appreciate a detox every season. Choose a gentle detox which will energise you and do a deep cleanse of your system. I love having a simple day of vegetables and fruits, with a few seeds and green barley grass smoothie. It’s not too drastic and you shouldn’t feel too hungry as you can eat as much green veg as you like. This kind of fast can be done one day a week, but if you don’t fancy it, at least try it at the change of seasons.
Get your meditation practice back on track
If the winter has affected your practice, let the fresh energy of spring help you. Forgive yourself totally for any shortcomings and start afresh, with a strong plan of practice that will sustain you into the summer months.
Identify which time of day works best for you. Some yogis swear by early morning – at least you know that you can fit it into your day (great for early birds!). Others find that a lunchtime combination of walk and yoga or meditation works well. Others love an evening practice as meditation before bed can really help sleep quality (although I find I drop off too easily in an evening practice!).
Try Dru meditation on the three acceptances
Sit with a tall spine, breathe gently through your nose, and accept your environment and all the sounds you can hear. Don’t judge them, just let them come and go. After a few moments, bring your awareness to your physical body. Accept your body just as it is, and any sensations you can feel, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Continue for a few moments, and then move your awareness to your mind. Become aware of the flow of thoughts, accepting them as they arise and fade away. After practicing this for a few moments, bring your awareness back to your body, stretch and start to move.
Invoke a feeling of gratitude – and embrace the changing seasons with a beautiful, yogic smile!