Updated: Apr 23
(This article was originally published in Elephant Journal)
Spring has always been the season of growth and renewal: a time when snow melts, buds bloom and the earth replenishes itself.
Intuitively our bodies mirror these seasonal changes— it’s easier to get out of bed because the sun rises earlier than our alarm; miso broth sounds far more comforting than crockpot stew; sitting outside and soaking in the air calls to us more than an hour-long bubble bath.
Spring 2021 feels especially prescient. But depending on our level of shut down and living situation, going out to smell the apple blossoms may not be an option. Here’re some tips to reclaim the season:
During times of uncertainty and insecurity we crave “stuff” to ground us—just look at how much Amazon’s stocks rose during the pandemic.
Now is the time to lighten the load and metaphorically emerge.
Yes, that 100% means spring cleaning closet and home! Get on the Mari Kondo train and donate everything that doesn’t spark joy. But also apply this to mind space and schedule.
It’s difficult to plant new ideas or endeavors without first clearing space for them, and unfortunately the most pressing TicTok will find a way to bulldoze through even the best of intentions.
Reversing the process and starting with the seed of a passion project magically makes time appear! We tend to do whatever it takes to make what inspires us happen, whether it’s blocking the work schedule, waking up earlier, or setting time limits on favorite apps.
Light a fire
Winter is a wonderful time for our bodies to reenergize and rest. But now’s the time to get things going again.
There are many Ayurvedic and yogic techniques aimed at helping get rid of the build up in the body: dry brushing your skin, clearing out the nasal passages with a neti pot, breathing practices to cleanse the lungs, asanas to reanimate the system, and of course dietary cleanses to reset your digestion.
These are all great tools to coax agni (digestive fire) out of hibernation. There is also the very simple act of following our heart and allowing ourselves to follow an impulse— playing hooky to go to the lake, making a call to a representative about a cause dear to our heart, randomly pushing away from the desk in the middle of the day and take 5 minutes to look out the window or read a poem, or take a few meditative sips of tea. Life is in those moments.
Dip into your reserves:
The two previous tips had to do with shedding and igniting. This one has to do with using up. This may mean a mono-diet for a few days to let your body absorb and expel, using up the last free samples before buying any new skin care or repurposing old t-shirts into dish rags. It’s the same as cleaning out the fridge at the end of the week: using up everything to have a clean slate.
Meditation is the application of this to the mental realm. When we spend time sitting with ourselves, we can gage what feelings, emotions and thoughts keep coming up.
Knowing what we are holding onto is the first step in gaining insight. The next step to addressing it is reflective or analytic meditation. In this technique, we choose a topic of concern or interest and focussing deeply on it. When the mind wanders, we return to the subject. It can be used to help analyze any sediment that remains from a long winter and a very long year.
Happy Spring, friends!