A seasonal Health slice with teacher Tracy Chambers
We sit in the heart of our Springtime. Green shoots are rapidly unfurling now from bare branches and tender shoots recently unpacked from the earth are now flourishing. There’s a buzz in the air. Its palpable, you can almost touch it. You can’t help but smile, hum a tune and find there’s a literal ‘spring’ in your step. This season invigorates and inspires. In 5 element theory this season is governed by the element of wood, the liver and gallbladder organs, the shoulders and the eyes, our literal vision.
The season is about seeing clearly and maintaining ourselves in a state of ease with life. A task that we all know can be quite challenging. Conflicting inner tensions, rigid thinking, judgements, attachments and other deep habitual patterns or samskaras block this flow we so desire.
A steady and regular yoga and / or meditation practice can help us stay malleable in our body and mind to move with life’s shifts and turns. With consistent practice the nadis or channels through which the sensitive energy of our body flows, start to clear and the mind begins to quieten through repetitive withdrawal of the senses
(pratyahara). Herein lies some of the most helpful tools for maintaining balance and flexibility throughout the season. Like a great river flowing towards the sea, we must traverse boulders, trees and alterations of our course if we wish to enjoy the journey to its fullest.
Tips for a Spring Yoga Practice
Include more lateral stretches opening into the sides of the body eg Parighasana, Parivttra Janu Sirsasana, Uttihta Parsvakonasana, Upavistha Konasana and all manner of sitting, standing and reclined twists. Together these help access and balance the energy of the liver and gallbladder meridians
Tendons become particularly vulnerable in this season with their relationship to the liver so keep moving and the blood flowing
Take your practice outdoors, feel the earth beneath your feet, breath
Tips for Spring Meditation
Mind feeling too jumpy to sit? Try a walking meditation (http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books2/Thich_Nhat_Hanh_A_Guide_to_Walking_Meditation.htm) in the early evening to still a busy overactive mind. Done in the early hours of the morning is particularly powerful. Immerse yourself in the quiet and stillness and sense the heightened prana or life force in the air.
In Spring think GREEN. These foods assist the bodies natural desire to cleanse and also support the liver. Leafy greens are so easy to grow at home so now is a great time to get the veggie garden underway. Sour taste stimulates liver energy so think dandelion greens, rocket, endive, onion, a slice of lemon squeezed in water. Include also cabbage, broccoli, celery, beetroot, carrots, and sweet potato. Lightly cooked foods are better thank cold, not too much raw. With fruit think grapefruit, tangerines, peach, strawberries, fig, mango.
Take a few short fasts each week by taking your last meal of the day before 4.30pm and wait til around 10am next morning to have your next meal. Take as many fluids as needed in this time, herbals teas, vegetable juices, filtered water etc. Lighten the load on your digestive system and you will feel happier and clearer
Wear something green, surround yourself with green plants and spend time outdoors. Commit to a realistic and achievable yoga and meditation practice and expect feelings of vigour and freshness like the new rising growth all around you.
Tracy teaches Easy Hatha Flow with a seasonal flavour on Wednesdays at 6pm