7 Poses to Spring Clean Your Spirit

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Celebrate the spring equinox with this sequence to clear out what isn't serving you in your life anymore and make room for what will.

"Spring cleaning" isn't limited to what you're doing with your closets. Celebrate the spring equinox (the first official day of spring) by clearing out what isn't serving you in your life anymore and making room for what does.

“It's the perfect time to de-clutter, become empowered, and create intentions for what you want," says Kim Purdy, a vinyasa flow teacher at Purple Yoga in Fullerton, California, who will co-lead a Spring Equinox—108 Sun Salutations workshop at Purple Yoga to celebrate the first day of spring. (The number 108, believed to connect the sun, moon, and the Earth, has long been considered sacred in Hinduism and yoga.)

Purdy created this 7-pose moving meditation to help ease the transition from winter into spring. “These poses are a variation of a Sun Salutation sequence we will be doing in the workshop,” she says. “Sun Salutations are a great way to de-clutter this spring, since they allow you to take in 'prana' or life force and exhale 'apana,' or that which is no longer needed. Every salutation gives you the opportunity to give and receive.”

PRACTICE Flow through this entire sequence twice, holding each pose longer on the first round and for just 1 breath each on the second cycle.

Also try Two Fit Moms' Spring Forward Flow: Tree + Sun Salutations

  • Standing Forward Bend

    Standing Forward Bend

    Uttanasana

    Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and bend forward with hands or fingers alongside your feet. Relax your neck. Hold for 8 to 10 full breaths.

    Also see Jason Crandell’s Fine-Tune Your Forward Folds

  • Chair Pose

    Chair Pose

    Utkatasana

    Bend your knees and place your weight in your heels. Reach your arms up overhead with palms facing in toward one another. Keep your toes light and feet and knees hip-width apart. Lengthen your lower back by drawing your front ribs in and back. Hold for 8 to 10 full breaths.

    Explore more Yoga Poses for Strength

  • Revolved Chair Pose

    Revolved Chair Pose

    Parivrtta Utkatasana

    As you breathe in, reach your arms forward with palms touching. Exhale, taking an easy twist to the right. Draw your right arm back as you look back. Keep your weight in your heels and knees aligned side by side. Inhale, returning to center. Exhale twist, open to the left. Twisting from right to left completes one set. Take 5 full sets, flowing in and out of each side with one breath per movement.

    Also see Spring Detox: A Fresh Start

  • Upward Salute

    Upward Salute

    Urdhva Hastasana

    On your next inhale, stand tall and reach your arms up and overhead. Continue to focus on your breath as you extend and lengthen your spine. Keep your feet strongly rooted into the ground. While reaching up, draw your shoulders down away from your ears. Take 5 to 8 full breaths.

    Also see Burn It Off: Ayurvedic Spring Detox

  • Supported Standing Backbend

    Supported Standing Backbend

    Anuvittasana

    Continue to stand tall. Slide your hands to your lower back with fingers pointing down. Draw your elbows in toward one another. Gradually draw your hips forward, lift your chest, and keep your neck long. Take weight out of your lower back by firming your thighs, keeping your belly strong, and lifting your chest. Take 5 to 8 full breaths.

    Also see Jason Crandell's Open Shoulders, Bigger Backbends

  • Sidebending Mountain Pose

    Sidebending Mountain Pose

    Parsva Tadasana

    Inhale, reaching your arms up. Interlace your fingers and point your index fingers up. Keep the weight in your heels with your hips slightly forward, lifting your chest. Take another inhale to lengthen and, as you exhale, reach up and over to the right. Keep your feet strongly rooted to the ground, legs firm. With each inhale, lengthen a bit more, then use your exhale to hold with strength. Hold for 8 to 10 full breaths. Inhale back up to center and repeat on the left side.

    Also see 16 Sidebending Poses to Prep for Pranayama

  • Mountain Pose with Hands at Heart

    Mountain Pose with Hands at Heart

    Tadasana with Anjali Mudra

    Inhale, extend arms up. Exhale, bring hands to the center of your chest. Press your palms together. Find one place to focus your gaze or simply close your eyes. Using Anjali Mudra, you are bringing both sides of your body into balance, creating mental clarity and focus on this present moment. Hold for 8 to 10 full breaths or approximately 1 minute.

    Also try Yoga Girl's Spring Break Core + Balance Sequence

    Photography credit: Aneta Gretkiewicz