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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.