Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Practice

9 Clarifying, Cleansing Poses to Welcome Spring

Celebrate the spring equinox with this invigorating sequence.

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All Access
only $1.90/week*

  • A $500 value with everything in the Print + Digital Plan plus 25+ benefits including:
  • Member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Vegetarian Times, Clean Eating, Yoga Journal, Outside and more
  • Exclusive yoga sequences from top teachers
  • More than 100 diet-specific meal plans
  • Today’s Plan training platform with customized training plans
  • Outside TV Shows, Films, and documentaries
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+
Yoga Journal

Print + Digital
Special Price
$2/month*

  • Annual subscription to Yoga Journal magazine
  • Access to all member-exclusive content on YogaJournal.com
  • Ad-free access to YogaJournal.com
Join Yoga Journal

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

The Spring Equinox is a time of inspiration and creativity. During this time, we, as natural beings, echo the current creative forces of Mother Nature on a deep and intuitive level. If you ever feel the yearning for “spring cleaning,” as the days get warmer and longer, that’s the blooming springtime energy. It’s calling you to release and shed some of the stagnant energy of winter and prepare for the coming warmer days. As we sense budding life of springtime, we too feel the rustlings of the restless urge to create. Aside from the slowly lengthening days and warmer weather, this time of year also has powerful energetic potential and is a time of inspiration and renewal. 

After the Equinox (commonly called Ostara in mystic and pagan communities and falling on March 20 this year), the days will officially be longer than the nights (at least in the Northern Hemisphere). This is taking us into a time ruled by the sun: A time of yang, creative and outgoing energy. Try this uplifting, refreshing sequence by yoga teacher Sierra Vandervort to help you deeply connect to spring’s renewing energy. 

Flow with the Spring Equinox 

In this “spring cleaning” yoga sequence, we’re focusing on this cleansing energy and bringing it into our bodies. We’ll start with a clarifying pranayama practice, then work deep into releasing stagnant energy around the base of the spine and into the hips. 

After your yoga practice, you may like to journal on how you’re being called to awaken your creative spirit, and what you’re ready to leave behind in the darkness of winter. 

Sequence

Photo: Sierra Vandervort

Simhasana (Lion Pose)

Come to a comfortable seated position. Relax your hands on your knees and loosen your elbows. To begin, take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. Then, inhale fully, all the way down to the base of your belly. On your exhale, open your mouth and stick your tongue out while expelling the breath forcefully through your mouth. As you do this, open your eyes wide or gaze up towards your eyebrows. Repeat for 4 more rounds. 

Tadasana, variation (Mountain Pose)

Come to stand and interlace your hands behind your back. Press down firmly through the feet and draw your shoulder blades back towards each other. As you do this, widen your collar bones. Gently press your fists down towards the floor while opening your throat up towards the sky. Take 5 deep breaths here.  

Anjaneyasana, variation (Low Lunge)

Come to Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog), then step your left foot forward toward your hands. Lower you back knee down, folding your yoga mat underneath your knee if you need some extra support. Keeping your right hand on the ground, place your left hand on your left knee and gently roll your ankle towards the left, resting on your pinky toe. Dip down into your hips and open your heart up towards the sky. Hold for 5 breaths. Release back to Downward Facing Dog. Repeat on the second side. 

Virabhadrasana I, variation (Warrior Pose I) 

From Down Dog, step your right foot forward. Spin your back heel down to the ground at about a 45-degree angle. Press down into the soles of your feel and lift your torso up on an inhale. To finish your setup in Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I), frame your face with your biceps and square your hips forward. Tuck your tailbone slightly to help engage and lengthen up through your back thigh. Breathe in at the top of your Warrior I. On your exhale, fold your torso forward toward your inner thighs, sweeping the hands behind your back and extending through your fingers. Repeat this flow of lifting then lowering your torso with your breath for 3 more rounds. Release back to Down Dog. Repeat on the other side.

 Camatkarasana (Wild Thing Pose)

From Down Dog, lift your left leg up behind you, stretching out through your toes. Bending your left knee and open your left hip. Lift your left hand off of the mat as you touch the left foot down behind you, off the mat towards the right. Spiral your chest up and open, reaching your left hand high up in the sky. To release, sweep your left leg back around beneath you, letting your left hand follow. Take a breath (or several!) in Down Dog. Repeat on the second side. 

Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose)

From Downward Facing Dog, step your left foot toward the outer edge of the mat, both your hands will be on the inner edge of your mat. Drop down onto your back knee. Optional: release down to your forearms if there’s room in your hips. Stay lifted with your fingertips or palms on the ground if you need less intensity. Take 5 full breaths here. Back out of the pose slowly. Reset in a Tabletop Pose before coming back to Downward Facing Dog. Repeat on the second side. 

Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand)

Come to lie on your back. Place the soles of your feet on the floor. Press down into your heels to lift your hips up, placing your hands on the base of your sacrum, fingertips facing towards your knees. Lift your feet off the floor and draw your knees in toward your chest. Using your core, straighten and extend your heels up to the sky. Shimmy your elbows closer to each other and release the tension around the neck. Take 10 full breaths here before drawing your knees back in towards the chest and releasing the feet to the floor. For instructions on how to use props in this pose, which can make it easier on your neck and shoulders, check out this Yoga Journal piece

Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)

From your supine position, draw your knees in toward your chest. Lift your heels up towards the sky and reach your knees away from each other so that they frame your torso. Hold on to your big toes with your peace fingers. Gently rock side to side, massaging the low back into the mat. Hold for 5–10 breaths. 

Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Release your feet from Happy Baby, and extend your legs down the mat, coming to a full body reclined position on your back. Relax through the tips of your toes and fingertips as you close your eyes. Spend 2–10 minutes here in full relaxation. Take your time in slowly reawakening and going back about your day. 

Sierra Vandervort is a traveling yoga teacher and mindset mentor based out of her Dodge Ram van wherever on the road she is at the moment. She is the creator and owner of The Local Mystic LLC, and the monthly mystical membership platform The Mystic Moon School. Her passion is helping female spirit-seekers uncover their power potential so they can express their highest selves to the world. Through soulful self-care practices, she aims to help you uncover your soul-driven purpose and empower you to reach your fullest potential. Find her at thelocalmystic.com or on Instagram @thelocalmystic.