Spring gifts us an extra hour of daylight. What a blessing! Suddenly it feels easier to drop by the pub or park on my way home from teaching than it does when the days are shorter. While it’s still light tomorrow is still a long way off, and I don’t need to consider it, (or the to-do list that accompanies it), until the sun goes down which frees up mental space for lazy sunshine socialising and long walks through the park. It’s easy to get stuck in the routine grind of work and housework, but Spring is the ultimate time to put off doing the washing and go wandering in the sunshine with old and new friends instead. It will make you feel more alive, and connected, and fulfilled.
There is an excitement about this time of year that just begs to be plotted over with friends as festivals, holidays, and wedding invitations spring up like the blossom and bluebells that mark the season. This can be reflected in our practice by choosing playful heart opening postures, such as the one below, whilst simultaneously paying attention to the grounding element of each pose and making more time for meditation, to keep our practice and our energy levels balanced.
For this month’s pose I have chosen Viparita Virabhadrasana/ Exalted Warrior because it physically encapsulates my feelings about this month’s theme: ‘Coming together with friends.’ The feet and legs are rooting firmly down into the floor, creating a sense of sthira, ’steadiness’, in both the body and the mind. This steady foundation allows the upper body to express sukham, ‘ease’, and spacious light heartedness, which allows us to shake off some of the heaviness of winter and connect with our communities in a more carefree and joyful way. Enjoy!
1. Warm up with several rounds of surya namaska.
2. From tadasana/ mountain pose, step the left leg back and angle the back foot at around 45 degrees.
3. Ease towards a right angle with the front thigh and shin. Ensure that you can see the big toe of the front foot and that the knee does not go forwards of the ankle.
4. Ground both feet down into the ground, and feel the energy drawing up the legs and into the pelvic floor and lower belly.
5. Use this stability to protect the lower back as you slide the left hand down the back leg and raise the right arm up by the right ear and begin to lean the weight back as you offer the heart up.
6. Find a comfortable position for the neck, relax the jaw, and feel the ribcage expand with each inhale.
7. Smile softly as you hold for 5 breaths.
8. To come out of the posture, first lower the right hand down to the waist, and then use the strength in the belly and the legs to come out of the back bend and then step to the top of the mat.
9. Repeat on the other side.
By Jasmine Pradham
Jasmine holds a 200hr RYT certification, is fully insured, and is a member of the Register of Exercise Professionals- (REPS). She teaches Hatha yoga (sometimes dynamic, sometimes slower) with an open heart and an open mind. She believes that every individual already has the tools they need to achieve true happiness and wellbeing, and that sometimes they just need a little help discovering them. She truly believes that a dedicated yoga practice can be the key to that toolbox, and aims to facilitate that discovery for her students. Owner of Stretch and the City.