Spring Yoga Routine

‘Sitting quietly, doing absolutely nothing, spring comes, and the turf expands by itself” Zen Proverb

Spring is a time of renewal and improvement, growth and expansion. The following series, with a focus on twisting, promotes the digestive system in addition to the liver and kidneys– precisely what’s needed for ‘Spring cleaning’ after the indulgent winter period.
You can make use of the sequence as a stand-alone brief practice or as component of a longer series after some standing postures or Surya Namaskar (Salute to the Sun):

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1. Start in Vajrasana (Thunderbolt posture) bysitting on your heels with your hands on your knees. Do a couple of cycles of deep, sluggish stomach breathing to settle the mind.

Continue the breathing cycle with Simhasana (Cougar Breath) as you take a long sluggish breathing with both nostrils and exhale forcefully with your wide-open mouth, sticking out the tongue with a ‘ha’ sound. The palms are pushed against the knees and your eyes are concentrated at the area between the eyebrows. Repeat 3 times. 2. Raise up onto the knees, stretching your arms up until the ceiling as you breathe in and breathe out chanting AUM as you launch the body onto the floor in child posture (repeat 3 times).
3. From the stooping position step the right leg forward into a Low Lunge(Anjaneyasana) with your left leg extended behind you, knee on the floor. On the next breathing sweep your arms up towards the ceiling and remain for a few breaths. Place your palms together in front of the chest as you twist the upper body to the right, hooking the left elbow over the beyond the right knee into a twisting lunge. Hold for3- 5 breaths. Return to face the front and launch both hands onto the flooring prior to duplicating on the other side.
4. Push into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Pet dog) prior to advance into Uttanasana (Standing Forward Flexed), feet together, hands on the floor and knees bent if required.
5. Inhale as you raise into Utkatasana (the Chair pose) by bending your legs, dropping the buttocks and raising the arms in front of you shoulder height. Stay for 3-5 breaths.
6. From the Chair Pose bring the hands together in prayer position to your chest prior to turning to the right as you place your left elbow on the right knee for the squat twist. Hold for 3 breaths on both sides. On the next exhalation location your hands on the floor alongside your feet and step or leap in reverse into Downward Facing Canine.
7. From Downward Struggling with Dog relocate into Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (the Resting Pigeon Pose) by bringing your bent right knee forward in between the hands to rest on the inside of your right wrist, right heel pointing in to your body. Stretch your left leg behind you, the top of the foot on the flooring, squaring your hips to the front. Repeat on the various other side.
8. From Pigeon posture swing the back leg (right) forward and put the foot beside the front bent knee as you relocate into Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist) by turning the upper body to the right to the inside of the right thigh, hooking the left elbow around the right knee with the right hand on the floor near back. Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
9. To launch the back move into Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend) with both legs extended in front of you, flexing forward from the hips, holding the ankles or feet– if you’ve tight hamstrings bend the knees somewhat to shield your back.
10. You can now go back to Vajrasana (the first posture in the series) for another round(or more)– hear your body for what’s appropriate for you OR
11. You can release into Savasana (Corpse Pose) with your legs separated, arms unwinded by your side and palms showed up. Stay and appreciate the relaxation and stillness for at least 10 minutes.
12. Preserve the sense of stillness as you gently roll up to a sitting position of option for your meditation practice.