Spring season is synonymous with blooming flowers, sunshine (depending on what side of the world you are in), and spring cleaning! It is said that 69% of the American population engages is some form of spring cleaning every year (statista.com). Now, imagine how many people must do this around the world!
Cultures globally embrace this practice every year;
Thai people celebrate with Songkran, a festival that signifies the beginning of spring and marks the time to deep clean their homes as well as their shrines.
In the Middle East people practice Khaneh-Tekani which literally means “shaking the house” before they welcome spring (Nowruz).
The people of Guatemala celebrate a bit earlier (early December) with Quema del Diablo.
No matter when you practice cleaning, it is something deeply engrained in the yoga philosophy. Saucha is the sanskrit word for cleanliness. It is the element of the Niyamas (inner-observances) that directs us to purify and cleanse ourselves.
At its most basic definition this can mean to keep your home clean and take showers. However, in the yoga tradition it extends beyond that. Yoga teaches us that the body is made up of Nadis or “paths” (think Meridians in Chinese Medicine) in which energy moves through. With the accumulation of stress and trauma our nadis can become blocked, like traffic on a street. When this happens, we can feel pain, distress, and out of balance. In yoga we learn how to remove these blockages through regulation of the breath, movement, and the synchronization of both.
This month we will be focusing on acknowledging, honoring, and releasing blockages and tension.
We will do this by continuing our relationship with our prana (energy) through various breathing techniques, guiding our bodies into yoga postures which stimulate our organs, such as twists, and our mantra will be:
“I love you, I forgive you, I release you”
Cleansing tips for this season:
• Practice a few deep breaths upon waking followed by a few pawanmuktasana (joint movement) exercises.
• Start your day with warm water (digestive).
• Carve out some time to declutter your space.
• Make an intention to eat clean.
• Seal your day with more cleansing breath to prepare for your rest during the night.
See you on the mat!