Spring is here and along with budding flowers, warmer weather and blue skies, it’s time to clear out the cobwebs of your physical, mental and spiritual space. While it’s common to get to work on some much-needed spring cleaning around your house, you can also take this time to give your body and mind a fresh start.
To honor the resurgence of spring and blossoms in our own lives, we created a Spring Cleaning yoga sequence to flush out toxins – as well as old thoughts, feelings, and patterns we have no more use for. Cleanse your body, renew your spirit, and give yourself a renewed mental freshness to honor the spring season.
Follow the below yoga postures and breathwork exercises to get started creating a whole new you.
Sitting with your knees bent and your feet tucked in next to your left butt cheek, inhale with your spine straight, lifting your chest. As you exhale, rotate your torso to your right. Position your right hand on the floor just slightly behind you, and rest your left hand on your right knee. On your next breath, rotate a little more as you exhale, turning your head to look over your right shoulder. Hold this pose for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Stand in Mountain pose for a few breaths. Inhale with your hands at your waist and slightly bend your knees. Lift your right foot off the mat and wrap it over your left leg, curling your foot over your calf to lock it in place. Exhale and lower yourself further, as if you are sitting in a chair. When you’ve balanced yourself here, lift your arms to chest level and bend them at the elbows. Maintain steady breathing while you wrap your left elbow over your right forearm and clasp your hands together. Hold this pose for 5-10 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Start in a tabletop position, with your hands and knees on your mat. Push up from your hands and knees, lifting your hips until you are balanced on your hands and feet, with your body resembling an inverted “v.” Keep your head in between your arms, ears balanced over your shoulders, and stay in this pose for several breaths.
Stand at the front of your mat, feet hip distance apart. Exhale and bend forward from the waist, with your knees slightly bent and touching your hands to the floor in front of your feet. Inhale and exhale, allowing your torso to extend without rounding your back. Lengthen and soften your neck, and let the muscles of your thighs and lower back open and release any built-up tension. Hold the pose for 1-2 minutes.
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and bring them to your chest. Slowly and mindfully drop your left side while extending your arms outward in a “t” shape. Hold this pose for about 30 seconds while breathing mindfully. Bring your knees back to your chest, and then repeat on your right side.
Lie with your back flat on your yoga mat and your arms at your sides. Inhale, and as you exhale, bring your knees to your chest and either hold your knees with your hands, or if you’re able, wrap your arms around your knees. As you hug your knees to your chest, gently rock your body for soothing, gas-relieving movement.
Stand in Mountain pose. Step your left foot back and turn it so it’s parallel with the back of your mat. Keep your right foot pointed forward. Turn your torso so your gaze is facing forward over your right foot with your arms extended outward. On your next exhale, hinge at the waist and bring your left hand to your right foot, and extend your right hand straight up toward the ceiling. Gaze forward or up toward your right hand. Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Start by sitting on your yoga mat with your legs stretched out in front of you and your arms at your sides. Lean back slightly so that your weight is evenly balanced on your sitting bones. Inhale, engage your core, and as you exhale lift both your legs to a 45 degree angle, and extend your arms straight out alongside your legs. If this pose feels too difficult, try bending your knees and bringing your hands behind your knees for support. Keep your spine long and your core engaged as you hold this pose for 30-45 seconds.
Start by standing on your mat with your feet placed more than hip width apart. Angle your feet so that your toes are pointed slightly outward. As you exhale, begin to crouch into the Yogi Squat, sinking your hips low toward your mat. Go as low as you feel comfortable while still maintaining a stable balance. If you are new to practicing Yogi Squat, try placing a block or bolster on the mat underneath your pelvic floor for support. Bring your palms together in Namaste formation and hold this pose for 30 seconds.
Place a folded blanket parallel against a wall. Sit sideways in the middle of the blanket, and turn yourself toward the wall, lifting your legs up and propping them against the wall. Lay back comfortably, rest your head and neck on the floor, and fully straighten your legs. Spread your arms out to your sides with your palms facing up. Allow your chest, abdomen, and pelvis to completely relax. Breathe evenly and mindfully while holding this pose for 5-8 minutes.
Sit in Easy pose and inhale through your nose. When you exhale, force it out through your belly as if your abdomen were a “bellows.” Do this vigorously for 10 breaths, after which take a long inhale, hold your breath, and then slowly exhale.
Just like with “Bellows Breath,” sit in Easy pose and inhale deeply through your nose and strongly exhale. Let your next breath come in and out normally, before you repeat the process.
Sit in Easy pose and softly breathe into your belly for a few rounds. Then, mindfully inhale into your entire rib cage. Exhale slowly and deliberately, releasing from your upper chest first, then your rib cage, and finally, from your belly.
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