Certain moments in life are true turning points. Certain times of the year are natural transitions. Inspired by the recent solar eclipse which auspiciously coincided with the spring equinox, I feel that right now is one of those such moments.
Looking out onto my little balcony I’m rewarded with an absolute treat for the senses. I am in awe at this unique time of year, where from seemingly lifeless plant pots, new signs of life begin to pop up in every direction. Flowers budding, spurts of growth, and suddenly mornings once again dawn in a chorus of birdsong. Even the sunshine appears to have taken on a different glow.
“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke
Ancient cultures studied how nature -animals, trees, plants- adapted to the changes of seasons, the different cycles and rhythms of the universe, to find a harmonious balance and flow in their individual life cycles. As an essential part of nature we too are a mini universe, each with our own “seasons”, changes and flows of energy. We might take some time out and learn from nature to be able to adapt to these changes and harness our energy more efficiently.
In the northern hemisphere the spring equinox (autumn in the southern hemisphere), marks a moment where the hours of daylight and darkness are almost identical, and here in Europe all around us nature is bursting at the seams, literally spring-ing out of every nook and cranny. Until a few days ago what was empty land, naked trees, and bare landscape is now an outward explosion of colour and vitality, new revived energy, potential and creativity. It’s a perfect time to tap into this creative spirit, growth and expansion, to answer an inner calling to explore, or try something new.
“Spring is nature’s way of saying – ‘Let’s party!’” – Robin Williams.
The yoga mat is another micro-cosmos, a place where we can also play a little. As the hours of sunlight increase we might find our levels of energy rising, and might allow this surge of vitality around and within us to guide us towards attempting a new asana or trying a different kind of practice: acroyoga? aero-yoga? Iyengar or Yin?
It could well be the right time to try thai massage? Or to fulfill a curiosity to learn about essential oils or healty cooking…? You can whet your appetite by taking a look at this year’s Barcelona Yoga Conference programme. All of these possibilities and more are on offer, and it’s a fabulous chance to try out numerous kinds of practice, share the experience and knowledge of an amazing selection of teachers, and enjoy multiple expressions of Yoga. What better a time than now to book yourself some time in the diary and see something new come to fruition?!
During the long, dark winter months we may have been hibernating our dreams and projects, storing our energy and saving our resources and strength; ready to bloom when the time is right.
In my native England the seasons make themselves known in a very loud voice, and spring time is one of my favourites. The stark, bare branches of the winter horizons begin to stir. Sap rises up and bursts forth into bud, blooms and brilliance.
We too can stay firm in our intentions and clear about our reasons for moving in new directions (on and off the yoga mat) whilst continuing to respect and respond to our different needs from one moment to the next, adapting, adjusting and changing as and when our inner seasons ask us.