Yoga blesses you with a more intimate understanding of your body and how it works in conjunction with your mind to create this experience called life. However, life is much more than your individual experience. Through practice, you can remind yourself of your connection with all that is. Perhaps no time is more profound for doing so than when the seasons change.
Now is the time to take your mat outdoors in your favorite, serene natural setting. What rituals can you add to your routine to help you celebrate the eternal cycle? Use the connection between Yoga and the transitional changes between seasons to elevate your practice and feel more connected with the world around you.
Spring is the season of renewal and new beginnings. It’s also your first opportunity to get outside after a long winter. Drag that mat into the sun and bask in its rays as you flow through a gentle Yoga sequence. Inhale deeply, reveling in the scent of green, letting the new season’s colors elevate your heart chakra.
It’s also the time for the first fresh shoots of the season to line your farmers market’s stands. Cooking and preparing healthy meals is another way to nurture your overall wellness and honor the richness of this time of year. Perhaps you can assemble this vegan chopped salad to restore your energy after your practice:
- 2 cups mung bean sprouts
- 1 small chopped onion
- 1 small chopped tomato
- 1 teaspoon chopped green chilis
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 cubed boiled potato
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
- Sea salt or rock salt to taste
Rinse your mung bean sprouts and steam them until they reach the desired consistency. Assemble the rest, toss into a salad and enjoy.
Summer’s long, hot days seemingly invite a slower practice like Integral Yoga or Yin Yoga. Such practices have a beneficial effect on your health and fight stress. Take savasana when your body tells you it’s time.
Autumn is a busy time for gathering the harvest to survive the coming winter and giving thanks for the previous summer’s bounty. What better time to honor your practice and show appreciation for the many ways Yoga improves your life? Here are some ideas for celebrating the transitional season change into fall:
- Participate in a charity event: Perhaps the easiest way to honor your practice is to donate generously to programs that operate through participant gifts. You can also find instructors who sponsor charities and host fundraising events for their cause. Plus, there’s wonderful organizations like Yoga Gives Back.
- Donate to a scholarship for teacher training: Many who want to teach Yoga do not because the cost of training as a teacher exceeds their budget. However, some teacher training organizations with scholarships funded partly through outside donations. For example, Integral Yoga’s BIPOC Teacher Training Scholarship Fund.
- Get trained to teach prison yoga: Satchidananda Ashram Prison Project or the Prison Yoga Project provides a healing path for inmates to work through what may be troubling them in hopes of reducing the chances of re-offending. Teachers can receive specialized training to work with this population and bring the joy of Yoga to those who would otherwise be unable to access it.
Winter is a slow time of quiet introspection. Is there anything yummier than a relaxing Yin or restorative practice in front of the fireplace, accompanied by a cup of hot herbal tea? It’s the ultimate delight.
This season is also the best for learning more and deepening your practice through enlightenment. Curl up on a cold winter’s day with a good book on Yoga. You can further your insight into anatomy or get inspired by the stories of others who have positively transformed their lives through this ancient practice.
Honoring Seasonal Change and Transitions Through Yoga
Yoga celebrates what it means to be alive in human form, deepening your connection with your body. It also unites you with all life — the transitional changes between seasons are the best times to honor this divine marriage through your practice.
The ideas above can help you honor the changing seasons through yoga. As you lie in savasana after your practice, reflect on the cycles of life on Earth and generate gratitude for the miracle of being here to witness it.
About the Author:
Mia Barnes is a freelance health and wellness writer with a passion for Yoga, mindfulness and nutrition. She is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Body+Mind Magazine, an online healthy living publication.