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Spring Equinox Yoga

Updated: Apr 21

The longer and brighter days are finally here. What could that mean for your spring equinox yoga practice?

Finally! The spring equinox is the day that marks an equal length of daytime and night time in the northern hemisphere. This year it happened on the 20th March, and it's already a great deal lighter in the early morning and evening than it was a few weeks ago.

A lamb and a ewe in the foreground with a background of bright green fields and golden sunshine on the highest hill
New lambs are such a potent image of spring

I'm an early riser, and feel like I've endured gruelling weeks of waking up in the pitch black at 5am. Past the equinox, the sky is at least a bit light then (although it will be pushed back a little by the start of British summer time at the end of March) and that makes me feel so much more energetic and excited.

For those of us who experience seasonal mood changes, the spring equinox can feel like a big turning point as we prepare for more sunshine (hopefully!), longer days and shorter nights.

in terms of yoga practice, spring equinox yoga does not have to be one specific thing or set of practices, but rather this time of year can give us so many new options and ideas.

For a start, more daylight in the mornings and evenings might actually give more time to practice. I know I'm more likely to roll my mat out in the evening when it's still light and I feel like there's plenty of time and space to spend on the mat.

There are also the benefits of being able to practice outside more, which is very difficult in a wet and cold British winter. The longer, lighter, warmer days mean taking the mat out in the garden or even heading to the park or a secluded beauty spot to do a bit of yoga practice is something I look forward to.

The actual practice itself can change too. As the mornings become lighter and warmer, I'll tend to be more energetic in yoga postures and flows first thing, rather than slow, ground-based and restful as I have been for the last few months. More messing about, more creativity, more activity.

Energetic pranayama practices like kapalabhati breath are my favourite way to set up early for the longer days after the spring equinox.

In yoga class, we'll tend to work with more energetic and lively practices as we come into this half of the year when the sun is dominant. There is more fire energy to go around and we get to enjoy it! (except perhaps for when it's very hot in the summer and we need cooling practices, but that's another blog post...)

This will include different pranayama as well as movement practices that help us feel the inherent fire and power of our muscles. Savasana will take on an additional level of rest like taking a nap after an afternoon in the sun.

Adapting our yoga practice to the seasons and conditions is one way to benefit our mental health and reduce feelings of stress by working more closely with nature. Pausing to notice how what's going on around us is affecting what's going on within us, and then choosing yoga practices to work with that energy is a wonderful way to honour and support ourselves through all seasons.

Want to adapt your yoga practice to support your mood, or begin a regular yoga practice which offers techniques to better handle daily stress and anxiety? Book a 1-1 session with Emmalene or join our weekly class in North Leeds if you're local. Let life flow!

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