Winter Turns To Spring From the end of January to mid-March in the Northern Hemisphere From the end of July to mid-September in the Southern Hemisphere
The light is expanding, and the earth is awakening, bringing transformation, regeneration, and renewal. Use the solar energy of the season to fire up your intention to initiate change. Let go of the old to make room for the new. This is a time of new beginnings.
Between now and the Summer Solstice in June (December in S. Hemisphere) the light will be expanding. The sun is in its waxing phase, and this means that the direction of energy is moving from: moon to sun; dark to light; water to fire; yin to yang; inner to outer; and from contemplation to action. Whatever seeds are planted now will expand and grow. Over the coming weeks the year will rev up and we too prepare to rev up our own energy, so that we can make the most of this expansive, fertile, growing season energy. Gradually we make a shift from inward reflection towards taking outward action. We also consider how we’ll stay connected to our inner wisdom whilst acting in the world. The world is waking up after her winter sleep; new green shoots appear, flowers open, and blossom buds are forming on trees. In our own life we notice green shoots too and we ask: what do we wish to blossom in our life over the coming months?
Time to Spring Clean?
If you’re feeling run-down at the end of winter, you might feel the need to give yourself a good spring clean and detox. This makes it a good time to look at the yogic approach to purity (sauca), which is one of the observances, or the personal disciplines, that make up the second of Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga. Yoga practice does undeniably have a beneficial, purifying and cleansing effect on our system. Yoga postures, breathing practices, meditation and relaxation all help us to let go and detoxify, on both a mental and physical level. However, it’s important to make sure that self-discipline doesn’t turn into an unhealthy self-denial of enjoyment of all the good things in life. Moderation in all things, including moderation!
In the world today, there is money to be made from making people (women in particular) feeling “impure” and bad about themselves. Our yoga practice can provide a great antidote to this as it teaches us to focus on how we feel on the inside, rather than obsessing about our outward appearance. Which yoga techniques have you found help you to access a sense of being ok as you are? What else has helped you to feel comfortable in your own skin and good about yourself?
If we do find ourselves striving to create a bubble of purity, it’s worth widening the lens, and shifting our focus from our own individual purification to working to create a world that is pure and unpolluted for everyone to enjoy. What small steps could you take to make this dream a reality? The intense beauty of the earth in spring reminds us of the need to take care of this precious planet that we call home.
Tree Wisdom in Winter to Spring
When you are out and about be on the lookout for signs of fresh growth and new life appearing on trees, such as blossom or leaf buds. Also see if you can notice signs of life around the tree; such as spring flowers, birds, or small animals. Use all your senses to mindfully enjoy these signs that nature is coming back to life again.
In the centre of my garden grows a rowan tree, encircled by a hexagonal wooden table, built for us by a carpenter friend. Every year during the winter the tree is laden down with orange berries, which the birds love to feast upon. According to myth the rowan tree offers protection when it is planted near the house. Rowan is considered to be a magical tree because on each berry there is to be found a star-shaped pentacle, which is a magical symbol. The Rowan Tree has taught me how to create an extraordinary, magical gift out of ordinary, everyday ingredients; and to keep on giving that gift the whole year round. It was mindfully spending time around rowan trees that inspired me to write my Meditation Upon a Rowan Tree in Winter to Spring that can be found in my Yoga Through the Year Book.
Winter to Spring Meditation Questions
This is the start of the growing season and nature is coming back to life after her winter sleep. Whatever is set in motion now will expand and grow.
What do I wish to grow more of in my life?
How will I stay in touch with my inner wisdom whilst taking outward action?
What do I wish to grow in my relationships? What are the seeds of love I will be planting out?
In spring nature is at her most creative. How can I draw inspiration form the natural world and allow my own creativity to blossom?
As new life unfolds, and the first signs of spring appear, what are my plans for getting out and about to enjoy the beauty of the season?
A full set of Winter to Spring Meditation Questions can be found in the Yoga Through the Year book.
Yoga Through the Year Book
In the Winter Turns to Spring chapter of the Yoga Through the Year book you will also find:
A Winter to Spring Yoga Practice
The Blossoming Hands exercise
How to Grow Your Own Yoga Practice
Ideas for Trees and Creativity during winter to spring
Yoga philosophy and inspiration for the season...and more...
The Yoga Through the Year Book will be published July 2019 (August 1st in UK). Available online, or order locally from your favourite bookshop, or from my publishers Llewellyn Worldwide To get updates on the book please subscribe to our mailing list.