With spring in full swing, it’s time to embrace this vibrant season! The days are getting longer, buds are starting to show on the ends of brown twigs, and the birds are coming back from a long winter south. Let’s take a look at some simple yet beautiful tips to spring clean your mind and body.
1. Embrace change—the good AND the bad.
When someone dies, moves away, or gets laid off, we call it loss. The law of the Universe, however, will always replace one thing with something else. That is just the way it is. And so this loss should be more appropriately referred to as change.
For instance, my husband works on a small island exactly 997 miles away from our home in Michigan seven months out of the year. He works there over the summer months while I raise our children and earn an income here.
Each spring, at Easter, I anticipate his departure with sadness and grief. It feels like a big, empty hole—a LOSS. But is it, really?
What is gained by the absence of his physical presence is a much greater emotional connection with him amplified by the distance between us. I have more time to myself to nourish other relationships in my life, focus on the children, study more yoga, take longer walks, and connect with family.
In that sense, the loss I feel is readily replaced by gratitude and fulfillment. I have embraced the life we have chosen, including the time we are apart, in order to build a more beautiful future together.
This future includes the dream of the two of us living in a bright house built on stilts overlooking the ocean with a pair of SUP boards and beach cruisers parked next to our organic garden.
2. Declutter and detox.
Decluttering your space will help you declutter your mind. Spring clean your home, wash bedding and store heavy comforters, steam clean carpets and upholstery, and open the windows.
Your living space is a reflection of you. Cleaning away the dust bunnies of your space will allow you the ability to open your heart and mind in order to detox emotional crud you may have been sweeping under the rug all winter.
Try hanging up colorful art, replacing the drab throw pillows with bright colors (yes, yellow and orange!), and invest in some simple house plants. Get rid of the heaviness of all that comfort food by detoxing your body, too. Cut out sugar, alcohol, dairy, and meat for a week or two.
Replace those things with lots of water, yoga, rest, colorful fruits, and green veggies. Combined with some twisting yoga postures to stimulate your digestive fire, both your body and mind will feel amazing!
Don’t underestimate the power of the prana! Pranayama (control of breath) is the BASIS of yoga. Mind control equals breath control, and breath initiates movement (asana).
Have you ever tried to do a balancing posture while holding your breath? It is so much harder! Coming back to your breath is fundamental and oh, so important.
Try a few rounds of anuloma viloma (alternate nostril breathing) before morning meditation to stimulate and balance the nadis (energy channels). Or try kapalabhati (breath of fire) to warm the body and aid in that great spring detox.
Simply stop what you are doing and take three deep, yogic breaths to feel rejuvenated and ever-present in the moment.
The season of spring is the season of change. It’s also the time to plant roots that will sustain us in the upcoming summer and fall. Just as our yoga practice teaches us to welcome the good and bad that accompanies change, so we must harvest this wisdom in the walk of life.