I love the emergence of Spring,

the symbolism of renewal in our physical, natural world, the idea of spring cleaning (note I didn’t mention the act of spring cleaning!), knowing that summer is just around the corner, this makes me feel good.

It’s a damp time of year, a time that weather related change can’t be ignored by even the most skeptical. Weather lore from long ago tells us:

If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. 

and March winds and April showers? Bring forth May flowers.

This calls to my mind feelings of peaceful change and beauty to come. An idea that if you weather the storm now, you’ll smell the roses later. Asking for patience and resilience to make it through mist, fog, and even wet socks.

It’s been a strange time for me, despite the knowledge that sunnier days and the high temps I love so much are only a few months off. I haven’t felt the comfort, or physical warmth from the warmer days. I find with this unease comes a restlessness, an excess in the elements of air and space that if in balance could soothe and calm me. It is of course, another reason I turn to my practice for grounding and guidance. I began the month adding a pranayama (breathwork) exercise called Kapalbhati into the practice.

Kapalbhati or skull-shining breath, serves to brighten my mind and give clarity to my thoughts.  After several rounds of this breathwork, I feel my energy lift to the surface with a heightened sensitivity to my seated shape. The movement in my belly allows me to feel pliable opposed to the heavy, stagnant, weightiness that anchors me this season.

Breathing in rapid succession can be a funny feeling at first, especially when accompanied by short bursts of sound from your exhalations. However, shortly into the practice, I notice calm arriving with the rhythmic breathing pattern. It’s an exceptional practice for me at this time of year and I encourage you to incorporate it into your practice.

I can’t be sure of when I’ll feel the heaviness lift this Spring, and I won’t try to reason it away, but I will sit with it, work with it, and take time to listen to all that is resisting the emergence of spring within me. And through this deep looking and listening, I hope to learn more and emerge a lighter, luminous self.

Pranayama: Kapalbhati

Method: In a seated, supported posture, deeply inhale, allow the exhalation to be a short burst of air from both nostrils simultaneously. Allow the inhale to come naturally and continue the exhalations in rapid succession.

Length: Build up to 3 rounds of 50 - 150 exhales a round

When: On a nearly empty stomach

Why: To encourage brightness, clarity, and lucidity in the body and mind