by Gabrielle Marchese: In Ayurveda, springtime is considered Kapha season…
Kapha is the dosha governed by water and earth elements and has qualities of lethargy, heaviness, and stagnation when imbalanced. Seasonal transitions can be taxing on our bodies, and the onset of springtime can leave us feeling heavy, fatigued, and uninspired. It is essential that we balance these feelings by incorporating more heating and invigorating ways of movement and rituals. This sequence was designed to clear any stagnation from the mind and invigorate the body. Enjoy this practice when you need an energetic boost or reset.
Begin in a seated position. Take a few deep breaths to settle. Close down your eyes and open up your arms at shoulder height and take a deep breath in, exhale and swiftly bring your arms in front of you, leaving a few inches in between the hands, opening the eyes when your hands are in front of your face. Inhale and quickly open the arms back up, close the eyes, and exhale to bring your palms in front of you, not quite joining the hands as you blink the eyes open. Repeat this pattern for twenty rounds, extending the arms out and taking a deep inhale when you are finished, holding at the top for ten counts, then slowly exhaling. Sit in silence for a few moments to allow the practice to integrate, then either move on or repeat the practice 1-2 more times.
Come onto your hands and knees into a tabletop position. Stack your wrists underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips. Keep a long neutral spine, and on an inhale, drop your belly and gaze toward the ceiling. On your exhale, press the mat away and create a c curve with your spine as you tuck your chin into your chest and direct your gaze toward your navel. Continue moving in this pattern at your own pace, linking breath to movement for up to 20 rounds.
Come to stand at the top of your mat in tadasana, palms by your sides and feet hips-width distance apart. Close down your eyes and take a few deep breaths. On an inhale, extend the arms overhead and exhale to fold over your legs and come into a forward bend. From here, inhale to halfway lift, and exhale to step back to plank. Lower to the ground or halfway for chaturanga, then inhale and open up through your heart into a cobra or upward-facing dog. Press back into downward facing dog. Take a few breaths, direct your gaze toward your palms, and step or jump to meet your feet between your hands. Inhale reach the arms overhead and come into tadasana. Repeat this five times.
Next time you are standing in tadasana at the top of your mat, separate your feet hips-width distance, and sink your seat low, reaching the arms overhead to come into chair pose. Keep your knees level and ensure that you can see your toes in front of your knees when you look down. Inhale for a few breaths in chair, relaxing your shoulders away from your ears.
Bring your hands into prayer on your next exhale and twist to your right, linking your left elbow outside of your right thigh. Maintain a long, neutral spine as you twist from your midsection. Hold for five breaths before transitioning through the center to the other side.
Transition into a downward-facing dog and shift forward into a high plank. Stack your wrists underneath your shoulders and lift your hip points toward your ribs, creating a long neutral spine. Engage your core and your thighs, pressing the ground away as you hold and breathe. Stay in high plank for five breaths.
Come into a seated position. Extend your legs at a 45-degree angle and extend your arms forward by your sides. You may bend your legs, keeping your shins parallel to the mat to modify. Keep a long, neutral spine and engaged core. Find a steady gaze at something in front of you and hold for ten breaths.
Rollover onto your back and bring both knees into your chest. Scoot your hips a few inches to the left and drop your knees at hip height to the right. Extend your arms out to a “T” at shoulder height and gaze over your left shoulder for a twist. Hold for ten breaths, relaxing deeper with every exhale. Inhale to come through the center and switch sides. Finish off the practice with a brief savasana or meditation to allow the effects and energy to settle.