Exhale. Exhale. Exhale.
Spring and Autumn are seasons of pivoting, of the in-between, according to Chinese Medicine.
Spring is all about the transition from the full cold and constriction of winter to the full sun and full flowering of summer.
Spring is generally a season of growth (towards the warmth and towards the light) and autumn is a season of letting go.
But this spring in particular, as we begin to emerge from a global pandemic, there is still (appropriately) an abundance of caution in our global human community. It’s definitely not time to throw caution to the wind and to wildly grow towards the light.
This spring I’ve been finding notes of autumn in the passing days. And I’ve taken comfort in what autumn can offer us to amplify the energy of spring.
In the yoga classes I’m teaching this month I’m focusing on two principles--building core strength, so that we can grow forth from the center of our being, and I’m also focusing on the exhale.
The exhale is all about creating space, and I’ve been surprised by how much deeper I can get into poses like forward folds, twists, and side bends (pictured above!) by really pushing out the breath then bending, folding, or twisting from a place of emptiness internally. I always “knew” that but I hadn’t really practiced it so intentionally for awhile.
A sense of spaciousness can radically deepen our experiences in life, both physiologically and also mental-emotionally.
If you’ve been feeling bound-up, cooped-up or are generally just over the restrictions imposed by COVID, I will invite you to focus on your exhale this spring.
Try this simple technique in the mornings as you wake up: inhale through the nose for a count of four then exhale through the nose for a count of six. Lengthening your exhale will activate your parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system, allowing you to access your wellbeing throughout the day.
You might also want to try blowing the breath out through an open mouth.
Find the space inside of you. Find the resolve to feel spacious in your belly, in your body, in your life.
Spring is the season of wind, of change. Forcing the breath out, letting go of the old, will help us all to make space for our beautiful new world.