Spring is a wonderful time of year to start clearing out the old and welcoming the new! As you begin to clean your house from the hibernation of winter, it’s also a good time to tune into your body and mind.
Clear out any stuck energy that is no longer serving you by incorporating these eight yoga poses for spring and inspiring mantras into your yoga practice.
Mountain pose is a wonderful full body stretch, improving posture. Providing the necessary grounding energy to tune in to where you are holding tension in your body and how to release it.
Step-by-step: Standing with your feet together, arms at your side root down through your feet, drawing energy up through your legs, into your hips and spine, and keeping a steady gaze. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
Mantra: A powerful mantra to add to this pose is OM.
Om is thought to be the first sound heard when the universe was created. When each syllable is fully pronounced, A-U-M, you should feel the energy of the sound from the tips of your toes, all the way up through the crown of your head.
Chanting Om opens the throat chakra, creating more space and confidence for better communication.
Folding forward provides an invigorating release, allowing your oxygen and blood flow to reverse course. Allowing you to stay calm and see things from a different perspective while also letting go of tension in your spine.
Step-by-step: From Mountain pose, extend your arms to the sky and fold forward, let your head hang loose, taking deep breaths, and welcoming a natural lengthening in your spine and hamstrings. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
Mantra: A soothing mantra to add to this pose is Ong Namo Guru Dav Namo, which translates to:
I bow to the creative energy of the infinite.
I bow to the divine channel of wisdom.
Chanting this mantra helps to open the communication channel between the student and inner guru, and creates a sense of awareness to pursue new endeavors.
Downward-Facing Dog provides a deep, full body stretch that helps to let go of tension by allowing a space to pause and connect breath and body.
Sanskrit: Adho Mukha Svanasana
Step-by-step: The easiest way to get into this pose is by starting on hands and knees and lifting up through your hips. Drawing your hips to the sky as you lengthen through your spine and legs; bringing energy down into your hands and feet. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
Mantra: A supportive mantra to add to this pose is Sat Nam, which translates to:
This mantra is mostly used in the Kundalini yoga practice, however, it is a wonderful mantra to use when you need to pause and tune into your intuition.
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One-Legged King Pigeon pose is a deep hip opener that also opens the shoulders and chest - areas that hold a lot of tension, especially when starting to get out of your winter mode by adding travel or outdoor sports to your routine.
Sanskrit: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Step-by-step: Beginning from Downward-Facing Dog, extend one leg behind you, bending your knee and drawing it to the mat behind your wrist. Place your foot closer to your hip for a gentle stretch and further away for a deeper stretch, lengthen through your spine, and fold forward as far as feels comfortable. Switch sides when you are ready.
Mantra: A healing mantra to add to this pose is Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung, which translates to:
Sun, moon, earth, infinity, all that is in infinity, I am thee.
This mantra is commonly used to send healing energy to yourself and others. In Kundalini yoga, the typical pose for this is a seated pose; however, due to the fact that your hips are one of the tightest spaces in your body. I’ve found immense healing power in chanting this mantra while opening my hips in One-Legged King Pigeon pose.
Crescent Lunge Twist
Twists detoxify the body, improve digestion, and reduce anxiety. When performing a twist, your body allows a pause of the flow of blood to your digestive organs while you hold the twist and sends a new flow of fresh blood when you release.
This allows a detoxification at the cellular level and allows the movement of gas and impurities, while providing a sense of peace and well being as you connect your breath with each pose.
Sanskrit: Parivrtta Anjaneyasana
Step-by-step: The best way to enter this pose is from Warrior I pose, by lifting off your back heel, drawing hands to heart center, and twisting to bring your elbow to your front knee, while keeping hands at heart center. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
Mantra: A transformative mantra to add to this pose is Neti neti, which translates to:
Not this, not this.
By adding this mantra to a deep twist, you are harnessing the power to let go of something in your life that has been holding you back.
Child's pose calms the brain and provides grounding energy which is necessary to alleviate any stress or fatigue you may be experiencing in the moment.
Step-by-step: Starting on hands and knees, sit back on your heels, either reaching your arms straight out in front of you for a deeper back stretch or keeping them at your side for a more restorative experience.
Mantra: Adding Om Namah Shivaaya mantra to this pose allows peace within and without. It translates to:
I bow to Lord Shiva, the peaceful one.
This is one of my favorite balance poses to help me stay rooted and flexible when life seems chaotic.
Step-by-step: From Mountain pose, draw your weight into one foot while bringing the other foot to your ankle or thigh. Starting with your hands at heart center, slowly extend up, reaching to the sky and opening wide. Hold for as long as feels best for you…drawing in the strength and flexibility of a tree.
Mantra: Bija (seed) Mantras are a wonderful addition to Tree pose as they connect to the seven chakras and help to plant the seed of your intentions this spring to harvest in the fall.
LAM, VAM, RAM, YAM, HAM, OM, OM
Just as a great tree grows from a seed, a divine being resides in each bija. When chanting the bijas, you embrace the divine energy they represent.
Another wonderful twist to detoxify and release the pent up energy that is holding you back.
Sanskrit: Parivrtta Utkatasana
Step-by-step: Starting in Mountain pose, sink down through your hips, staying strong through your core and draw hands to heart center. Twist to one side, staying strong through your center. Hold for 3-5 breaths and switch sides, holding for 3-5 additional breaths.
Mantra: A gentle, nurturing mantra to add to this pose is Om Shanti, Shanti, which translates to:
Create a practice of peace and renewal with these yoga poses for spring!
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