Here we are, friends. Springtime! You see it in headlines, read it in people’s faces, hear it in their voices.
An approaching lightness.
Eager for warmth.
Anything to move away from the harshness of winter.
So often we slip into forward thinking during seasonal changes, keen to move on. We firmly plant ourselves in the brightness of summer days, late spring’s blooms on our minds. We acquire a thought pattern of “once this is over, then that other thing will finally happen,” a practice in leaving the present behind, wishing away the current situation.
How do we best employ yoga in these times? How do we keep ourselves firmly rooted in the now? This time of year, I see yoga being used as a tool to shed winter physically. Oppressively increasing talk of slimming down, detoxing and summer bodies has me writhing inside. “Yoga Shred” popping up in my social media newsfeed makes me wonder how we’ve come so far from the origin of the practice. When yoga is used as a tool to achieve an aesthetic outcome, are we really practicing yoga? Or are we simply diluting and polluting an art form and calling it yoga, adding shame to feed our societal disease of needing to be a certain something?
Instead of looking to what we “should” look like, who we “should be” by the time spring and summer roll around, I invite you to join me in a fresh practice for seasonal change. It doesn’t involve sweat, deep twists or “shedding” anything. Here are the rules for my season’s edge practice:
- Use a fresh sheet of paper.
- Write with your favorite writing utensil.
- Make a simple list of five things for which you are grateful.
- They must currently exist.
- Not in the future. Not in the past.
- Right now. As things are right this moment.
As an example, I’ll give you mine, from this morning:
- Sunrise to sunset stretching longer
- My mom (always)
- Winter’s restorative introversion
- The reappearance of robins outside my window
Embrace what you already have and who you already are.
We are multifaceted.
We are constant & also ever-changing.
We are like the seasons.
From me to you,
— Emma Doyle