Transitioning from Winter to Spring: Mastering the Seasons of Your Life
Written by Amanda Whittal.
As we anxiously moved into our long anticipated spring this year, - and even more quickly into summer, it seems - it is truly fascinating to view this changing of the seasons from a yogic angle.
The transition from winter into the spring and summer months can be likened to the continual flux of our own individual moods and physical well-being. As certain as the shifting of the seasons, we inevitably flow through states of happiness, joy and love, through experiences of difficulty, sadness and despair... and back again.
When we are overwhelmed by any of the more challenging states not associated with pleasure, their influence tends to trigger a mentality that the particular state will be as it is forever. Consider this in comparison to the seasons of the world. Winter was long this year, spring was nearly non-existent, and suddenly summer is upon us. The winter was not what we would call enjoyable. We complained, we suffered our way through it, but we never once subscribed to the belief that it would last eternally, or that we'd never see another sunny day. While the time period was uncertain, we knew, eventually, it would change. So it is with our own personal worlds.
Yoga provides a method of seeing our individual experiences in this way. Through the practice of asana, breathing, and mental focus, you can slowly learn to view your ever-changing physical and mental states from an objective, non-judgmental point of view. Rather than identifying with the sensations that arise in different poses (and ultimately, in your daily life), you feel them, you accept them... but they do not consume you. You learn to cultivate a natural recognition that these are nothing more than temporary feelings passing through you, while you remain firmly rooted in the knowledge that the perfection and wholeness of your essential being is unaffected by any of them. In this way, you are constantly aware of their impermanence, and thus become the 'eye of the storm', so to speak, as you allow yourself to be open to whatever comes; yet feeling no less stable within yourself. Practicing such awareness leads to remarkable confidence, grace and fulfillment, aiding you in truly becoming a master of the seasons of your life.
Tips for this process of expanding awareness
1. Find your center in these poses:
Come into the tree pose with the intention of focusing on your breath and maintaining a steady, calm connection to it, regardless of if your body is having difficult finding physical stillness in balance.
Come into the warrior poses, an expression of physical strength and stability, while maintaining a firm connection to the ease of your breathing. The intention is to allow the body to experience the challenge, while staying open and light internally.
Take 5 minutes per day to sit quietly. Focus on your heart, behind your breastbone. Allow thoughts to fade away and simply explore the feelings your heart is expressing at that moment. Allow them to be joyous, sad, angry... whatever they are, do not fear them. Bringing them to light clears them out, bringing you closer in touch with your inherent, loving nature.
I encourage you to try these practices, and truly hope that this brings a renewed sense of vitality to your life.
To your health.
- Read more of Amanda Whittal.
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