Spring Break Yoga

This has been a long time coming.

As we move into spring – hello 50+ degrees and RAIN! – busyness and frantic running around resume.

In Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga and an ancient form of natural medicine and healing developed in India, the spring season is represented by the elements Earth and Water. What do you get when you mix together lots of rain on the ground? Mud!

The thick, viscous quality of mud can cause us to want to slow down and it’s easy to feel literally bogged down with everything that needs to get done. Plus, don’t even get me started on the allergies.

Sometimes it can be hard to remember that all this rain is priming nature (and our bodies and minds) for rebirth. Yay lush green leaves and beautiful flowers! (I can’t wait to see the cherry blossoms bloom in DC this year!)

How do we get through the heavy feeling of spring? Ayurvedic wisdom recommends recommitting to movement and eating light. Taking a 5 minute yoga break is the perfect way to ensure you fit in some mindful movement and get out of your head.

How to choose the right workout for you

I’ve written before about the different personality features in Ayurveda. Each of us has all 3 features present. These features are called doshas. Even though all of us have all 3 doshas present, we typically have one dominant one and sometimes a close secondary one present in our personality and in our body. For more on the doshas and to figure out which dosha you are, check out this article.

If you’re super driven and quick to react (often with anger or irritation), you’re most likely a Pitta like me. Pittas are represented by the elements fire (heat!) and water (to cool us down). If you’re a Pitta, the best types of exercise for you are often the types that won’t overheat or aggravate your body and mind. Yoga is a great option, as is swimming, walking, hiking in nature, or any form of moderate exercise. The key for Pittas is to cool down.

If you’re always on the go with tons of ideas, love to talk, and have trouble finishing projects through to the end, you’re most likely a Vata. I also have a large amount of Vata in me, so I get you too. Vata is represented by the elements Air and Ether (space). You live up in your head, or you may have heard the phrase “your head is up in space.” The best exercise for Vata is yoga because it calms the mind at the same time that it tones and strengthens your body. Any outdoor activity is great for Vata as well, as being in nature helps to connect you back to earth – literally! The key for Vatas is to slow down.

**Quick caveat – you may notice that yoga is the best exercise for every dosha, which is attributed partly to this being a yoga blog, but also because Ayurveda was developed in India where yoga was the exercise format of choice back in the day. Also, yoga is really that type of exercise that can balance you out no matter who you are or what’s going on. That’s part of it’s magic! **

And finally, if you’re super strong, have great stamina and endurance, and sport an athletic build (or once did) you’re most likely a Kapha. Kaphas are represented by the elements of Earth and Water (which is why Spring is your season!). The thing about Kaphas is that even though they have this incredible capacity to endure, they also are the hardest to motivate. They’re stuck in their ways and sometimes those ways can be quite sedentary. This is why the best exercise for Kaphas is vigorous movement like Power Yoga or Vinyasa Flow. Today’s video is the perfect spring primer for Kaphas! The key for Kaphas is to move.

5 minute yoga break: spring break edition

Today’s video practice is all about building heat and moving through all that stuck, sticky energy you might be feeling lately. If you’ve been feeling bogged down, get moving! Even though this is yoga and even though it’s only 5 minutes (well, 6), this is challenging and will get your heart rate up. You’ll work your glutes, your quads, your calves, your hamstrings, and your core. Don’t forget to breathe!

Take a break from what you’re doing and get your blood moving! You can practice this once, once a day, or even 3 times a day for more movement. Use this video as a tool to fit in some movement in your busy day and be sure to let me know how you feel afterward in the comment section underneath the video on YouTube!