Spring Inspiration for the Yogi Body, Mind and Spirit

Posted by Erin Aquin on May 22, 2015 1:10:36 PM

IMG_3314-442855-edited.jpgIt has been a while my friends!

There has been a big shift in my life (which I will tell you about another time) and it has pulled me away from writing here more regularly, but I have some seriously wonderful goodies in store for you including a brand new audio yoga class.

Last month, I gave you tools to get your Spring off to a great start. Now that everything is starting to bloom and the potential of this season is more visible it is the perfect time to embrace and utilize the energy of the Wood element.

According to Chinese Medicine, springtime and the Wood element go hand in hand. Just as the branches of a healthy tree continue to grow and spread outwards to see as much of the surrounding landscape as possible, the energy of Wood aids in providing you with greater perspective and a big picture view of the world and your purpose in it. Paired with the excitement of spring, there is a major boost of natural energy available to help you follow through with the greater vision you have for your life.

Doesn't that sound great? 

Yet with all of this abundant energy, most of us are in a rush to get to summer. I notice the allure of hot summer days spent outside by the pool or on a beach especially on those rainy, cool spring mornings. If you too find yourself looking forward to summer and missing out on the best of spring, here are a few of my favourite ways to connect with and harness the best that this season has to give for your mind, body and spirit.

1. Take a Hike 

At the beginning of May, I was lucky enough to take a teaching trip to Hamilton. Having time away from the city allowed me several opportunities to take part in one of my favourite spring activities, hiking. For me, this is the perfect time of year perfect for a good long stroll in the woods before it overflows bugs and nature's bountiful allergens.

A good technical hike is often enough to get your ticker pumping, clear out mental cobwebs and give you space to contemplate your state of being. If outdoor time is not part of your spring routine, why not make time for a nature walk this weekend?

Bonus points if you snap a picture and tag me @aquinyoga on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram so I can see where you went (pictured above is one of my favourite spring walking trails in The Dundas Valley). 

2. Take Action, Don't Just Make Plans

While I may not be the worlds biggest cheerleader for meticulous goal setting, the Wood element loves a good plan to help connect the dots between an idea and the full manifestation of a big picture goal. In fact, a common metaphor for the Wood organs is that they are like army Generals. A good General knows where and when to attack and spends time considering all manner of strategy based on the overall goal they are trying to achieve and the resources available. A General must also ensure that all the troops are disciplined and fully understand their role in the mission. 

A common problem that most people run into is they get so tied up creating a perfect plan that they waste precious energy and inspiration that would be better suited in taking action.

For instance, have you ever had a great idea and then spent mass amounts of time working out the logistics and or the three year vision?

Maybe you went ahead and set important deadlines in your calendar and made a massive to do list, breaking down every little step along the way- I sure have.

And guess what?

It felt great! In fact it felt so great that I lost the drive to actually take action because I felt so satisfied with my "planning work" that I actually didn't lift a finger on ANY of the actual tasks I had laid out.

If strict step-by-step planning works for you, then fantastic. But personally, all of the major projects I have completed, from writing my book to building this community did not happen by following a ridged plan. They came about by utilizing the inspiration I felt for a big idea to take action.  

If goal setting isn't working for you, try taking small steps everyday for a month towards your big goals. If by the end of that time you are no further ahead then try another stategy, but my experience is that small steps lead to big progress.

3. Challenge Your Status Quo

Spring and the Wood element are relentlessly disciplined in their quest to grow. Stand before a tree or a flower in bloom and consider all the hard work it took to get there. It had to push it's way to the surface of the earth, perhaps moving around rocks and roots on it's way, trusting that the sun would be there to help it grow once it peeked out. Then there were bugs, animals and perhaps harsh weather conditions to deal with. How inspiring to know that what started encased in a tiny seed or nut continued to grow and develop into the beautiful tree or flower before you. 

Internally, we can mirror this energetic will to thrive by challenging the status quo in our own lives and moving out of the comfort zone into a new challenge. Spring is the perfect time of year to take on a daily early morning yoga or meditation practice, begin a creative project or learn a new skill.

The energy of inquiry so bountiful during this season may be just what you need to take a leap and try something new.

Now I want to know, how are you using Spring and Wood energy these days to culitvate growth in your life or on your mat? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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