Spring might still be about a month away, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start thinking about how you can prepare for spring a few weeks ahead of its arrival.
Spring is the season of rebirth, so you’ll want to focus on rituals that cleanse, detoxify, invigorate, and energize you. After a long and hopefully restful winter, your spirit has had time to rejuvenate itself so it may guide your growth into the next version of yourself.
Try some of the following rituals to help you step into the new season with ease.
1. Deep Clean Your Yoga Mat
Spritzing your yoga mat with an all natural, cleansing yoga mat cleaner after every use is always a good idea, but deep cleaning your mat at least once or twice every new season (or more depending on use) is just as necessary. A clean, bacteria-free mat is just as good for you physically as it is for you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Take your mat into the bathtub so you can submerge both sides in water and give it a good scrub down with a gentle brush or washcloth before hanging it out to dry completely for at least a full 24 to 48 hours (making sure to keep it out of direct sunlight).
2. Detox from Sweet, Heavy Winter Foods
In winter, Ayurveda (yoga’s ancient sister science in holistic health) states that we should focus on fuelling our bodies with healthy comfort foods that are sweet, dense, and oily to help combat vata dosha. Come spring, we need to shift our diets to balance the accumulated kapha or else risk bringing that winter hibernation-induced sluggishness into the new season.
Now is the time to start stocking up on foods with bitter, astringent, and pungent tastes. Just before spring’s arrival, aim to completely cut out red meat, cooked oils, sugar, dairy, alcohol and caffeine for a temporary detox period (2 to 3 weeks) while favouring green veggies, fruits, whole grains, olive oil, avocados, and lots of water.
3. Spend a Few Minutes a Day Practicing Pranayama
Simple breathing techniques can help clear out mental clutter that you wish to leave behind while also helping to combat seasonal allergies that you might suffer from in the spring.
Sit comfortably in a seated position and inhale naturally or use your ujjayi breath to fill your lungs with air. Hold it for a few seconds and then slowly exhale until all the air has escaped from your longs. Do at least 3 to 6 rounds of this every day as meditation before or after your regular yoga practice.
4. Use Essential Oils That Are Energizing, Sweet, Floral, and Herbaceous
It might still a be a little chilly outside to open all the windows, so in the meantime, aromatherapy can help freshen up the air in your home or yoga space. Whether you choose to use a diffuser, make your own room spray, or massage an essential oil of choice into your skin along with a carrier oil is completely up to you.
Eucalyptus is a top choice for its invigorating aromas that can help balance congestion in the sinuses and lungs. Lemon, on the other hand, can help wake you up, brighten your spirits, and help you feel energized.
5. Start an Indoor Herb Garden
Starting your own garden gives you the opportunity to learn a new hobby and get closer to nature well before everything outside blossoms and turns green. Think of it like your own little ceremonial celebration of the new season!
The seeds for most herbs and veggies should be planted about 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frost date, and while that can vary by region, you can most likely plan to do so in March or April.