Put a spring in your step
It's time to get moving! By Gillian Davies
It’s finally happening. The buds are blooming on the trees, it’s a little bit warmer outside and colour and light seems to be returning to nature. This is spring, the season of expansion, motivation and the beginning of our journey towards the height of yang energy and the summer!
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, each season is associated with a corresponding element, pair of meridians, a sense and an emotional expression. Spring is the wood element, and it is all about expansion as nature seems to return to life everywhere we look. This explosion is only possible because of the seasons and elements which came before – the water element and winter encouraged a sense of withdrawal and conservation of energy.
Just like nature, we have been hibernating over the last few months, restoring our energy and resting to allow us to fully embrace the energy of the wood element in spring.
This is a great time to capitalise on the upward expansion of energy by beginning a new exercise regime, heading to the gym or starting a new form of yoga. Anything that gets us moving would be a great way to incorporate the wood element, which is all about motivation and moving forwards. Think back to those New Year Resolutions, this might be the opportunity to give them a new lease of life, with nature on your side to propel you forward.
The wood element is associated with the meridians of the liver and gallbladder, which run along the inner and outer legs, and into the front of the torso. Working with poses to stress the fascia here may help to encourage a free flow of energy within the meridian lines, which would support you in developing your vision of what’s to come for the rest of 2023.
As the wood element is also associated with the sense of sight, this is a great time to work on our overall vision for our lives – to set goals and use the energy of the season to see them through to completion. This is a great time to create a vision board and to practice manifesting the life we want to create. Try guided visualisations or candle gazing meditation to tap into your inner vision.
There are also plenty of ways to embrace the wood element in your yoga practice. Try starting your session with some gentle yin poses working into the legs to help encourage energy to flow through the meridians of the season and to give you the chance to build your yoga session slowly and mindfully.
A wide-legged child’s pose works well to support the meridians of the wood element while offering the opportunity to focus on the breath and to rest the eyes. By closing our eyes here, we can tune into how we are feeling inside, with no expectations or judgement. Take several slow, deep breaths here, feeling the diaphragm move as you breathe into the full extent of the lungs. This could be the full extent of your yoga practice today, but if you start slowly, you might find the motivation from the wood element to keep moving.