Long, gloomy, dry and cold winter is about to end. The north hemisphere is welcoming the spring. March 21 is the day when day and night are equal and when spring officially begins. With the spring on the way, we can see some changes in our bodies as well as our sportive activites and yoga practice. Spring makes us feel more tired, heavier and as if we are carrying hundreds of kilograms of load and we may not know how to cope with this fatigue. Actually, it’s so simple. According to Ayurveda — the Indian science of living — the “kapha dosha” in our bodies increases when spring comes. For this reason, we feel ourselves heavier and tired and we do not even want to move. So, what type of yoga should we prefer in spring?

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Before discussing types of yoga during spring, it is better to talk about “doshas” in our bodies. Ayurveda divides types of bodies into three and name them as “dosha” including “vata”, “pitta and “kapha.” Every body consists of three doshas and one of the doshas prevail others and cause some phyical and spiritual changes from season to season. From person to person, one dosha prevails. Moreover, one dosha prevails over the other with seasonal changes. It is so natural that “vata dosha” increases in our bodies in long, cold, gloomy and dry winter. On the contrary, “kapha dosha” increases in our bodies as days get longer, flowers bloom and temperatures rises with spring. Kapha dosha balances elements water and earth in our bodies. Its duty is to stretch our joints, providing mucus to protect our sinuses, lungs and stomach and to regulate the amount and strength of our muscles.
When kapha dosha is in balance, we feel ourselves strong and solid. When it is out of balance, we may be exhausted, depressed and sleepy.
Therefore, it is important to balance the kapha dosha in our bodies when spring comes. Otherwise, we may have to cope with seasonal allergies and severe common cold.
When all these are taken into consideration, flow yoga is something I can recommend to yoga lovers to not only wake their heavy bodies up but also to feel themselves more dynamic. Particularly vinyasa and hatha classes, “surya namaskara” (sun salutations), standing asanas, backbends, inversions, arm balancing poses and twists are sine qua non poses of springtime. “Matsyasana” (fish), “salabhasana” (locust), “navasana” (boat), “dhanurasana” (bow), “simhasana” (lion), “ustrasana” (camel), “setu bandhasana” (bridge), “urdhva dhanurasana” (wheel), “sirsasana” (headstand), “sarvangasana” (shoulderstand), “pincha mayurasana” (peacock) and “adho mukha vrksasana” (handstand) open the chest, relieve congestion, stretch the throat and drains sinuses.

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If you follow a flow like “garudasana” (eagle), “prasaritta padottanasana” (wide-legged forward bend) variations, “sirsasana” (headstand), “bakasana” (crow), “chaturanga dandasana-bakasana” (low plank-crow), “bakasana (crow)-adho mukha vrksasana (handstand)”, “salamba sarvangasana-halasana-karnapidasana-salamba sarvangasana-setu bandhasana” (supported shoulderstand, plow, ear pressure pose, supported shoulderstand, bridge), this will not only balance the kapha dosha in your bodies but also make you feel yourself stronger and more energetic.
In our classes or own yoga practice, we can welcome spring and ease spring fever with just 108 sun salutations. When flowing with “surya namaskara” series, we can focus on breath and add more oxygen and “prana” (life force) to our bodies with the breath, we can wake up and strengthen our bodies and we can clean and detox our minds as well.
Following such flows, you can go on working your core muscles, add some twists to your practice and do pranayama like “kapalabathi” (skull shining), “bhastrika” (breath of fire) or “agni sara” (cleansing breathing exercise) at the beginning or end of the class. You can also use “uddiyana bandha” (abdominal lock) throughout the class and wake your body up during springtime. Twists will also clean and detox our organs and strengthen the metabolism. Core strengthening asanas would activate the “element fire” in our bodies and can help us revive and feel more energetic.
Moreover, liver and gall bladder is overworking during cold winter days since we consume more caffeine, alcohol and sugar and eat more oily and protein-strong food. In order to relieve the liver and gall bladder, we should focus on inner thighs, groins and the outer parts of the legs. If we give priority to yin yoga and work the meridians believed to pass through the inner thighs, groins and outer parts of the legs, wee may relieve the liver and gall bladder, clean them up and revive them. “Swan”, “sleeping swan”, “dragonfly”, “frog”, “shoelace” are some of yin yoga poses for liver and gall bladder. Also we may do some hatha yoga poses such as “garudasana” (eagle), “prasaritta padottanasana” (wide angle pose), and “gomukasana” (cow face pose) for our liver and gall bladder.
As a result, spring is the time of the year when day and night are equalized, then days start to get longer after the equinox and nights start to shorten. Therefore, balance is so important. That is why we give priority to balancing the kapha dosha in our bodies in our yoga practice. We want to overcome fatigue and wake our bodies up and get more energetic in springtime and we focus on vinyasa yoga, i.e. flow yoga styles.
No matter what they say! Whether spring is a season that makes us feel ourselves heavy and tired, I feel happier as nature wakes up, flowers bloom, trees get greener, sun shines, days get longer and birds return to the north hemisphere. And I forget about the fatigue and heaviness as I feel happy. My body, soul and mind enlightens and shines with the sun rising up every day.
Yoga… Whether vinyasa, hatha or yin or any other type of yoga. I always think that what is important is the desire to do yoga irrespective of its style or the season. The type is not important. This is totally your choice and preference as long as you wake your body, soul and mind up, be in harmony with your body, mind and soul with the changing seasons, and just act in line with what they want.