The tradition of Spring Cleaning can be extended to yoga practice on a multitude of levels. Physically, it is important to recognize the body’s energy systems, and how they respond to seasonal cycles. Our lower bodies are the location of waste energy, or apana. Other ways to describe apana are a heaviness, dullness, or lethargy. During winter, apana accumulates in the lower chakras (1,2 and 3). In a physical yoga practice it is healthy to ‘stir up’ this energy and allow it to release.
Some ways to stir it up are to focus on asanas that produce heat and strength such as strong standing postures (1st Chakra) held to the point of intensity, or with a strong vinyasa flow. Using Ujjayi breath encourages the burning of waste energy and its subsequent release. Postures that wring out the waste, such as twists (3rd chakra) and postures that create the space for the apana to release (2nd chakra) all play an important role in the purification process.
For all of you who joined us this week for apana-releasing practices that focused on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd chakras hopefully you stirred up, burned off and released some of that apana heaviness, and now feel lighter in body, mind and spirit!