It’s finally starting to warm up around the DC Metro area and our family could not be happier. With the first day of spring happening this Friday, March 20th, there’s much to look forward to. After being cooped up all winter, we are happy to say goodbye to cold weather and hello to warmer days and sunshine.
The Spring Equinox, also referred to as the Vernal Equinox, happens when the sun is directly overhead giving us equal amounts of day and night. Spring is most commonly thought of as a time of rebirth and renewal as we shake off old man winter and experience the abundance of new life springing up around us.
The first day of spring this year also boasts a special total solar eclipse, where the moon will completely mask the sun; the first since November 2013. This total eclipse will also open the portal of abundance, but you can read more about that here.
With all this blooming and buzzing excitement the air, I couldn’t resist sharing with you my top ten favorite ways to ring in spring.
1. Get outside and breathe
It’s time. Stop what you are doing and get outside. Walk the dog, chat with your neighbor, get off a stop early from the metro and walk the rest of the way to work. Do something to take in the fresh air. It will do wonders for your mood and help you breathe easy. Can’t get away from your desk? Take ten minutes to get outside an walk around the block or your office parking lot. Have a mobile office? Find ways to get outside and breathe deep.
2. Soak in the sunshine
It’s time to up your vitamin D stores. If you’re like me, the winter drains away all those good vibes built up during the warmer months. Vitamin D is essential to bone, dental and immune health and supports the colon. While you can take a supplement, the best source is the life-giving sun. Just ten minutes a day will help lift your mood and boost your health. Remember to wear your SPF!
3. Walk, run, play…do something
It’s time to get some exercise. This goes along with my first point, but instead of just getting outside for some fresh air, it’s also time to get outside and move. We all know that getting regular exercise every day is vital to a healthy lifestyle. Whether you enjoy walking, running or playing tennis, it’s time to dust off those sneakers, clear out the cobwebs and get moving.
4. Do 108 Sun Salutations
On the Spring Equinox we practice 108 Sun Salutations to celebrate the change of the seasons and the growth and renewal of life. Some people believe that doing 108 Sun Salutations is a way of breaking out of the darkness that accumulated from the long winter. It’s a way of “spring cleaning,” your body and your mind.
108 is a sacred number, most often referred to in yoga when using a mala for meditation. Celebrate the arrival of spring by creating your own living mala with 108 rounds. Not enough time for 108? Try 54 (half mala) or 27 (quarter mala)–or even try 10. This practice is meditation in motion.
Watch this video on Surya Namaskar to get started.
5. Recommit to your practice
Perhaps you started of the New Year full committed to your yoga and meditation practice, but in recent weeks you’ve found yourself getting caught up in the hubbub of life and now you’re barely making it to your mat. This is a perfect time to recommit to your practice. Start simple with a few minutes a day. Check out some of my videos for quick and easy practices you can do at home. They are good for every body. Or, get back in the groove with your meditation practice. I’ve got 7 great tips to help you get started–again.
6. Stop and smell the flowers
With spring comes the abundance of new life. The birds are chirping, the trees are budding and the flowers will start blooming any day now. I say, why not bring new life inside with a small bouquet of flowers or potted plant? Bringing the outdoors inside is a sure way to brighten your day and get you excited for the new season. I typically get my flowers at Trader Joe’s where they are fresh, beautiful and most importantly, affordable.
7. Plan your garden
Even if you don’t plan to go full scale on your garden this year because you don’t have time, don’t have space or don’t think you have the green thumb to get it done, you can plant one or two seeds and watch them grow. It’s an amazing process and easy to do. Nowadays you can find herb starter kits that work in virtually any urban setting. All you have to do is add water and go. It couldn’t be easier to experience the beauty of new life growing right before your eyes.
If you’re beyond the novice stage, than I assume you’re already on top of this one. Enjoy!
8. Get your hands dirty
It’s time to clean up the yard and get your hands dirty. Gardening and yard work are perfect ways to get grounded and get yourself organized for all the outside time you are making space for. In spring we may find ourselves in a tizzy with excitement. It’s important to stay grounded as we move through this buzzing fun time. Getting connected to Mother Earth is the best way to do this.
Not able to plant or pot? Take a walk barefoot in the grass and get connected.
9. Plant seeds of intention
Now is a great time to set or reconfirm your intentions for the year. In fact, I like to set my intentions once a month to really make sure I’m staying on track, but doing so with the start of the season is also just as effective. Though similar, setting an intention is different than setting a goal or making a resolution. When you set an intention you plant a seed that set the stage for radical growth and change. Intentions work on a very subtle layer and can even be used daily as affirmations. Think of your intention as a way to forge a new path for yourself. It’s powerful stuff!
10. Try something new
Ride the springtime energy by refreshing your horizons with a new hobby or project. It’s a great time to start something new or reconnect with a plan you may have put to the side this winter. Feel inspired by the rebirth and renewal of life taking place around you and liven up yourself. Now is the perfect time to get started.
What are your favorite ways to celebrate spring? Do you have a tradition or ritual you do every year? Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s celebrate together!