Spring Yoga Routine

When spring rolls around, it often brings on the urge to be more active, shaking off several months of hibernation and lethargy after the long winter. Not surprisingly, the impulse to get moving falls right in line with Ayurvedic recommendations on how to greet the arrival of spring. Standing poses and twists figure into this routine, which is intended to warm and invigorate your body.

Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog - Adho Muhka Svanasana
Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana. © Ann Pizer
Downward facing dog is always a good place to start. In fact, if you ever want to do some yoga at home, just start in a downward dog and let yourself flow naturally from there. If this is your first pose of the day, pedal out the legs by bending one knee at a time.


Lunge. © Barry Stone

Step the right foot inside the right hand, coming into a low lunge pose. Help the right foot into the correct position if you need to. Keep the back leg very strong and straight while bringing the front thigh parallel to the floor to begin to open the hips.

Down Dog Split

Down Dog Split
Down Dog Split. © Barry Stone

Lift your right leg back and high, coming into a down dog split. Keep the hips squared to the floor, even if it means you have to lower your right leg a little bit. On an exhale, bring your shoulders over your wrists, round the spine, bend your right knee, and bring your knee and nose to meet. Inhale and restraighten the right leg, coming back to the down dog spilt. Exhale and repeat. On the next exhale, step the right foot through to the front of your mat.

Revolved Side Angle

Revolved Side Angle Pose –- Parivritta Parsvakonasana. © Barry Stone

Keep your left hand at the front of your mat and lift your right arm up the ceiling, opening your chest to the right as you come into revolved side angle. Keep the right hand active and engaged. To open the chest further, imagine you are pressing the right palm into a wall. For this variation of the pose, stay up on the ball of the left foot instead of dropping the left heal.

[Note: this photo shows the pose with the left leg forward instead of the right.]

Warrior II

Warrior II
Warrior II - Virabhadrasana II. © Barry Stone

Drop your left heal and windmill your arms up into warrior II. Take five breaths here. keeping the back leg strong and the front knee over the ankle.

Reverse Warrior

Reverse Warrior. © Barry Stone

Maintain the depth of your front thigh as you let the left hand trickle down left leg, reversing your warrior. Bring the right arm next to the right ear as you back bend.

Half Moon Pose

Half Moon Pose - Ardha Chandrasana
Half Moon Pose - Ardha Chandrasana. © Barry Stone

Come back through warrior II on your way to half moon pose (ardha chandrasana), standing on the right leg. Keeping the lifted leg engaged with the foot strongly flexed helps create some stability in this pose. Use a block under the right hand if you need it.

Awkward Chair

Awkward Chair Pose - Utkatasan
Awkward Chair Pose - Utkatasana. © Barry Stone

Drop the left foot next to your right at the front of the mat. Bend both knees deeply as you take your seat back, coming into awkward chair. Raise the arms up the the ceiling. After a few breaths, bring the palms together at your heart. On an exhale, twist to the right, bringing your left elbow outside your right knee with the palms still pressed together. Keep your butt low and work on getting the forearms perpendicular to the floor. When you are ready, come back to center.

Standing Forward Bend

Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana
Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana. Barry Stone

Straighten both legs and leg yourself hang down in a forward bend. You can let the arms hang or hold onto opposite elbows if that feels good. After resting a few breaths, place the palms on the floor and move back to downward facing dog so you can repeat the entire sequence on the left side. Take a vinyasa between sides if you like.

Kapalabhati Breath

Half Lotus Pose - Ardha Padmasana. © Barry Stone

After your practice, come to sit in a comfortable, cross-legged position for kapalabhati breath. If you are not familiar with this pranayama technique, you can do ujjayi breath for a few minutes instead. Kapalabhati is a good way to build internal heat and clear congestion. Try doing three rounds of thirty breaths each. If you like, you can also do this before going on to the second side in the asana routine.

Continue Reading