Adapting Your Yoga Asana Practice and Diet for Spring
Recently, I was contacted with an article submission for my blog. The author is none other than Melina Meza, an accomplished Seattle yoga teacher with 16+ years of experience under her belt.
From the bio on her website:
Melina has been teaching yoga full time at 8 Limbs Yoga Centers (Seattle, Washington) since 1997 and is the Co-Director of the 8 Limbs Teachers’ Training Program. In addition to leading group classes, workshops, and private sessions, Melina facilitates year-round yoga retreats in extraordinary sanctuaries around the world. Her continual growth as a teacher and practitioner has been influenced by studying with numerous instructors, including Dr. Robert Svoboda, Scott Blossom, Sarah Powers, Jin Sung, Gary Kraftsow, and Kathleen Hunt.
Melina holds a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University, where she deepened her interest in the world of whole foods nutrition. While attending Bastyr, she found what her body, mind, and spirit had been waiting for—yoga.
Though I’ve never met her, I’m going out on a limb (insert collective groan here) and guess that she knows a thing or two about yoga and nutrition. So, without further ado, here’s Melina’s article: Tips and ideas how to adapt your yoga asana practice and diet to accommodate the beauty unfolding in spring.
A few excerpts:
It makes sense that many of us are drawn to the idea of cleansing and purging this time of year—it’s time to lighten our load. Here are a few diet adaptations that will help prepare your body and mind for spring:
- Decrease heavy, oily, cold, fatty foods.
- Increase spicy, bitter, and astringent foods (arugula, mustard greens, kale, strawberries, blueberries, and sprouts).
- Increase your vitamin, nutrient and chlorophyll intake with early dark green vegetables and sprouts.
- In general, eat light and eat local.
Spring Cleaning Doesn’t Have to Be a Pain in the Asana
(I took a creative license to put that heading in. Cheap joke points?)
Now that winter has passed, it’s time to start sending some TLC to the liver and gallbladder, which may have been working overtime during the winter with diets heavy in fat, protein, caffeine, alcohol or sugar.
In regards to asana, the inner legs and outer leg lines correlate to the meridian lines that feed into the liver (inner legs) and gallbladder (outer legs). Spring is a great time to deepen your relationship to poses such as Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (pigeon), Garudasana (eagle), Prasaritta Padottanasana (wide leg forward bends and Gomukasana (cow face), as these poses help you connect to and activate the liver and gallbladder meridians.
Following are two asana sequences specifically geared for spring.
Yin/restorative class sequence for spring:
Lying on your back:
Supta Baddha Konasana, Happy Baby Pose, Wide Leg Splits (while supported by the floor)
Easy Twist with bent legs, “Thread the Needle”
On the knees or seated:
Wide Leg Child’s Pose, Sphinx, Pigeon, Ardha Matysendrasana, Gomukasana, Upavista Konasana, Padmasana
Seasonal Vinyasa Yoga Spring class sequence:
Supta Baddha Konasana, Happy Baby Pose, Wide Leg Split, Supta Padangusthasana (standard and twist), Abdominal work with Twists, Abdominal work with legs in Garudasana, Lion’s Breath, Fire Hydrant, Spinal Rolls, Uddiyana Bandha, Agni Sara
Sun Salutes with Salabhasana, Squats, Surya Namaskar B, Garudasana, Prasaritta Padottanasana Series, Sirsasana, Bakasana, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (pigeon), Gomukasana, Double Pigeon, Pursvottanasana, Mayurasana (peacock), Bharadvajasana, Maha Mudra, Janu Sirsasana, Setu Bandha, Halasana with Padmasana…finishing poses.
Wait, does this mean butter with a side of bread is out? I think I’ll have to prolong my winter for a little while longer. For those of you who are ready for spring, check out Melina’s full article here: Seasonal Vinyasa Yoga – Spring [PDF].