Spring is the element of Wood. Wood represents growth and having a vision – a purpose in life. Without this vision, no new life would grow forth. Instead of acquiring more material growth, spring is about acquiring inner spiritual growth.
The emotion that is associated with spring is anger. Anger resides in the liver and arises to restore boundaries that have been crossed. Being mindful of how and when we express our anger is important so that we may help to either create or maintain healthy boundaries.
A few fun and simple ways to help encourage and support yourself this Spring are…
1. Vision Boarding
A fun craft project for all ages, young and old!
All you need are:
- Glue or glue stick
- Old magazines
To start, begin looking through the old magazines and have fun picking out words, phrases, pictures that speak to you. Cut or tear them out and then glue them to your choice of paper, size and color. Explore and create and see what comes up! Then put it in a place where you can see it every day to inspire you.
2. Yoga pose to help detoxify the body
Any and all Twists! Twists help to stimulate and ring out the inner organs – think of it as ringing out a wet rag. Twisting stimulates the liver and increases digestion.
Easy Seated Twist (Parivrtta Sukhasana): This pose is suitable for all levels from beginners to advanced. Avoid practicing this pose if you have a knee injury. If you have other medical concerns, consult your doctor first. Always work with your own limits and never force any pose.
- Start in a comfortable or easy seat, sitting criss cross style on the floor. If your hips are tight, you can sit on a blanket, bolster or block.
- Align your head, neck, and spine in front of you.
- Lengthen your spine from your base up through the crown of your head.
- Place your right hand on the floor back behind you. Bring your left hand to the outside of your right knee. Pressing your right hand into the floor inhale to lengthen your spine, exhale twist over to your right.
- Repeat and hold for a few breaths.
- Exhaling when coming back to center.
- Repeat the pose on the other side for the same length of time.
- Exhaling coming back to center and out of the pose.
Sitting in a quiet space for any amount of time helps to clear the mind and body in order to allow new feelings or thoughts to arise. Practiced regularly, mediation can help one gain clarity and vision.
4. Ask These Questions: Wood and You (Cowan,135)
These questions will help you to see how and where you grow. Stand tall with your back against a tree (optional). Imagine your spine is the trunk of the tree, your head the treetops, your feet the roots that ground you to the earth. From this viewpoint you can get a better view of the landscape of your whole life. Then answer these questions clearly and truthfully.
How do you feel about spring?
What are your pet peeves?
How do you feel when your plans get changed?
Do you have a green thumb?
Do you enjoy organizing people and events?
How is your vision?
What frustrates you?
Have you ever been angry enough to cry?
How would you like to live your life in 5 years? 10 years? Old age?
What creative activities do you enjoy? How often?
What are your personal boundaries?
What is the purpose of your life?
As you answer these questions, notice your responses. Different trees grow at different times and speeds. What process of growth are you in right now? How fast or slow are you growing? What type of growth is it? Are there any obstacles in your path? Bring your awareness back to the tree and ask it for guidance in your journey. Visualize your roots growing down into the earth, your branches, leaves, and/or fruits growing up and out. Rejoice in that you are growing. Feel the frustration in the places you are being challenged. Touch the upward movement of your life: Wood
~Created and written by Jennifer O’Reilly. Certified Yoga Teacher and Community Herbalist. Fierce lover of the environment, plants and animals. One can expect in her yoga classes to experience a journey with nature.~
Cowan, Eliot. Plant Spirit Medicine – A Journey into the Healing Wisdom of Plants. Sounds True, 2014, p. 135.