How to Welcome Spring and Reawaken Your Body with Yoga

Winter is a time when hibernation is natural. As the cold sets in and the hours of darkness elongate, we tend to withdraw a bit from the harsh outside world and hunker down with ourselves inside and under lots of layers. As Spring approaches, it is normal to feel like you are just getting to know yourself again. Afterall, your skin has been covered for months in layers from head to toe in an effort to stay comfortable and your bare legs have probably only made contact with each other as you step in and out of the shower. Before the snow fully melts, the magazines and online articles begin to chirp with messages of how best to prepare our “summer bodies.” While this is often largely problematic, there is certainly some truth in moving with your body from season to season.  

In winter, the sun is scarce and in turn, warmth is scarce too. Yoga is a beautiful practice that is appropriate for many moods and aches and needs, including opening the heart, realigning the mind with the body, and welcoming in new mantras and seasons of life. To shake off some winter blues, or simply re-familiarize yourself with your own skin, here are some great poses that align with Spring and springing back to life. 

Sun salutations 

In a literal sense, sun salutations are a way for us to open up a stiff and creaky body and angle our faces towards the sun, imagining its warmth and expressing gratitude for its presence. These poses are often repeated at the beginning of a yoga practice because not only do they work the same muscles over and over to begin to loosen up the body, they also move the spine in two directions (think cat-cow) and aim to ground us on the mat in Mountain pose at their conclusion - palms facing out and face angled slightly up toward the sky. 

Skin Contact 

There are many poses that may not explicitly cue for more contact with the skin, but that can easily accommodate more touch to wake up a sleepy and somewhat forgotten body. In a sun salutation, when your feet meet each other at the top of the mat in a forward fold, let your fingertips maintain contact with your shins, your kneecaps, your thighs, as you slowly roll on up to a standing position. This small act of touch can begin to help you feel reacquainted with your own body and wake up sensation in spaces that have been covered for months. In a Happy Baby pose, you can use your fingers to press into different areas on the soles of your feet, pressing your toes forward one by one as if cracking a knuckle, and using your full palm to squeeze the sole of each foot to give a warming sensation. Our feet are often neglected, especially in the winter months, but are essential in moving our body from place to place all day long and should be tended to when waking up our bodies for the spring season. Before Shavasana, you may also address some trigger points in the face, neck, and jaw by making a fist and allowing your head to drop to one side, gently resting the side of your jaw, then your temple, then the base of your neck on your knuckles. Using gravity and your own hands to release tension in the head that you may not even be aware of can aid in generating a greater sense of relaxation and awareness of your body and its needs. Repeat on each side or hold longer in places of more stubborn tension. 

blog - How to Welcome Spring and Reawaken Your Body with Yoga


Physical contact is as important to human health as good nutrition and a safe place to live. You can attend a partner yoga class that includes poses like standing back-to-back with arms intertwined for a nice chest opening stretch, or incorporate some self-hugs into your solo yoga practice. Poses like Eagle or simply Eagle arms can serve as a form of a hug, as well as grounding down for a seated meditation with your arms wrapped around your front, one palm reaching for or resting on each shoulder blade as you inhale, and exhale. 

It is easy to flip the calendar from one month to the next without taking the time to really ask our bodies how they are doing, and what they may need. It is easier still, in such a busy world, to shrug off our body’s needs and never answer them. But as you notice the flowers begin to peak up between the mulch in the front bed or the morning frost turning to dew, take a moment to slow down, embody the change of seasons, and allow for changes in yourself, too. Moving through the world more in tune with your body helps you be more in tune with the world itself, which to me is the perfect recipe for a beautiful, awakened life. 

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Emily Rose
Emily Rose is a school psychologist, yoga teacher, and writer for her mental wellness blog, She enjoys vinyasa, yin, and restorative yoga. In her home practice, she shares her yoga mat with her Aussiedoodle, Guinness, no matter how many times she tells him to “Please stay off mommy’s rectangle."

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