The First Day of Spring and the Fetal Position

March 20, 2014 0 Comments

At the end of each yoga practice, we move from corpse pose (savasana) into the fetal position. It struck me while teaching this morning how especially significant and symbolic that transition is today on the vernal equinox.

Photo courtesy of Petras Barcas Photography | www.flickr.com/pbarcas

Photo courtesy of Petras Barcas Photography | www.flickr.com/pbarcas

Like our transition off of our mats back into our lives, the first day of spring represents fresh starts, clean slates and new beginnings.

Spring is all about renewal and rebirth. After a particularly long and brutal winter, this spring feels even more fertile and ripe with opportunity than usual.

In nature, seeds go through a dormant period, when they are in survival mode to sustain through adverse conditions unfavorable for growth. We humans are no different.

In our practice and in our lives, there are times of great creation and change, followed by periods of stasis with hardly any detectable progress or movement.

In some ways, it’s human nature to resent and resist these plateaus. We sometimes characterize these periods as stagnation, with a negative connotation, but even periods of imperceptible growth serve as a necessary preparation.

In people as in plants, both external and internal conditions must be right for growth to resume after dormancy. An article published by North Carolina State University’s Department of Horticultural Science frames it this way:

Internal conditions of the seed must be favorable for germination, that is, any physical, chemical, or physiological barriers to germination must have disappeared or must have been removed by the propagator.

What barriers may have disappeared for you in recent months or what blocks are you now ready to remove in order to pave the way for renewal this season? What new fruit will you bear this year?

It’s time to emerge from our Chiberia-induced hibernation and reap what we’ve sown. Under the right conditions, some seeds, even those that you may have planted long ago, could start to come to fruition in the approaching days, weeks or months.

Each year on the spring equinox, we reach an equilibrium as day and night are matched in length after a period of imbalance. The coming days will continue to increase the power of the sun, extending our exposure to light and reducing the time we spend in the dark.

This spring, give yourself the light and the space you need to reflect on what you’re cultivating in your life and explore the areas in which you can challenge yourself to open up to new growth.

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