The True Meaning of Spring

Spring (noun)

The season after winter and before summer, in which vegetation begins to appear, in the northern hemisphere from March to May and in the southern hemisphere from September to November.
‘in spring the garden is a feast of blossom’

Spring (verb)

[no object, with adverbial of direction] Move or jump suddenly or rapidly upwards or forwards.
‘I sprang out of bed’

[no object, with complement or adverbial] Move rapidly or suddenly from a constrained position by or as if by the action of a spring.

‘the drawer sprang open’

[informal with object] Bring about the escape or release of (a prisoner)

‘the president sought to spring the hostages’

 


In areas such as gardening, investment and in yoga, timing is everything.  When to plant a seed, to spend money or to save it, to attempt an intense posture or to hold back, all of these decisions are crucial to success within any field.   On the seasonal scale, yoga and the bigger world of movement practice is like gardening in that it follows the seasons. We often wonder why our new year’s resolutions tend to be a flash in the pan that often fades before February, well has anyone had luck planting a seed on January 1st?  

 

To shift a habit is no small feat and often requires more than just willpower.  A strong community is an instrumental element in the recipe for transformation however what can be just as if not more important is consciousness of the seasonal context in which one is making their efforts.  Based on Taoist theory, Spring is equivalent to an inhale, an expansion.  It is characterized by new possibilities, fresh air and rising energy.  These qualities are obvious both in nature and in the changing demeanor of people on the whole.  So why not take advantage of an energy that already exists, why not ride the wave of spring towards whatever prospects have been laying dormant during winter?

 

From my perspective as a movement practitioner, Spring is incredibly valuable.  Warm up times can be reduced, repetition training can be relaxed and new skills can be established beyond regress.  This is partially attributable to what neuropsychologists refer to as “good vibes.”  Movement is more inviting and fun when people are in a good mood.  The invitation to go out to the park to practice parkour, capoeira and tricking is far more appealing in 80 degrees than in 40.  As the Spring comes it is comfortable to be outside.  Not in the sense that encourages lethargy but in that of being welcoming, inspirational and accommodating.  The ground is soft so when I fall it makes me laugh instead of wince and while I’m lying there, the big blue sky is there for me to admire.  

 

Spring is a time to cleverly ride not only the seasonal energy but the metaphorical potency of the word.  To begin a practice that literally, figuratively or both brings energy up.  That demands risk and commitment to then deliver the ecstasy of absorption.  Spring out of your bed, spring from downward dog into crow, spring from one rock to the next and from one challenge to another.  Spring yourself from a prison of self-consciousness and doubt, spring your friends out of their depression by encouraging them to join you.  Be like the bees that harvest the flowers’ pollen and increase the potency of their hive while simultaneously stimulating the blossoming of the entire ecosystem.  Pollinate your community with fresh ideas about vitality and joy or, if it is you who needs to be pollinated, open your petals so that you can receive the inspiration.

 

One of the most important elements of my own movement practice is imagination.  I need to be able to connect with it before, during and after I train.  In spring I allow my imagination to merge with my perception of the warm air, the flowers’ fragrance, the attractive bodies walking and biking around the city and the perception of my own body which is more supple and responsive.  

 

Spring only comes once a year, it provides a source of energy unlike anything else that is abundant and free.  Don’t waste a moment.

 

By Emile Sorger @mysticalphysical