Spring is a time of new beginnings. I was out in my garden yesterday clearing away the old leaves from my garden. This makes space for the sun to shine on the emerging plants so that they can grow. Yoga reminds us to make space as we let go of the old in order to allow the new growth. With the warmer weather we open the windows to let the fresh air in and may even feel that spring cleaning urge to clear away the accumulation of the winter. This is the time of year where I transition my Yoga practice, from indoors on the yoga mat, into the outdoors in my garden. With all the squats, forward bends and fresh air it feels so good to connect with mother earth! As we watch Mother Nature begin again and blossom it also invites us to have a fresh start. One of my teachers, Yogananda, said it is always important to invite beginners mind. We can bring that to our Yoga practice by treating each moment and each posture fresh and new. He also shared that it is beneficial to also learn something new as this keeps us in beginners mind and also improves brain function, protecting it from cognitive decline.  I have recently taken on a new practice of learning a musical instrument, the harmonium. I am taking weekly lessons with a teacher (Pundit). This is a great practice in self-discipline (Tapas) for me. At the moment it is a bit mundane as I am learning the Sanskrit notes (swars) and practicing scales over and over. I feel impatient and want to just get on to the good stuff. But my inner wisdom knows I need practice every day, even if I don’t feel like it, if I want to be able to play a Bhajan (Indian song). A few years ago I took on learning the guitar. I had a brief love affair with my daughter’s guitar and then one day I realize I wasn’t willing to do the work in order to get better at playing. So that was that and I gave it up.  But I know with the harmonium my heart desire is greater than my impatience, so I am committed to the practice. Spring time invites us to clean up and clear out and begin again. Whether you are beginning a new yoga practice or a new yoga session, taking up a new skill, spring cleaning your home, or cleansing your body with a juice fast, spring is an invitation  to begin again. As it take effort to work in the garden it will be worth it when the flowers bloom. As the quote by Anais Nin says “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”.

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