Today, February 19th, 2015, is the start of the Lunar New Year, which also marks the beginning of spring. The night of February 18th ushered in the second new moon of the year, which is when the Chinese calendar began ushering in spring.
This means spring is waking up in our bodies, too.
Spring has a specific energy, or movement. Think about a bulb underground powering up after winter to begin the process to break through its own very hard dirt ceiling. It has a clear, focused plan of action: to aim toward the sunlight. This takes a lot of power for a tiny seedling to burrow its way up and out, and it can require some creativity; if a rock or a tree root is in the way, it may bend around it to find the right pathway to get to the light.
Think about the weather too – here in the D.C. area we have a clear depiction of how spring can be: a zig zag pattern of warm and sunny one day, followed by a frozen snow the next, followed by sweeping winds that slice right through you.
The sun is also rising earlier and the days are growing longer. Our days are a flurry of activity.
How this shows up inside us: we can also feel “all alfurry” inside. We may be having a period of super productivity, full of ideas, even having a harder time turning off our brain at night. We might be envisioning the way we want the rest of our year to go – trips, summer vacations, birthdays, work plans, etc. There’s a lot to do and so little time to do it!
Sometimes this zig zag of energy can get caught inside our bodies and some common symptom patterns arise: headaches, body aches and pains, muscle cramps, trouble sleeping through the night, crazy dreams, irritability, frustration, agitation, depression, and more.
Here are some tips to keep that spring energy moving smoothly through you:
- Exercise your creativity: For some, that’s organizing your file folders; for others, that’s writing, or going to a paint-and-wine party. However you love to express your ideas, now is the perfect time to get the creative juices flowing.
- Get moving: Now is a good time to start amping up your workout schedule a little – if you haven’t moved off the couch all winter, start slow by just stretching. Running, Zumba, Cardio… these are great activities to keep the movement of spring energy flowing. No need to do it every day – once or twice a week is a good start. Walking is always great no matter what.
- Add lemon! Sour flavors are cleansing and they nourish your liver and gallbladder, which are the organs associated with spring, according to Chinese medicine. Starting your day with lemon squeezed into room temp or warm water is a great way to clean out your insides and get things moving before you start the day. Try some lemon and olive oil as your salad dressing, or squirt some on some raw sliced bell peppers or avocado as a snack.
- Prepare for rest: At night, take 5 minutes to consciously relax into your bed. Start at your feet, thinking about relaxing them fully, and go up your body, thinking about relaxing each limb, letting them be as heavy as they can on the bed. Playing a meditation app can help you relax.
- Inner cultivation: Irritability and pains in the neck (literally and figuratively) can be at their height during this time of year. Fuel that energy into a workout, doodling, or some other creative activity. When you find yourself pissed off, think about what in you could use some attention; is there a value you find important, think is missing, and want to express? Do you need to feel heard?
- Apply TLC: Be kind to yourself under moments of pressure – remember the seedling builds pressure to live and be free – to break through the ground and reach the light. We’re all doing that in our own ways too. Ask for help; if you need to feel heard, ask someone to sit and listen to you for 10 minutes. And finally, if you can’t shake off a sense of springtime rage (it happens!) call us – we can walk you through some yoga poses, deep breaths, or give you an acupuncture treatment that is perfect for you.
To read more about how this transition to spring will have an affect on us now and throughout the year, read the piece in our February newsletter about the year of the Yin Wood Sheep!