Wednesday, 10 23rd

Last update12:29:48 PM

This season, you will observe a flurry of energy and activity in nature around you. Seeds are germinating and shoots are popping up through the earth. Birds are building nests and seeking mates. Bees are busy searching for newly opened blossoms to gather up nectar and pollen for the hive. Leaves and blossoms form on trees and the changing winds whip up their branches.

Take care not to spend the newly acquired energy growing within us as an eager child would with their pocket money. The secret here is patience. It is much wiser to conserve some of the energy than spend it all at once.

Here is how to make the best of spring and utilise its growing energy for good health and prosperity:

  • Go to bed no later than 10pm and rise no later than 7am. The old saying of “early to bed, early to rise - makes a man healthy wealthy and wise” has never been more valid as it is in Spring and Autumn.
  • Spring clean. Each day on waking before you get up, lay or sit quietly and visualise clearing out your mental clutter. Spring clean your mind leaving it fresh and open to new possibilities and beginnings.
  • Goal setting and planning. Start to visualise, make plans and put them into action. Use this Feng Shui Tip for success; Write down the most important thing you want to achieve this year on a red piece of paper and place it in a red envelope (or roll the paper in a scroll and tie with a red ribbon) and place in a place you see it every day to remind you to take action towards achieving it. When you have achieved your goal ceremoniously burn the paper reciting an affirmation of gratitude.
  • Go Green. Green is the colour of the season and should be your first choice in food. Eat plenty of organic green leaves, shoots and young green vegetables. This is a great time of year to begin an eight week gentle cleansing diet as the liver energy is at its peak and will respond well to the detox (avoid rapid detoxes as this puts stress on the liver and kidneys). Enjoy stir fries with lots of green vegies. try sprouted grain breads, seeds and beans. Try to eat fish at least twice a week and up your fruit and vegie intake while decreasing stodgy refined foods such as white bread, chips etc. Start the day with a large glass of warm filtered water with a whole lemon or lime squeezed into it (an effective liver cleansing tonic). Avoid fatty, fried foods, alcohol, refined wheat products, overeating and eating late at night, all of which over burden the liver and leave us feeling tired and slugish.
  • Exercise and stretch. It's time to increase your exercise time and frequency. Gradually increase intensity over the weeks leading up to summer; resist the urge to 'go all out' straight away. Practice daily a tai chi or qi gong form that stretches and twists Like Dance of the Dragon, to increase flexibility and help the body detoxify. Exercise early in the morning before breakfast and finish with a standing meditation under a tree or in a green leafy area to augment your Chi.
  • Protect yourself from the wind. Wind is considered an evil in TCM and can invade the body through the pores of the skin. It is important to keep covered up in the spring, especially on windy evenings when our defensive Chi is at its weakest.
  • Express your feelings. Anger is the root emotion and is harmful to all the internal organs, especially the liver. If anger is suppressed, it leads to long term resentment, frustration, bitterness and hatred which block chi flow and ultimately lead to disease. Although it is not always appropriate to express your anger when it arises, don't bottle it up. Energy punches as in the Spring ChiBall class can help release pent up feelings. Practice 100 energy punches whenever you feel angry or frustrated, making sure you shout 'hoo' as you punch and exhale. Notice how quickly you feel the emotions release and dissolve.
  • Patience. There is wonderful story about a very busy man, whom, while strolling through his garden, came across a butterfly starting to emerge from its chrysalis. He watched as the butterfly struggled over and over, slowly breaking through the skin of the chrysalis. The man became impatient, as he was very busy and wanted to witness this miracle. So he decided to hurry the process, tearing open the chrysalis to release the butterfly. As a butterfly struggles over and over to break the chrysalis, its wings gradually strengthen allowing it to escape and then fly. The man's impatience disrupted this process and sadly the butterfly died because its wings hadn't developed fully, therefore were not strong enough to fly. Don't rush things; let them unfold naturally in time.

Tips for a successful ChiBall class in Spring:

The focus for Spring is on cultivating the rising energy of the season for growth, creativity and change. The movements are designed to bend, stretch and awaken the body after long sleep of winter, moving Chi and blood and clearing stagnation.

The emphasis is on the graceful, grounding and energising movements of Tai Chi and Qi Gong. Keep the movements slow and controlled. Encourage participants to feel connected to the earth through their feet - like the roots of a tree, yet keep the upper body and arms relaxed, supple and free - like the branches of a tree.

Use the ChiBall Dance to slowly build up heat with progressive, continuous movement that stimulates blood and chi flow to clear stagnation and aid detoxification. Side bending and stretching movements like lightening stimulate Chi flow though the Gallbladder and liver channels - squatting and stretching movements like the storm, massage the internal organs, stimulating blood flow allowing them to be nourished and regenerated. Focus words here are, growing, awakening, stretching, move the Chi, clear away stagnation, etc.

Strong standing asanas and seated twists are used in ChiBall Yoga to improve strength and flexibility of muscles, tendons and ligaments. Be clear and direct with your instruction, encourage participants to use their out breath to release stiffness, allowing them to move deeper into the posture.

As with yoga, in ChiBall Pilates keep your instruction clear and direct, encourage participants to stay focused and keep their movements slow and controlled. Give them a 'goal' to work towards with the leg lifts i.e. 3 sets of 12.

Patience is the key here in ChiBall Feldenkrais. Take your time teaching either the butterfly twist or space roll. Remember the story of the busy man and the butterfly and understand why these movements need to be slow and progressive.

Standing, seated or lying Dan Tien breathing has been selected for the Relaxation. This breathing technique allows us to integrate our being, dissolves tension and reduces negative emotions. Keep instruction concise and minimal to allow participants to enjoy the experience.

I hope you enjoyed this article of the newsletter. If you have any questions or sensational spring moments or stories you would like to share, we would love to hear from you.

Good health and happiness,
Rebecca Quin