Coming Out of Our Cocoon: Setting Intentions for Spring with a Yoga Mala

On March 20, 2019 we welcome the Spring Equinox combined with the Full Supermoon in Libra! A veritable powerhouse of transformational energy.

The word equinox literally translates to “equal night.” Referring to a time of perfect equilibrium, balance of light and dark. The tipping point into longer days. The Earth, and our bodies are awakening from the deep slumber of winter.

Like the fiddleheads emerging slowly from the depths of the earth, we too must emerge with patience. Spring is fickle and cold days and nights are sure to come in the days ahead. This new phase is young, fragile, not completely embodied, yet the tide has surely turned, and warmer days are inevitable.

Coming out of our cocoon can be challenging at first, but a powerful intention setting ritual like a Yoga Mala can help to coax us into the warmer days of Spring.

Art by @nothinmyst and @ojaiwild

Art by @nothinmyst and @ojaiwild

A mala is the devoted offering of repeated cycles (typically in divisors of 108) of mantra or asana. Within a mala, there is always a sense of beginning, continuing and completion. As the ultimate moving meditation, it has a steady rhythm that helps transcend the purely physical form and move us closer to the unified Self.

The auspicious number of 108 is one that comes up again and again across a range of cultures and disciplines. It informs the architecture of sacred texts that are central to yoga and eastern philosophy: there are 108 chapters of the Rig Veda, 108 Upanishads and 108 primary Tantras. In Ayurveda, there are 108 sacred places in the body. Through the lens of astronomy, the diameter of the sun is approximately 108 times that of earth and the distance from our planet to its solar star is, on average, 108 times the diameter of the sun.

HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN MALA

The way you choose to practice a mala is purely dependent on what you’d like to cultivate. If you feel stagnant and in need of a more physical, fiery practice, then commit to 108 sun salutations. If your body is craving gentle, then honor a slow practice with less salutations and more focus on mantra. Or anywhere in between. Just make sure you stay connected with your core throughout the physical practice, and work with a variation for you that is sustainable.

This year, I chose to practice 54 sun salutations followed by the chanting of mantra 54 times to complete the mala. In the video, you can see that I don’t practice the same style of salutation each round. My body prefers variety, while yours might prefer the moving meditation of one particular style of salutation. Always, honor whatever is moving through you that day!

SET YOUR INTENTIONS

Take some time to prepare your intention, so that as you begin, it is clear to you. It doesn’t have to be fancy or profound, in fact the simpler and the more grounded it is the better! And don’t worry if it begins to shift once you start moving, that’s exactly what the practice is supposed to do!

Spend some time before you begin with your breath. Get to know your breath so that it will always serve as your diagnostician, your anchor and your ultimate energy source. All three are vital!

Don’t take it all too seriously! The universe has a wonderful, mischievous way of working. Try and leave your expectations at the door and be open to whatever experience might emerge!

… oh, and ENJOY IT!!


This is a beautiful time of awakening! From the darkness of Winter we are called to the light of Spring. May our entire life tip toward that side of the balance!

Blessed be, Blessed Equinox and Love to you, wild ones!

Nathalie

 

OM

Asatoma sat gamaya

(May I be led from untruth to truth)

Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya

(May I be led from darkness to light)

Mrityor ma amritam gamaya

(May I be led from death to everlasting life)