With the promise of summer just around the corner, “June Gloom” can be a real drag (especially if you live somewhere that remains cool, foggy and damp through the spring). Even in Southern California, we have weeks in June when the sun doesn’t appear, making it nearly impossible to become motivated first thing in the morning.
According to Ayurveda, a traditional Indian system of holistic medicine, springtime is considered kapha season. Dark, cloudy, damp, cool and dense are qualities of kapha (one of the three doshas), which begins to accumulate in late winter and are carried into the spring.
When such qualities are present in the environment, we begin to accumulate those same heavy, stagnant kapha qualities within our bodies, making us feel lethargic and our mind’s foggy and dull (not exactly ready for summer).
Yoga Sequence to Beat Spring Sluggishness
Shifting your practice to create more internal warmth and circulation in the body will help mitigate any seasonal effects and beat June gloom. Rather than reaching for that umpteenth cup of coffee, take 10 minutes out of your morning to get your blood moving and energy flowing with this flow sequence designed to burn off spring sluggishness in time for summer (pita season).
Begin with some Cat/Cow like movements, moving through the spine, head, shoulders and hips, and deepen your breath. When you’re ready, press your hips up and back into Downward Facing Dog. (Feel free to do a few Sun Salutations to warm up.)
The following flow sequence is meant to move breath-by-breath from left to right side. Do the first one at your own pace, taking time in each pose, and then try it a few more times as described below.
From Downward Facing Dog, inhale and lift your right leg straight behind you, pressing down through both palms and keeping the outer right hip turned down.
Exhale, round through your spine and step your right foot forward next to your right thumb and lower your back knee into a low lunge position. (Keep your back toes curled under.)
Inhale, firm your front foot into the mat, engage your inner thighs toward one another and reach your arms for the sky into Anjaneyasana, lengthening up through the front body.
Exhale and simultaneously lift your back knee off the floor as your lower your torso and bring your arms back alongside your hips into an airplane version of Crescent Lunge Pose, drawing up through the core.
Inhale, drop your tailbone, begin to stack your spine, keep your waistline back and reach your arms overhead into Crescent Lunge Pose.
Exhale, lower both hands to the mat and step back into a Plank Pose and lower slowly through Chaturanga Dandasana down to the floor.
Inhale into Cobra Pose, lengthening your spine and drawing your shoulders back as you reach back through your inner legs.
Exhale and press up and back into Downward Facing Dog, coming through all fours as needed.
Inhale and lift your left leg straight back, repeating the sequence on the second side. Rest in Child’s Pose after a few rounds on each leg and notice the warmth you created.