Have you ever been curious about how to celebrate the Spring Equinox, also called Ostara in the wheel of the year, or ever wondered what it is exactly? We’ve got explanations and two different ways that you can celebrate rituals for the Spring Equinox.
The coming of Spring is marked by the Equinox – meaning “equal light.” The Spring Equinox, or the first day of Spring, occurs when the sun crosses the celestial equator from South to North. This special event happens every year on March 19th, 20th, or 21st. This year it is happening on March 20th. During this time, daylight and night are equal and balanced, right before tipping over to the side of light. Flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing, and birds are chirping…it’s officially SPRING!!
Around the world, many different cultures hold celebrations for the Spring Equinox, and I want to share with you some of my personal favorites.
Yoga Mala Sun Salutations
More than a beaded bracelet, a yoga Mala is completed by doing a set of 108 sun salutations. It’s a great way to cleanse the mind, body, and spirit. Completing this could take as long as two hours (expect a lot of jump backs into Chaturanga), but you can always rest in downward facing dog or child’s pose. Sweaty as you may be, it’s a great way to cleanse and detoxify the body for a new season.
How to Get Involved
If you’re an experienced yoga practitioner you can set a time special time and place to do this on your own or with friends. If you’ve got a favorite local studio it’s likely that they’ll be offering something for Spring.
What to Know Before You Go
- Sign up ahead of time for this special event at your local studio.
- Come to class with an intention. An encouraging message will help you to push through.
- Be prepared to sweat! The room will naturally heat from all of the movement and breathwork of you and your fellow yogis. Bring a towel to place over your mat, or a hand towel to wipe off any excess moisture that might cause you to slip.
- Wear an inspirational piece of jewelry. I wear a hamsa hand around my neck that inevitably dangles in my face while I’m resting in downward facing dog reminding me “you’ve got this!”
Forest bathing is a Japanese tradition called “Shinrin-yoku,” or “taking in the forest atmosphere.” Unlike the vigor of a Mala, forest bathing is meant to be a calm, low-speed experience. As leaves begin to bud, and flowers begin to bloom, a forest bath is a perfect way to honor the arrival of Spring. You could do this by meditating in a lush green area, taking a hike, or even having a picnic.
Not only are these ideas relaxing from a spiritual perspective, but there are actually scientific advantages behind these inspiring practices, too. Many trees give off organic compounds that decrease stress hormones and boost your immune system.
Additional Benefits Include:
- Decrease in anxiety, depression, and anger
- Increased cognitive function
- Reduced blood pressure
- Accelerated healing
- Increased ability to focus
- More energy and better sleep
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these in the past or have plans to create a new ritual this year. Happy Spring Equinox!
Cassie Uhl is the founder and owner of Zenned Out, a jewelry company that handcrafts jewelry with meaning and provides a community that inspires a mindful and spiritual lifestyle. Cassie grew up with a open minded, astrology obsessed grandmother and a father that would take her and her sister star gazing in the wee hours of the night. These experiences shaped Cassie and Zenned Out into what they are today by bringing spirituality and astrology into the forefront. Cassie hopes to give spiritual souls a place to feel at home on the Zenned Out blog and offers handcrafted jewelry with meaningful symbols, powerful gemstones, and mindful quotes to enable people to wear jewelry that aligns with their souls purpose.