The beginning of spring is one of the most popular and beneficial times of year to power through an intensive yoga week. Spring is a time for new beginnings; a time to get up and do; to once again rise early with the sun.
This year, Lunge’s Spring Seasonal Intensive workshop booked out so fast that we decided to run a second week so more yogis could reap the benefits.
Each week kicked off on Sunday evening and consisted of:
- Seven focused and dynamic yoga classes,
- Daily pre-dawn beach shuffles; dawn ocean dips,
- Daily nourishing breakfast miso with porridge, gomasio and other toasted tamari seeds
- Two light, wholesome suppers catered by Iku Wholefoods
Why do the Lunge Yoga Intensives follow the seasons?
At Lunge, our philosophy is based on the five-element theory of balance and healing. Each element corresponds with a different season in the year and is linked to our senses, our environment, our food and our organs and energy systems.
We run an intensive week of Japanese Seasonal Yoga and either meditation or beach shuffles during each season to help the body and mind adapt to the shifts in nature.
Activating the Wood Element in Spring
The process associated with the Wood Element is most evident in spring. Spring is the season in which we can feel most inspired and purposeful. On the other hand we can sometimes feel like we’re falling into old patterns, which bring up feelings of anger, frustration and lack of direction.
Two main organs and energy systems – the liver and the gall bladder energies, govern the wood element. Activating these energy lines through targeted yoga movements helps our body tap into the expanding springtime energy for enhanced flexibility and direction.
Springtime yoga works with the body to loosen and strengthen it to help give us direction, inspiration and a feeling of purpose in life. Opening the mind so it can see opportunities is vital in spring.
Intensive Yoga Classes – Up Close
The Seasonal Yoga Intensive workshops at Lunge are a guided process to help harmonise the body and mind with the season it is in. Throughout the week, each class builds on the last to help eliminate the natural build-up of toxins in the body allowing it a chance to rest and rejuvenate.
It is a natural process for the human body to clear out once a year. Most eastern traditions are based on this “naturally” but it’s something that we have lost touch with, living in the city. Louisa’s extensive experience over the last 15 years of working with people at an individual and group level allows her to effectively facilitate this natural detox process. During these intensive weeks, although you are practicing within a group, each individual gets the unique results they need.
To further the benefits of the week, Louisa is personally on hand for any additional support required, whether it is physical, mental and/or emotional support – making the project quite a personal one for those booked in. There is also nutritional support where required and each morning Louisa prepares a nourishing, warming neutral breakfast after each class – this wholesome nutrient-rich breakfast helps the body detox while replenishing it at the same time.
Each intensive week kicked off with long, strong and deep work – long holds and strong “grunty” movements. We did a lot of release work to give a much-needed boost to the large intestine and lung energy! We activated these energy systems with direct strength movements and some balance of left and right and created some good building blocks for the week ahead. A light shiitake broth followed the first evening class to give the nervous system deep rest “allowing” the release process; which from the start enhances the week’s “detox”.
Every morning we woke before the sun and sleepily made our way down to North Steyne Beach, Manly for our daily pre-dawn beach “shuffle” – a very, very slow run that focuses on the breath and setting up the mind set for the day; mindfulness in motion. The weather was fairly kind to us over the two intensive weeks and most mornings we enjoyed balmy, exquisite sunrises while we shuffled along the sand in silence. By the end of the shuffle, the sun has just risen on the horizon; our bodies have built up quite a bit of internal heat and we are ready to jump into the ocean for a quick dip; not only refreshing but rejuvenating to the skin.
Back at the yoga studio – a dynamic and specific Japanese Seasonal yoga class followed that helped work through our various detox symptoms and mindsets. This changed each day as to what was required by the group; the individual. Certain days we worked into different parts of our bodies, energy systems including our sometimes tight sides, hip and shoulder joints and the neck. Every class focused broadly on activating the liver and gall bladder energy to help us get the most out of the gorgeous early spring weather.
We finished off each morning with a delicious bowl of breakfast miso and porridge with gomasio and toasted tamari sunflower seeds. Miso for breakfast during these seasonal intensives really helps to restore good flora in the gut and large intestine. It’s the perfect meal to kick off the day and aids the detox process throughout the week. A savoury breakfast rather than a sweet breakfast also helps to keep you focused, calm and clear.
The final two classes are all about consolidating the work achieved throughout the week. You can feel the beautiful grounded and focused energy in the room in these last couple of classes. Sealing the strength we have created into our nervous system enables us to maintain the benefits of the week going forward into spring and summer. A lot of the poses worked to created expansion in the chest and upper body to create a feeling of calmness openness, and being receptive.
On the final evening class each Friday, we finished off the week at the table, sharing stories over a delicious, nourishing bowl adzuki bean and pumpkin casserole with fresh shallots and gomasio, followed by simple sweet treats catered by Iku Wholefoods.
After a week of specific yoga classes and a warming meal, everyone was feeling long, strong and ready for a solid night’s sleep. Going home for a nice soothing ginger bath really helps to guide you into a deep, nourishing sleep. Everyone who participated in the two intensive weeks went home with a good, strong foundation to help them flourish throughout Springtime with an open heart and mind.
Here are more details on all the seasonal workshops at Lunge.