Published: 03/22/2016 - Updated: 03/10/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Hi everyone! With the arrival of Spring, the sun starts to shine again, temperatures rise, the days begin to get longer and the colour returns to the landscape thanks to the flowering of plants and trees… All of this affects our body and our mind, as it is the same change experienced by the nature that we suffer ourselves. While many greet this season with a smile as it means more hours of daylight to make plans after the office, enjoying being outside again and leaving your jacket at home, we must not forget that for many it also brings the famous spring asthenia or fatigue.
While fatigue is only an adaptation of the body to the changing environment, it brings with it a feeling of weakness, tiredness and an almost constant lack of energy. In some people, fatigue can manifest itself as a general bad feeling, muscle fatigue, headaches, etc. and in others it comes in the form of intellectual fatigue, for example difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbances, changes in mood and even appetite. Possible causes include hormonal imbalance caused by excessive sunlight, and the decline in serotonin (responsible for our mood, sleep, etc.) and beta-endorphins (known for their analgesic effect). It can also take its toll in the form of allergies as well.
While this process of adaptation to new environmental conditions lasts only a couple of weeks, I suggest you relieve your symptoms during these down days through a series of asanas and pranayamas.
3 Yoga Asanas for Spring
To combat muscle weakness and fatigue, focus on strengthening the muscles (the most affected body part in this temporary imbalance). To do this, the bridge posture, the mid-torque and lateral extension positions are ideal. Of course, before doing them on your own it is necessary to practice them with a qualified teacher.
The position of Setu bandha sarvangasana or shoulder bridge pose as well as helping strengthen the spine, can reduce fatigue, relieve symptoms of insomnia and calm the mind. It is also recommended for people with asthma and sinusitis.
Like the previous posture, Vajrasana or seated half twist is perfect to stretch the muscles of the back, neck, shoulders and hips. In addition to relieving fatigue, it stimulates the digestive system and is also suitable for asthmatics.
Parighasana or gate pose keeps the spine in perfect condition and gives elasticity to the intercostal muscles. It also stimulates the appetite and induces deep relaxation.
Pranayama for Spring
As I have already commented, full breathing increases both the body’s thoracic capacity and the air entering our lungs, increasing our energy levels since breathing well gives our body more fuel to operate. Try to practice full breathing during these days when you feel lifeless.
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In addition, there are some breathing exercises that may help you to combat some of the symptoms. Nadi Shodhana is indicated for both headaches as well as general fatigue; One thing I would suggest for combating headaches with this technique is that you ought to close the right nostril, while when you are tired you must close the left.
You can also perform Ujjayi pranayama to promote sleep, but it is recommended that a tutor explains and helps you to practice this first, since it is somewhat complex. This audible breathing will help you to numb the nervous system as well as to combat the fluctuations of the mind, thus favouring the states of internalisation and concentration.
Finally, I would like to mention that a mindful diet, good hydration and increased hours of rest will also help combat Spring fatigue.
Have a great week!
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Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 03/10/2018
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