Rhyanna Van Leeuwarden
'My belief in the power of yoga is absolute. I aim to share a traditional perspective in a modern context.'
The end of winter brings about so many rituals. We turn off the heat, throw open the windows and breathe in those first scents of spring. Early mornings become bearable as the darkness withdraws and the chatter of birds thaws the isolating silence.
1. Salute the sun - In many cultures, light has long been a symbol of consciousness and self-illumination. ‘The world begins with the coming of light,’ wrote Jungian analyst Erich Neumann.One of the means of honouring the sun is through the dynamic asana sequence Surya Namaskar (sun salutation). Sun salutations are a sequence of movements and poses which energise you and stretch each of the major muscles. Each Sun Salutation begins and ends with the joined-hands mudra (gesture) touched to the heart. Aside from this there are variations a plenty that have evolved over the years. Because of the sequence’s malleability, it’s easy enough to cook up a few of your own. Go with what feels good for you on the day, start slowly with 3-5 rounds and continue quicker up to 15 if you can.
2. Twist it up - Twisting poses we practice in yoga helps massage the abdominal organs, assisting to facilitate the elimination process of toxins and waste. Perfect for that Spring revival that we are looking for!
Try out seated and standing variations, be sure to breath, and notice the space you feel as you exit the pose. The word twist also gives permission to zig zag along your path. Take a moment of newness and relish it!
• Try a new class or teacher
• Attempt an exotic pose
• Place your mat in uncharted territory when you next enter the studio
3. Do a headstand #everydamnday - Headstand (Sirsasana) is often referred to as the king of all yoga poses. With so many benefits it is obvious the origins of the name.
As part of our resurrection from the lows of winter a headstand each day can allow the adrenal glands to flush creating more positive thought. Depression decreases, and being upside down will almost always put a smile on your face!
4. Get Outside - Take your practice outdoors and take some time to appreciate the beauty of the natural world. As the winter chill recoils step out into nature.
Notice the squishy grass between your toes. Breathe in the aroma of the freshly blossomed spring flowers. Touch the crisp, but ‘promising of warmth’ air. Sync in with the cyclic nature of the big wide world. Let the season of rebirth spur on your inner awakening.
It's a time to renew your energy, refresh your desires, and reset your intentions to live out your dreams. Get to it!
May the light from your practice follow you throughout your journey, Rhy xx
Rhyanna didn’t always have yoga as her daily ritual. Like many, she lived a life of pace and change, always on a quest to be perfect, to be ahead of the pack and to tick off boxes. The pace of life is still just as busy for her now but the purpose is different. She has a fire that burns deep to share the gift of yoga and it is with that fire that she chases her dreams.
Rhyanna believes yoga is a lifestyle: one that encompasses the vitality of mind, body and soul. There is no separateness which Rhyanna has truly come to understand. Her teachings are very personal and carry messages to be taken well beyond the mat.
Rhyanna’s home base is a beautiful studio in Mosman Park, Perth. Her classroom is many places however, and what she truly loves is being able to connect with others who relish the opportunity to roll out a mat and take a moment to delight in their practice.
Where to next:
- Rhyanna’s regular weekly classes at her Mosman Park studio always include Sun salutations. https://www.rhyannavl.com/schedule
- Check out Rhyanna’s instagram account (@rhyannavl) to see whats new each week.
- The events tab on Rhy’s site is always up to date and bursting with juicy events. Fins your way there to find info on In-city retreats, interstate festivals, international workshops, CE programs for teachers and much more!