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Beltane a Time to Celebrate Growth, Creativity & Vitality

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

Over the last few years I have begun to learn about the pagan calender and have come to enjoy celebrating the different points on the wheel of the year. I find it has given me a wonderful opportunity to connect to nature and what is happening around me in the different seasons as well as taking time to pause, reflect and set intentions for what is happening for me in my life at that time. I have come to look forward to these festivals and find them vital for by wellbeing so I can reset, recharge and reconnect.

We are soon coming to the festival of Beltane, celebrated around 30th April/ 1st May. Beltane celebrates the midpoint between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. It's a time to honour the growth and fertility of the earth, and to acknowledge the power of new beginnings. Below I explain a bit about this festival and the meanings behind it. Or if you like you can skip forward to here to learn how to bring these themes into your yoga practice.

The Meaning of Beltane

At Beltane, we see the world around us bursting with life and energy. The trees are green and full, the flowers are blooming, and the air is filled with the sweet scent of spring. It's a time when the natural world is at its most vibrant and alive, and we're reminded of the incredible power and beauty of the earth.

One of the central themes of Beltane is the idea of fertility. In pagan traditions, this is often symbolized by the May Queen and the Green Man, two figures who represent the goddess and the god of fertility. The May Queen is adorned with flowers and crowned with a wreath, while the Green Man is covered in leaves and branches. Together, they symbolize the union of masculine and feminine energy, and the power of creation and growth.

But Beltane isn't just about celebrating new life and growth. It's also a time to reflect on the cycles of life and death. In many pagan traditions, Beltane is seen as a time when the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is at its thinnest. It's a time when we can connect with our ancestors and honour the cycle of life and death that underlies all of existence.

At Beltane, we also honour the power of fire. The bonfires that are often lit during Beltane celebrations represent the energy and vitality of the season. They're a way to connect with the power of the sun and the life-giving warmth that it brings. In some traditions, people even jump over the fire as a way to symbolise their willingness to embrace new beginnings and take risks in their lives.

Overall, Beltane is a festival that celebrates the beauty, power, and potential of the natural world. It's a time to honour the cycles of life and death, and to embrace the new beginnings that are possible in every moment. How you may choose to mark Beltane is personal to you. You may dance around the maypole, light a bonfire, or simply spend time in nature and take some time to connect with the spirit of Beltane and celebrate the incredible power and beauty of life. Of course we can also use our yoga practice to celebrate this time and deepen our connection to the meaning of this festival.

Celebrating Beltane in Your Yoga Practice

The various themes of Beltane, such as growth, creativity, fertility, vitality, fire, and connecting to the earth, are related to the lower chakras. To align with the energy of the festival and support any intentions set during this time you may want to explore practices that relate to these chakras.

The root chakra, or Muladhara, is the first chakra located at the base of the spine and associated with the earth element. It governs our basic survival needs and represents our foundation, grounding, and stability. A balanced root chakra leads to a sense of security and connection to the earth, while an imbalanced one may cause anxiety and other physical symptoms. Postures that work with Muladhara include Easy Pose (Sukhasana) which is also a great posture to take time for contemplation of where you are and what intentions you want to set going forward. Tree Pose (Vriksasana), a wonderful way to connect to the earth and nature, and Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana), this not only stimulates the root chakra but the bhava (feeling) of the posture connects you to the goddess, sacred feminine energy.

The sacral chakra, also known as Swadistana, is the second chakra located in the lower abdomen, just below the navel. It is associated with the element of water and is responsible for our emotional and creative expression. The sacral chakra governs our ability to experience pleasure, joy, and intimacy, as well as our ability to flow with change and adapt to new situations. When the sacral chakra is balanced, we feel emotionally stable, creative, and in touch with our desires. On the other hand, when the sacral chakra is blocked or imbalanced, we may feel emotionally unstable, uninspired, or experience issues with intimacy. Poses that are good for this chakra work with the hips and pelvis such as Seated Wide-legged Forward Fold Pose (Upavistha Konasana), Supine Spinal Twist Pose II (Supta Matsyendrasana II) and Goddess Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana).

The solar plexus chakra, or Manipura, is the third chakra located in the upper abdomen, above the navel. It is associated with the element of fire and is responsible for our personal power, confidence, self-esteem and digestion on all levels. The solar plexus chakra governs our ability to make decisions, take action, and pursue our goals as well as our ability to digest both physically, mentally and emotionally. When the solar plexus chakra is balanced, we feel self-assured, confident, and in control of our lives, we have power and drive, healthy digestion and can process emotions well. On the other hand, when the solar plexus chakra is blocked or imbalanced, we may feel powerless, indecisive, or experience issues with self-worth, we may experience digestive issues or have trouble dealing with events in our lives. Practices that stimulate Manipura include Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana), Cat Cow Pose (Bitilasana Marjaryasana), Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana) and Breath Of Fire (Kapalabhati). It is worth noting that Kapalabhati is a very strong practice and it may not be right for you if you are feeling particularly out of balance or unwell.

Other practices that I like to do as part of a Beltane celebration include Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II). This to me is the open hearted warrior, a wonderful balance of the masculine and feminine energies that exist in us all. Nadi Shodhana, is a wonderful practice to help balance these energies within us, you can read more about this practice here. And I also like to practice yoga nidra with a visualisation related to the themes of this celebration to help me set intentions of whatever I am hoping to cultivate at this time.

If you would like to explore Beltane further you can join me for a special extra long yoga class later this month. This yoga class will be in Acle, Norfolk, just a short drive from Norwich. For more information head over to the event page of my website. We will spend an hour moving mindfully through postures before settling in for half an hour of yoga nidra. I’d love to share the space with you.


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