Yoga works at many levels and from many perspectives. The Elements have become my recent favorite. The 5 Elements in Yoga are Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether. As a teacher, I like the Elements because they allow me to cover a variety of layers within a yoga practice so that the student can experience a range of practices, such as asana, meditation, pranayama, and energy work. From there, they can decide what lands for them and continues them on a path of transformation, healing, and clarity. I am excited to offer a chain of blogs that cover the Elements beginning with Earth!
If I were to ask you, “If you could go anywhere on Earth, where would you go?” What would your answer be? Your answer would most likely be tied to the senses. Somewhere you thought of because its beauty, smell, tastes, the noises there, or how it felt there. Earth connects us to our humanity and grounds us to this reality. In yoga, the Earth element has to do with the physical body, our muscles, bones, veins, and organs. Energetically speaking, when we meditate on the Earth element we think about the root chakra, which is located at the base of the spine, around the hips. This is where our sensations of reality, security, and safety live. Our primal instincts as humans are to survive on Earth and that is why this survival instincts is the first chakra. Safety is #1 (just like your momma taught you!)
Sometimes the root chakra can become unbalanced or blocked based on life experiences that happen. These experiences can sometimes be out of our control. A few yoga poses for bringing the root back into alignment include:
Sukasana — focus on the hips being grounded into the Earth
Malasana — focus on the hips being grounded into the Earth
Mountain Pose — focus on the feet being grounded into the Earth
Downward Facing Dog — focus on hands and feet grounding into the Earth
The Earth Element can also be tapped into through meditation and pranayama practices. Here is a short version you can do at home:
From Sukasana/Hero Pose, close the eyes or gaze down the nose –> come into natural breath and begin to imagine roots going down from your feet into the Earth. Breathe here for a few rounds.
–> Begin to notice and think about the environment around you. The room, temperature, people, sounds, plants, animals, light, etc.
–>Bring to bring attention inward, scanning the entire body from the feet up to the crown –> give gratitude to Earth for all She provides for us
–>Now imagine the area around the base of the hips, imagine the color red swirling around this area. Repeat “LAM” for 30 rounds to activate this chakra, pause for 10 breaths and notice –> repeat “LAM” for two more rounds of 30
–>Again, notice red energy swirling up from the base of your pelvis on an inhalation –> as you exhale, say in your mind “I am safe.” —> next round: “I am secure.” —> next round: “I am grounded.”
–> Slowly come out and notice how you feel.
This practice can also be done saying the affirmation: “I am safe. I trust more. Fear less. I am centered and grounded.”
Try using crystals such as agate, calcite, jasper, and malachite.
When thinking about the Earth element, journal on the thought, “When I am one with nature I am…”