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. Here, I cover the element of Water!
Life begins with water. I bet if you thought back to your earliest memories they would involve water. Whether it was your parents giving you a bath, playing in the rain, or a summer at beach or swimming pool. In yoga, water can be a metaphor for many things including the great abyss of the mind or “being or going with the flow” or transitioning from one thing activity to the next, just as water changes its form. Water is represented in the body through our emotions, which are also ever-changing. It is connected with the sacral chakra (around the navel) and tunes us into our creativity, passion, and inner peace.
Try these poses to allow flow and transition. Notice the in between places where change occurs.
The Water 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 place hands on the stomach below the navel. Breathe into the belly for a few rounds.
—>Now bring attention to your heart space. Feel a connection with your heart beat and imagine fluid being carried through each vein of your body from the heart, across the chest, through the arms, organs, and down through your legs.
—>Now imagine energy and love flowing throughout your body just as a river or stream flows. As you inhale, draw energy to the heart, on an exhale send streams of love through the body.
Pranayama Practice: Alternate nostril breathing to balance warm and cool energy. (3 rounds of 15 breaths)
This practice can also be done saying the affirmation: “I choose to ride my authentic wave.”
Try using crystals such as moonstone, amethyst, aquamarine, and lapis lazuli.
When thinking about the Water element, journal on the thought, “The ocean is a metaphor for my mind…”
“Let the waters settle
You will see stars and moon
Mirrored in your Being.”