This half term we have been exploring the elements within us, and in our yoga practice.
There are five elements: earth, air, fire, water and ether/space. When the elements within us are out of balance we become susceptible to disease and suffering. If the elements are stable and balanced we feel strong, secure and unfazed by others.
The earth element represents everything that is solid in nature: The earth beneath us, our physical bodies and form; everything in nature that is visible and that can be touched.
To feel our connection with the earth element, our yoga practice has involved standing postures, really connecting to the earth through our feet. Our yoga poses have been “grounding” poses; sending energy downwards into the earth to feel rooted and connected to the earth. In tree pose, think of a tree, send roots down from the feet; be strong and tall, stay firm, unfazed, balanced. Notice your feet during your practice, your foundation.
In our forward bends, for example, in child pose there is something humble about bowing down to the earth and knowing that you are part of something bigger. When we connect to the earth we seem to tap into the calmness of the earth. Our mind goes quiet and we become still. Feel the earth beneath your body and surrender and let go into stillness. In extended child or sleeping pigeon feel the hands connect with the earth, and feel the texture of your mat beneath you.
Giving into gravity is the best way to keep unrest and conflict out of our bodies and our lives; and giving in to gravity helps us to find our natural rhythm and place in life.
Our minds are often flighty, but we can control our bodies: spread your toes, grip into the ground and truly plug into the earth.
We hope to see you soon, for one of our many yoga classes, here in Walton on Thames, Surrey.