In this series of articles we will explore how the five elements of Nature are being felt and experienced in our own bodies. It is a matter of remembering that we are nature, our bodies, flesh, bones, energy and everything in-between are made of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space (or Ether). If we break our cells down to the smallest atom, we can see that we are made of the same matter as everything else around us - we are the whole and the whole is us. Check out the first article of the series: Earth, Water
In Yoga, the fire element has been explored and described in many different forms through fire rituals, as the internal flame of the heart or as the digestive fire (or agni). Fire is probably the most powerful of all the elements and is associated with qualities of transformation, death and rebirth, digestion and assimilation (of food, but also of emotions and thoughts). When we tap into this element we transform food into energy and energy into action.
This element is found in our third chakra (wheel of energy); Manipura, located at the navel. It helps us to move from the primal and emotional qualities of the first two chakras (associated with Earth and Water) into our inner power, our sense of self (ego) and individuality. Manipura chakra is about perseverance, willpower and confidence.
How the Fire element can manifest in you
Is this you: slow digestion, inability to get things done, poor confidence, feelings of weakness and being "stuck" AND/OR overly fiery, overreactive, irritable, angry, heartburn or acid reflux, skin redness and signs of inflammation.*
In a balanced state, our inner Fire will make us feel physically and mentally strong and powerful, confident in our choices and help us discern between "right" or "wrong". Don't forget that your environment can greatly affect the balance of the elements in you, and especially fire. If you live in a city and have a fast-paced job, you may already be exposed to too much fire energy. Yoga gives us tools to become mindful of how we act and react within the world, so I invite you to reflect on how Fire can be present in your life and explore ways to balance it out: if you find that it is too active in you and around you, then I would recommend you tap into the Water or Earth energy. * These are very broad examples of things you may experience when you lack connection with the Water element or when there is a too high amount of Water energy in you. I mention these to give you an idea of how this element can affect us, however in order to receive a real diagnosis of how each element affects and impacts you, you should consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner. Ayurveda is the sister science of Yoga and is a wonderful ressource.
How to connect with the Fire element
FEEL THE FIRE
Get some sun! We hear a bunch of different things nowadays on the benefits and the harmful effects of the sun. However, one thing is for sure, just like plants, we need sunshine! In order to receive the full benefits of the sun rays, you can make it a ritual to go outside and contemplate during either sunrise or sunset - or both!
SEE THE FIRE
Meditate on the Fire element. One thing I love to do on cold winter days, when I feel sluggish and unmotivated is to visualise myself outside sitting in the sun and receiving all of its light and energy. The burning of the sun cleanses and purifies. Another way to "see the fire" is through Trataka meditation (or candle gazing); sit in a dark room with a candle lit in front of you at eye level and gaze at the light, This one-pointed focus technique will help to direct energy away from the jumpy monkey mind and ease you into focus.
BE THE FIRE
Stay heated and keep moving; especially during colder months, keep the blood circulating through exercise, hot baths and hot stone massage. Eat warming foods, and hot spices such a cayenne, chili, black pepper, cinnamon and ginger. To boost your digestive, you can start your day with some hot lemon water with a slice of ginger.
MOVE LIKE THE FIRE
As discussed earlier, your third chakra is associated with the fire element ad is located at your solar plexus - where your belly button is. You can use breathing techniques to activate this chakra; Kundalini Yoga has some great techniques for that and think of movements that will engage your abs such as twists and planks. Yoga poses: twisted triangle, plank twists, boat pose, bow. Make sure to take time to cool off after practicing fiery poses with grounding and watery poses such as child pose and a long savasana.
To practice with me and receive the recordings of my "The Five Elements in Yoga" classes or join me Live online, send me "FIRE" on WhatsApp +33618836151 or by Instagram DM @josephinecantona