Did you know that the elements are one of the most universal insights in ancient philosophies?
In Sanskrit they are known as the pancha-maha-buthas, the great states of existence.
Each time we ground, flow, transform, or breathe, we are connecting with the earth, water, fire, and air.
The workshop description of Love, Sex, and Yoga led by Gypsy Bast at the Bali Spirit Festival, awakened my curiosity:
“How much do you love these practices that bring you closer to your own true Spirit and Divine nature?
They all transcend the 3D realms and cultivate higher states of consciousness…
Sex and yoga have a lot in common and are both in pursuit with the union of the Divine.
They’re both about opening and stretching into new places, and going deep inside yourself to find strength and endurance you didn’t know you had…
Your defenses, ego and chatter mind, can all be dissolved through a powerful yoga session",
or life-shifting …
Even though we each have all of the elements inside of us, we usually behave more in tune with our particular element. I decided to attend to learn more about how each of our astrological signs also relate to one of the elements.
The workshop began with the Earth Element signs of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Gypsy called them into the center of the room. They sat with their backs in a smaller circle and their torsos facing us in a bigger circle around them. This element is related to solid matter like bones and is our connection with the Root Chakra at the base of our spine (Learn more about the Earth Element and our Root Chakra in this blog about hiking through Catalina Island). When we ground through our feet in yoga poses like Mountain, Squat, Triangle, and Pyramid, we connect to this stability in the four corners of each foot (learn more about feet in this blog about Foundations in Rome).
Yoga Poses for Earth
In romantic relationships, earth signs favor a more loyal and weighted simplicity. With strong drums and bass sounds we began moving our bodies in firm pounding rhythm. Bringing attention to the weight in our limbs, especially legs and feet, we stomped, marched, jumped and squatted with the beat. Sending out our grounding intention to the earth signs in the center, we encouraged them to embrace these aspects about themselves and use them to their advantage to live their purpose.
As we moved through the elements, I began to understand how I relate to people of other elements. For example, I don’t relate as much to my earthy friends who like to stay grounded and stable in the material world, but at the same time, it would help me to be more balanced, if I incorporated more solidity into my daily life.
Next, we brought the Water Element signs into the circle, Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, and began undulating our spines and developing a supple sway in our hips. Relating to our sacred center of creativity, the second chakra energy center is associated with water. It resides around our reproductive organs and hips. Stirring up emotions in a circular fluidity, people embracing this element tend to be charming, refreshing, mysterious, private, and sensitive (Learn more about water in my blog about Venice).
We sent them our vibes of adaptability and blessings to go with the flow as we also tuned into our own flow. We considered how the emotional and creative flow influences an intimate setting, when involved with a water sign. In yoga asanas, twists and spinal undulation help to refresh and cleanse our spine, while hip-opening can release pent up emotions.
Yoga Poses for Water
Further, the Fire Element signs switched places with the water in the center of the circle, Aries, Leo, Sagittarius. With extreme highs and lows, people with a strong fire element can be interesting and enthusiastic, but also temperamental and powerful. Relating to our Solar Plexus, third charka, energy center at our core, this passion can also aid in pushing to achieve goals with an attitude of “I can and I will.”
Physically, contact with these types can be hot, dry, fast, and intense. We moved our bodies accordingly in dance (Check out my blog about the Element of Fire, while observing volcanoes in Japan). Some yoga postures that relate to fire involve plank, side plank, boat, and chaturanga that heat up our core center and aid us in balancing and inversion practices.
Yoga Poses for Fire
Fire Ceremony at BaliSpiritFestival
Finally, it was my turn as a Gemini. I am predominantly Air in my behavior and movements, along with Libra and Aquarius. I tend to flow with a strong creative wind of ideas and fly around with a fun adventurous spirit. As we gathered in the center of the circle, I was overcome with a gust of joyful bliss that emanated from my heart. This heart-centered chakra, connects to our breathing and lungs in relationship to our respiratory system (Read more about the Element of Air in my blog about Mt. Whitney). We are ultimate romantics when it comes to deep connection.
With each inhale, I received in love, love, love from the outer circle that spun in twirls of spacious arm, shoulder, and neck rolls. Intuition from our higher 6th and 7th chakras encourages air signs to stay in spiritual states of connection. Upright Pigeon pose relates us to birds who can fly up to 500 miles each day, then still return to their homeland. It exposes our heart while opening our lungs. We can also keep our balance in Warrior 3 as we fly our wings out in space. One of my daily favorite inversions is headstand, which emphasizes our relationship with the crown of our head and the 7th crown chakra.
Yoga Poses for Air
Alas, we all have all of these elements inside of us! We can use awareness, movement, yoga postures, and breathing techniques to find balance and understanding of the elements at play throughout our moments, days, and lives.
Hannah seeks to find relationships between nature, cultures, yoga, and art through her writing.
Fun Yoga On the Bay
Travel the world with me through yoga!
These themed lessons are fun for all ages and levels at Mission Bay Park.
See the page, Park Yoga, for more information!
Lessons from Abroad