In this following series of articles, we will explore the 5 elements one at a time.  In this article we will explore the Earth element in a little more detail looking at it’s qualities and the practices you can use to increase the Earth element within your body and mind.

Haven’t read our Five Elements Article? Click here to read it!

 

Earth

 

Who will benefit from an Earth Element Yoga Practice?

  • Someone with a fast paced lifestyle.
  • Someone who spends a lot of time on their feet, or in movement.
  • Someone who travels a lot / has been travelling.
  • Those with a Vata constitution (excess of Air and Space).
  • Those feeling fatigued or burnt out from a busy lifestyle / life events.

 

What are the qualities of Earth?

  • Grounding
  • Nurturing – Mother Earth
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Solidity
  • Gravity
  • Rooting

 

 

How is the Earth Element represented in the body?

The Earth element is represented in every thing that is solid within the body. Your bones, muscles and flesh.  In asana practice, we often focus on the legs and feet and our physical connection to the Earth.

 

Which styles of yoga help to increase the Earth Element?

 

What Yoga practices can I practice to connect with the Earth element?

You can use Asana, Pranayama and Meditation techniques to increase the Earth element within the body and mind.

 

Asana

Grounding asanas (postures) with the main focus on the feet and legs and your connection with the earth.

For example- Warrior poses, Chair pose, Downward Facing Dog, Mountain pose, Toe squat, Goddess pose, Childs pose.

Any balancing postures- Tree pose, Warrior 3, Half Moon Pose, Lord of the Dance etc.

Any forward folds (using gravity to help you to come into the pose and to let go towards the earth once you are in it) Uttanasana, Paschimottanasana, Upavista Konasana, Baddha Konasana.

And of course, Savasana (for at least 10 minutes).

 

Pranayama (breathing)

Square Breathing

Sitting in a comfortable upright position, with your back straight. Become aware of your breathing. Begin to lengthen your breath, counting your inhales and exhales so they are the same length, e.g. inhale to the count of four, exhale to the count of four. You can continue with this, or begin to hold the breaths for the count of four as well e.g. Inhale to the count of four, hold the breath for the count of four, exhale four, stay empty of breath for the count of four. Continue this breathing for a few minutes. Do not practice breath retention if you are pregnant.

 

Meditation

Sitting in a comfortable cross legged position (use cushions to make your self comfortable or sit on a chair, just making sure that you have a straight spine). Close your eyes and focus on breathing into your lower abdomen. In yogic philosophy this area houses your Root and Sacral chakras, in Japanese philosophy, your Earth centre or your ‘Hara’. Both agree that this is the area that you need to focus on when you need to ground yourself. Breathe into this area consciously for 5-30 minutes. Inhaling to inflate the belly, exhaling to ground through your sit bones and legs and down into the earth.

Often in life, our energy and awareness is in our heads.  This meditation will help to ground you and bring your focus and energy back into the present moment.

 

Check out our 5 elements Yoga Retreats in Cairns, where you will be taken on a journey through the five elements, Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space.

And please, as always, feel free to contact us if you have any comments or questions.

Namaste,

Beth Hartig

Hartig Yoga

 

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