Over the last couple weeks in this Happy Healthy You column, we have been exploring the elements that surround us that are energies, within us.
tap here to see other videos from our team.
The earth element assists us to get grounded through our feet and where we sit, to feel more rooted, centered, and aligned. Getting in nature cultivates feelings of this grounding, rooting energy.
The water element assists us to go with the flow. Being near water, in water or visualizing water can cultivate feelings of cleansing, releasing, emotional flow as well as resiliency during change.
The fire element in yoga philosophy is also known as Agni Tattvas. The names come from the Sanskrit agni, meaning “fire,” and tattva, which means truth, reality, or thatness.
This energy is located just above the belly button. It is connected with the sun or fire energy and is often referred as the fire within.
The energy of fire element is of strength, courage and ambition. It assists to tap into willpower and determination. When we have a balanced fire element we can cultivate and access the forementioned qualities with more ease, allowing greater confidence and self esteem.
When the fire element is imbalanced within us, we may have lower confidence, poor boundary-setting and lack of drive. The opposite end of an imbalanced fire element is too much flame, we can be overbearing, egotistical, and burn others with our intense flaming words or actions.
The fire element is also about digestion. It can affect physical digestion, making appetite change (over-eat or no appetite), it can make in-flamed digestion with heartburn and acidity and affect our elimination systems as well. It is also our ability to digest life on life’s terms.
When we are balanced, we can digest change with more ease and live life with more of a heart-centred compassionate, boundary-setting strength.
In yoga, the fire element can help to strengthen the core muscles, build heat to strengthen the body, while cleansing and purifying the mind, body and spirit.
We can practice diaphragmatic breathing, which is something we did we when we were born but somewhere along life, we switched it up. With this type of breathing or abdominal breathing, on the inhale the belly expands outward, all the way from the pelvic bone to the lower rib cage. Then on the exhale, the whole belly retracts inward, hugging in and lifting up. You can usually feel your core muscles on the exhale as you pull all muscles on the breath out, in towards the spine and up towards the heart.
If we think about the energy of fire, it’s about change, absorption and courage. To fully stand in our own power, we often have to “walk through the fire” of life’s never-ending changes with courage and strength. It’s about finding the courage to begin the process of shedding limiting beliefs we may carry, releasing thoughts and actions that no longer serve us, saying no when you mean no and saying yes when you mean yes! The fire element is about fully understanding our self-worth and standing in our true authentic, truthful power.
Fire is transformational. Think of how good it feels after the winter when the sun shines on your face and warms your skin. Spending time in sunshine is our best source of Vitamin D. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it makes vitamin D from cholesterol. But it also stokes the flame of the fire within.
The dancing flames of this element teach us to stay strong but flexible, living from a place of heart-centred strength and truth and radiating that outward. Shine on!