7 Yoga Poses to Connect You to the Air Element
By Melissa Eisler Melissa EislerWhat better way to connect to the five elements—earth, fire, air, water, space—than to incorporate each of them into your daily yoga practice? Doing so can help you become more aware of their effects and keep them balanced within yourself.
In previous articles in this series, I discussed how to better connect to the fire element, earth element, and water element through a series of yoga poses and meditations. Now I’d like to focus on the air element, or Vayu.
The air element is associated with the fourth chakra, Anahata or heart chakra, and is located over your sternum. This element and chakra are associated with love, freedom, openness, mobility, frivolity, positivity, and intellect. When the air element is balanced, you are able to freely give and receive love, feel light and open, be compassionate, feel motivated and innovative, and express mental agility. An unbalanced air element—either too much or too little—may lead you to feel withdrawn, noncommittal, unproductive, unfocused, sluggish, and overloaded with racing thoughts.
There are many ways to bring balance to the air element during your yoga practice, including the following:
Bring awareness to your breath
Include incense in your yoga practice
Try aerial yoga
Include flow (think “wind”) in your sequence
Learn breathing techniques such as Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing)
Practice chest-opening yoga poses, and other asanas that help you connect to the air element, like the ones listed here…
1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
Before you start your yoga practice, you’ll want to bring awareness to your breath and connect to the air element. This pose is a seated position, but don’t let the name confuse you—easy pose can be quite challenging, especially with a monkey mind. Practice this pose while bringing all of your attention to your breath—in and out through the nose.
Start in a seated position with your legs extended in front of you.
Bend your knees and cross your legs in front of you at the shins.
Place each foot under the opposite knee, and place your hands on your knees, palms down.
Balance your weight evenly. Align your head, neck, and spine.
Hold for 5 to 10 slow, steady breaths.
Release and change the cross of your legs.
2. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Start your yoga practice by opening up your chest. The air element is embodied in the breath and opening up your chest allows you to expand your lung capacity.
Begin by lying prone on the floor with your big toes touching.
Place your palms on the floor with your elbows bent and fingertips slightly behind your shoulders.
As you press your elbows toward your torso, lift your head and upper chest.
Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
3. Cow/Cat Pose (Bitilasana/Marjaryasana)
Combing Cow Pose with Cat Pose creates a continuous and deliberate flow of air movement as you expand and contract your chest. Focusing on your breath as your move through these two poses is a great way to connect to the air element.
Come to your hands and knees, with your body in a tabletop position.
Bring your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
Spread your fingers and press your …read more
Source: Deepak Chopra