Three Yoga Poses for the Water Element

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Yoga is based on the principles of the five elements, or the great tattvas, which constitute the entire world of existence — including your body, mind, emotions, personality, and spirit.

The five Tattvas are also related to the five senses: hearing, touch, sight, and taste. They correspond with the sense organs that they represent (the ears, skin, eye, tongue, and nose), the five organs for action (the vocal cords, hands and feet, genitals and anus), and the lower chakras.

Continue our exploration of the elements with the water element.

The Water Element

Water is associated with qualities like flow, adaptability, and softness. It is healing, calming, and nourishing on all levels. Water can make us feel good. Think of the soothing sound of a water fountain or a relaxing seaside day.

Water is associated with our third chakra (or sacral), which is where we feel our emotions. As we incorporate more water in our practice, we cultivate not only fluidity and playfulness but also a softness and a certain level of sensitivity. As we add more water to our practice, it becomes less aggressive and more nurturing.

The water element is also found in the pelvis and governs the hips. Therefore, the poses below are designed to bring you into the waters beneath your lower belly (where the tops of the legs meet the body). Three poses will help you to incorporate more of the fluid, soothing qualities of water into your practice:

Pose of a Cat and a Cow

One of the most common ways to play with water is by synchronizing movement and breath. This creates a constant, deliberate flow.

Spend time doing five rounds of Cat/Cow to lengthen and create flexibility and mobility in the spine. Focus on tilting and tucking the pelvic bowl while initiating the movements.

Close your eyes, and move your spine in any way that feels comfortable. As you become more fluid, try hip circles, side-to-side movements, and rolling your rib cage.

Bound Angle Pose

A standard pose for the 2nd chakra, Baddha Konasana or Bound Angle Pose, brings us into the waters of the pelvis, opening the hips and the groin while cooling and calming the mind.

Sitting down, put your knees to the side and the soles of both feet together. Press your feet firmly together, and then focus on rolling the inner thighs up and down while you hinge forward.

As you breathe in, release your lower belly and let it soften.

Low Lunge

Low lunge, also known as Anjenyasana or the “Low Lunge,” drops us in our pelvis. This opens the hip flexors and legs, while the strong roots of the tailbone connect us with the earth element, and the lift at the core connects to the fire element.

Ensure that the distance between your front and back legs is at least hip width.

Draw your belly away from the front thigh by extending your tailbone and bending your knees.

Try to bring more water into your system, and you will notice that it will soften everything, from your mind and body to your personality.

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