While 4 Element Yoga eventually can become a complex exercise and personal growth program that you develop over many years, you can begin reaping its benefits with minimal knowledge. You can begin by just doing these things:
There is a power to breathing that is generally not appreciated. Many people breathe shallow and relatively fast. All versions of yoga push us to breathe slowly and deeply. Slow, deep breathing changes your blood chemistry, your body physiology, your consciousness. When you do 4 Element Yoga it is important to breathe slowly – in synch with the slow movements.
4 Element Yoga’s relation between this slow movement and your breathing is heightened through its division of inhales and exhales into counts. You will generally be moving from side-to-side with each of the four or more counts comprising each inhale and exhale. I often begin my patients’ foray into 4 Element Yoga by telling them to do the above as they walk: on odd counts try to imagine you are breathing into your right ribs and torso as your right foot comes and your right arm goes back; on even counts do so on the left side.
Developing a Spiritual Sensibility
There is a spiritual sensibility – a consciousness to yoga that pushes you to feel things on a deeper and more spiritual level. One of the powers of yoga is that it can help you feel that there is a correlation between a movement and a deeper spiritual reality – with body-healing processes being activated.
4 Element Yoga permits you to perceive this correlation even more by defining the connection between a particular body motion, a “spiritual principle”, and a particular physiological healing process in your body. This will be talked about shortly.
What does the 4 Element of 4 Element Yoga mean?
The four elements of Nature help us to understand an exciting new holistic paradigm, or model, for comprehending the unity of Creation – and the spiritual dimension of our body, and Nature, too. Called Four Element Holistic Thinking, this model helps us use Nature’s four elements to define a set of four primal principles that have built Creation, Nature, and our human body.
Four Element Holistic Thinking tells us that the human body (as well as its mind and spirit) is as advanced as it is only because Creation’s four building block principles have combined in such elegant and productive balances within our humankind. These four principles find more exuberant balances in those who live robust, healthy and productive lives.
Nature’s four elements – Fire (the sun), Air, Water and Earth (the terra firma under your feet) – are here to help us recognize and use these four principles in more productive ways. Many ancient traditions of humankind have recognized the significance of Nature’s four elements; 4 Element Yoga builds upon this ancient wisdom.
Engaging the Four Elements as you move
There are two main ways these life-giving principles can enter your life. One is through what you eat and drink; the other way is through what you physically do with your body. And what is it that we each do with our body? We move.
4 Element Yoga builds upon the discovery that each of the three dimensions of space (which we move in) relate to the first three elements, Fire, Air and Water. It would make sense that something as exceedingly significant as space would have Creation’s essentials involved in it.
4 Element Yoga’s movements not only help you release stress build-up, they allow you to “translate” the power of Nature’s four life-positive principles into you as you move. You will discover that movements in the Water element’s horizontal x-axis will pump tides of nourishment into local tissues (even organs and discs).
Vertical (y-axis) Air element motions pump “chi” into injured or dis-eased tissues; back-to-front motions bring the Fire element’s “order energy” into the moving region. Pressing an area backwardly (and often down) brings Earth’s alignment and “sturdifying” forces to bear.
The way 4 Element Yoga brings the power of these four life-positive forces-principles-elements into your body is quite amazing. It’s revolutionary, even evolutionary in the sense that you will grow and become more body-aware in a positive way as you do it.
Join Dr. W’s free 4 Element Yoga Intro Program – so you can begin this new and exciting yoga – and jumpstart your own Four Element journey!