What Is 4 Element Yoga All About?
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 gain much from just taking to heart these foundational concepts:
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 sync 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 just telling them to do the above as they walk: on odd counts try to imagine you are breathing into your right ribs and torso and right forward arching leg/right backwardly moving arm; on even counts do so into the left.
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 4 Elements help us to understand an exciting new holistic paradigm, or model, for comprehending the Oneness of Creation – and the spiritual dimension of our body and all of Nature. Called 4 Element Holistic Thinking, this model helps us use Nature’s 4 Elements to define a set of four primal principles that have built Creation, Nature, and our human body.
4 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.
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.
It is useful to appreciate that exercise is a time-honored, important way to draw movement into our body. 4 Element Yoga helps you to see how Life’s four most powerful principles are able to be translated into your bodies as we exercise. Once you understand how these four principles work, you can turn any moment of exercising (like walking and even your deskwork) into a body-strengthening, yoga moment of your day.
4 Element Yoga builds upon the discovery that each of the three dimensions of space relate to the first three elements, Fire, Air, Water. It would make sense that something as exceedingly significant as space must have Creation’s essentials involved in it.
Earth, on the other hand, relates to bone, and is the solid physicality within each body region that we will often press into as we do 4 Element Yoga. While the power of each of the first three elements can be translated into us as we move in the spatial axis relating to that element, Earth is translated into the physiology of our bodies as we isometrically press a body part into something solid.
Using 4 Element Yoga to Draw the Power of Each Element into Your Body
Moving your body in the axis connected to an element empowers the particular body-strengthening physiology that relates to that element. In other words, as you move in the axis relating to Water – the side-to-side sways of the x-axis – you can bring the nourishing, nutrient-filled waters of blood into local tissues. Learn more.