Jala

From the stability and grounding of the earth element, we transition to matter in its liquid state.  The boundary begins to relax and we experience the fluidity of motion.  Water is dynamic and adapts to its container.  When faced with obstruction or resistance, water doesn't stop or struggle, it spontaneously changes its form and flows around the impediment following the path of least resistance.  The breath, when fluid, guides us along this same path, flowing in and out of our deepest caverns to create slow change over time. 

In the body, water or jala, is responsible for all the biofluids that keep our tissues healthy and functioning.  And in its most natural state, water flows.  When the flow stagnates, problems can occur.  In the body, this equates to poor circulation, sometimes resulting in illness or disease.  The practice of yoga asana balances the water element by clearing space for circulation and movement in both our physical and energetic bodies through the vehicle of the breath. 

Water originates in the svadhisthana (2nd) chakra and is the energy of our creativity.  It represents our ability to adapt and go with the flow.  It helps to soften our hardened edges and connect us with our inner essence, beyond the physical form.