Like all things in nature, the body is made up of elements.  In scientific terms, we consider elements like oxygen, hydrogen and carbon.  In yogic terms, we simplify these elements into the energies of earth, water, fire, air and space.

The earth element represents matter in its solid state.  In this state, matter is stable and the particles move slower.  The earth element, bhumi or prithvi, is present inside all the structures of the body - from the cellular structures to our organs to muscles and bones.  It establishes the foundation upon which transformation can occur, like the sand beneath a beach bonfire. 

Earth comes to life in the the root chakra (muladhara) and helps us connect to our instinctual body. The bhava or feeling of the earth element is a smooth, steady rhythm that draws us closer to the ground by letting everything go to gravity.  This magnetic earthly pull of consciousness supports the energy of manifestation where we put ideas into action. 

Uncover What You Need

This sequence was inspired by my incredible friend Emily Taylor who asked a very simple question, what is your favorite feel good yoga pose? I immediately started scanning my yoga memory for highlights of feel good poses.  The one I kept coming back to was anjaneyasana.  It wasn't immediately clear why, but this is a pose I practice everyday. Even when I don't have time or space for a full practice, my body will find its way into some form of this pose.

I find strength in its simplicity. Some of my most sacred yoga moments have developed out of this shape because of its infinite shades.  On the days when I need it most, it's healing. On the days when I am disconnected, it grounds me. On the days when I am energized, it's empowering. And everyday, when I am joyful, this is my expression.  It brings my inner and outer worlds into balance.

The practice shown below may not have all of my favorite yoga poses. (Especially because my focus was on shoulder strengthening and upper back opening, both areas of intense opportunity for me.)  However, the qualities that are so immediately obvious to me in anjaneyasana are available in every yogasana.   Each shape is a possibility to move into greater alignment with the energetic body.  Uncover what you need in every shape, and allow for the practice to provide.

Not always a crowd pleaser, this flow returns to dolphin again and again as a way of bringing anything needing attention to the surface.