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5 elements

5 Elements Yin Yoga: Earth Element

5 Elements Yin Yoga: Earth Element

Yin Yoga is a practice which encourages a softening or surrendering of activity and an observation of present moment awareness. Integrating the Chinese Five Elements into the practice enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga as a healing modality, as we are each an embodiment of Earth, Fire, Water, Metal & Wood.

During circumstances of imbalance, we can utilize the wisdom tradition of Yoga Asana to organize the skeleton and relax the musculature in specific ways which awaken and enliven gentle self-inquiry and a lubrication of the connective tissues and pathways for immunity, longevity, and vitality.

In a world that’s ever shifting, may you use this practice to find stillness.

In thought patterns which engender suffering, may this practice allow you to see the unity of all things, from the shifting of the seasons to the suppleness of the spine.

Xoxo,
Kali Durga


Earth Element & the Stomach Meridian: Finding Nourishment and Groundedness

“When we are connected to the Earth there is a palpable sense of groundedness, a connection to the center of ourselves and the center of all things”

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When we are connected to the Earth there is a palpable sense of groundedness, a connection to the center of ourselves and the center of all things. A coming home. We call her “Mother Earth” for she is continuously nourishing and supporting us. She is the foundation of our physical well-being and our direct connection to universe.

Ask Yourself: How do I nourish myself?  Earth element therapeutics include connecting with nature, walking barefoot on the earth, eating slowly and consciously, and taking time for things that delight and nourish you.

Seasons. Each element is most dominant in a particular season. The earth element, however, shows up between every season. The energy of the earth element is a gathering back and centering yourself, a downwards, grounding energetic.


Organ Functionality. The stomach sits beneath the spleen, below the left side of the rib cage. 
The stomach’s primary function is digestion, to mix the nourishment we uptake with acidics from the stomach to pass substance to the intestines. Mounting evidence suggests the essentiality of the ‘belly brain’, in which emotions substantially affect the digestive and immune response process.

Constitutional Personality Types:
Imbalanced Earth types typically do not nurture and nourish themselves. They can experience a Sense of emptiness and neediness, an insatiable desire to fill a void. Imbalanced earth types are often looking for something to fill them- relationships, food, alcohol/drugs, TV, shopping, work.

Physical symptoms of imbalance: Eating patterns can be dysfunctional, as earth types tend to have issues which center around food and relationships. Sugar/sweet cravings, overeating, bloated belly, Candida are all symptomatic of earth element imbalance.  

Emotional symptoms of imbalance: Anxiety, Clinginess, Possessive in relationships, craving of sympathy. 

Balanced Earth types are grounded, present, and connected. When they walk into a room, you can sense the way in which they are inhabiting their bodies fully.

Balanced types understanding which activities and experiences are nourishing, as opposed to which ones temporarily fill a desire. They are nurturers, but balance giving with receiving. 

The stomach meridian begins at the cheekbones, traces along the jawbone, and spans across the collarbones. It then descends the front line of the abdomen, through the groin creases, and all the way down front of the thighs and kneecaps across the top of the foot, where it ends at the second toe. A Yin Yoga practice to support and balance earth energy in the system would incorporate aspects of the meridian to lengthen and lubricate the connective tissue among those regions of the body.

Earth element postures can include:
Butterfly  (Baddha Konasana)
Frog  (Mandukasana or Bhekasana)
Sleeping Swan (Rajakapotasana)
Saddle (Supta Vajrasana or Supta Virasana)

Copy of Kali Basman Bio.JPG

About Kali:

International yoga teacher Kali Basman  (kalidurgayoga.com) enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga to integrate distinct aspects of Self into an innate wisdom practice to awaken a rich inner life and radiate with ritual. Her offering honors Yin Yoga as a tool to surrender to our intrinsic wholeness. On the textured path of mindful healing, Kali is celebrated for her integration of the 5 Elements and Chinese Meridian Theory with self-inquiry, embodied Anatomy, Buddhist Philosophy of Equanimity, and sharp intellect. 


WANT TO PRACTICE WITH KALI? Learn more about her upcoming 5 Element Yin & Restorative Yoga Teacher Trainings.

5 Elements Yin Yoga: The Fire Element

Yin Yoga is a practice that seeks to mindfully lengthen and lubricate the connective tissues and approach Equanimity in the subtle and emotional body. Practicing the methods of stillness, mindfulness, and loving kindness, Yin Yoga empowers practitioners to coax Prana into particular healing and rejuvenate pathways.

In a world that’s ever shifting, may you use this practice to find stillness.

In thought patterns which engender suffering, may this practice allow you to see the unity of all things, from the shifting of the seasons to the suppleness of the spine.

Xoxo,
Kali Durga


Fire Element & the Heart Meridian: Illuminating Bhakti, Devotion

“If fire energy is balanced, disappointments and disillusionments in relationships are able to be part of our maturing and learning, and in their conscious reflections continue to open our heart”

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The yin meridians of the fire element run from the chest down the arms and into the hands. They relate strongly to touch, intimacy and connection. Its through touch that we affirm friendship, warmth, communicate our live, give and receive, share. An inner pathway penetrates the tongue and extends down through the diaphragm to connect heart center with lower energy centers that empower sexual responsiveness.

Emotional harmony from the heart results from opening from heart center and acceptance. If fire energy is balanced, disappointments and disillusionments in relationships are able to be part of our maturing and learning, and in their conscious reflections continue to open our heart

Ask Yourself: What engenders an authentic feeling of expansive joy in my heart? How do I deal with disappointments and disillusionments in relationships – do they help me to mature, or do I shut down? 

Season: Upwards energy, stimulation/excitement, full moon, midday, heat of summer

Organ Functionality: Oxygenation- Dark red blood low in oxygen enters the right atrium of the heart and pumped outward into the lungs. Bright red oxygenated, pranic blood then returns from the lungs into the left atrium of the heart and distributed to the entire body. Heart is the gateway to pranic distribution of the entire system. Notice how you feel when you breathe from the heart, with compassion and love, versus non-integrated breathing that may feel staggered and poorly distributed.

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Constitutional Personality Types

Imbalanced Fire: Imbalanced fire types can experience lack of self-compassion, self-love, manifesting in a need to ensure they are loved and have someone to love.  They often feel lonely, or socially/sexually overactive (yin/yang). Often feels lonely, unloved. Inability to authentically connect but always searching to fill that 

Physical symptoms of imbalance:
Heart palpitations, chronic stiffness or tension in chest, excessive thirst, poor circulation, BP problems (low/high) hardening of arteries, neck/shoulder pain, Anemia

Emotional symptoms of imbalance:

  • Lack of self-love, poor self-esteem

  • Emotionally oversensitive – easily hurt

  • Withdrawn and shy or overly communicative

  • Difficulty integrating sociall

When fire is in balance, fire types are loving, spontaneous and joyful. Life is full of laughter, fun and creativity. Feeling of being in sync with the self and others. Emotional warmth and radiance.

Fire element postures can include:

Melting Heart (Anahatasana)    
Dragonfly (Upavistakonasana)    
Supported Backbend-Chest/Heart Openers 
Sphinx/Seal  (Bhujangasana)

Copy of Kali Basman Bio.JPG

About Kali:

International yoga teacher Kali Basman  (kalidurgayoga.com) enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga to integrate distinct aspects of Self into an innate wisdom practice to awaken a rich inner life and radiate with ritual. Her offering honors Yin Yoga as a tool to surrender to our intrinsic wholeness. On the textured path of mindful healing, Kali is celebrated for her integration of the 5 Elements and Chinese Meridian Theory with self-inquiry, embodied Anatomy, Buddhist Philosophy of Equanimity, and sharp intellect. 


WANT TO PRACTICE WITH KALI? Learn more about her upcoming 5 Element Yin & Restorative Yoga Teacher Trainings.

5 Elements Yin Yoga: Water Element

5 Elements Yin Yoga: Water Element

Yin Yoga is a practice which encourages a softening or surrendering of activity and an observation of present moment awareness. Integrating the Chinese Five Elements into the practice enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga as a healing modality, as we are each an embodiment of Earth, Fire, Water, Metal & Wood. During circumstances of imbalance, we can utilize the wisdom tradition of Yoga Asana to organize the skeleton and relax the musculature in specific ways which awaken and enliven gentle self-inquiry and a lubrication of the connective tissues and pathways for immunity, longevity, and vitality.

In a world that’s ever shifting, may you use this practice to find stillness.

In thought patterns which engender suffering, may this practice allow you to see the unity of all things, from the shifting of the seasons to the suppleness of the spine

Xoxo,
Kali Durga


WATER ELEMENT & THE KIDNEY MERIDIAN: APPROACHING EQUANIMITY & RESTORATION

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The wisdom of water is its incredible strength, it carves rock and shapes the entire earth, but without force. Water element allows for adaptation to all of life’s changes, challenges and stresses. Like the flow of water, a balanced practice empowers us to govern emotions, rather than letting emotions govern us.

This is sometimes called ‘radical impartiality’: water energy enables us to act effectively in regard to a problem despite emotional responses, from a place of stable clarity, and to continue to advance or retreat appropriately. To act consciously, rather than react unconsciously. Allowing feelings to be there, without suppressing or indulging them. 

ASK YOURSELF. 

Do I know when to stand my ground and when to surrender? Am I making choices which deplete my vital energy, or allowing spaces to replenish and revitalize my system?

SEASONS.

Each element is most dominant in a particular season. The winter, which is also the season most dominant in YIN energy, is also the home of the water element. Just as a bear hibernates in winter, the water element of this season asks us to engage in renourishing activities. 
 

ORGAN FUNCTIONALITY. 

Located below the lowest ribs on the back body, the kidneys are responsible for waste removal and filtration of blood. Kidney energy effects all of life’s processes from birth onwards. It is essential for growth and maintenance of general vitality, creativity, youthfulness, and sexuality. Kidney energy controls the Chi, or essence, and thus gives stamina and vigor to the entire bodymind. 


CONSTITUTIONAL PERSONALITY TYPES:

IMBALANCED EARTH: 

  • Excessive reactivity and perpetual state of emotional responsiveness (opposite of equanimity) highlight an imbalanced water type. Fear, stress and anxiety drain the system of motivation, so they are unable to cope with issues that arise.

WATER TYPES:

  •  They tend to create stressful schedules and unrealistic priorities to take on too much beyond their capacity. A continuous build-up of stress and a consistent strain on adrenal glands and nervous system can drain them. 

  • Physical symptoms of imbalance: Kidney deficiency is more apparent in winter. If fatigued or unbalanced, water types are less able to stay warm and grounded and nourished when the water element is intense. Weak kidney chi can manifest as yellow palor to the skin, blue bags under the eyes, a craving for salty food, and aversion to the cold.

  • Emotional symptoms of imbalance:  Fear, panic attacks, phobias, feeling overwhelmed.

BALANCED WATER TYPES: 

  • They trust in the flow of life. They are typically morning people, as they awake full of vigor. They are motivated and thus flow around obstacles with a skillful balance of effortlessness and determination.  

The water meridian or the kidney channel begins at the sole of the foot and curls around the inner ankle before ascending up the inseam of the back of the leg. As it reaches through the inner groin it branches up the front of the spine and chest to end just below the collarbones.
   
A Yin Yoga practice to support and balance water element typically tends to emphasize vitality support. As the kidneys filter toxins from the blood, our aim in a water practice is to support the flow of blood and Qi uninterrupted, alongside front and back bends and lengthening of the inner leg line.

TRY SOME OF THESE WATER ELEMENT POSTURES!

  • Half dragonfly (Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana)

  • Caterpillar (Paschimottanasana)

  • Sphinx (Salamba Bhujangasana)  

  • Seal  (Bhujangasana)

  • Bridge or supported bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)         


About Kali:

International yoga teacher Kali Basman  (kalidurgayoga.com) enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga to integrate distinct aspects of Self into an innate wisdom practice to awaken a rich inner life and radiate with ritual. Her offering honors Yin Yoga as a tool to surrender to our intrinsic wholeness. On the textured path of mindful healing, Kali is celebrated for her integration of the 5 Elements and Chinese Meridian Theory with self-inquiry, embodied Anatomy, Buddhist Philosophy of Equanimity, and sharp intellect. 


WANT TO PRACTICE WITH KALI? Learn more about her upcoming 5 Element Yin & Restorative Yoga Teacher Trainings.