AN ARTICLE BY FREELANCE CONTRIBUTOR SALLY KEYS
Water is a life-giving force for all animals, plants and organisms. Making up 60% of human body, it performs a necessary function for every living cell. Without water, humans can only survive for three to four days; much less time than we can without food. In yoga, the water element represents fluidity, change, cohesion and integration. Connecting with this element can make you more open to pleasure.
Water and the Second Chakra
The water element is linked to the second chakra (or the sacral chakra) which is located in the pelvis and regulates creativity and sexuality. This chakra also governs emotions and when out of balance sexual dysfunction, depression and instability can occur. Harmonizing this chakra by connecting with the water element can release you from the shackles that limit your enjoyment of life. It will allow you the freedom to explore and revel in life though all the senses and in particular, develop a healthy connection to your sexuality.
Water Element Poses and Flows
Water element poses that relieve tension in the pelvic area by stretching the hips and sacrum will balance the sacral chakra. Stress and anxiety can be stored in the hips so try a butterfly pose, lunges (or any warrior pose) and lizard pose to open the hips, groin and hip flexors. Pigeon pose will release trauma and stress stored in the hips and to alleviate lower back pain, while frog pose will stimulate the organs of the abdomen and relieve mild depression.
Yoga flows that mimic the fluidity of water through back and forth movements can also help to heal and connect with the water element. Try rippling the spine with pelvic circles or completing rolling bridge flows. Gracefully transition from plank to downward dog in a continuous movement for alternative calming sequence for the sacral chakra.
Environment and Meditation
When practising yoga at home, being near to water will extend your ability to connect with this healing element and can be an aid to meditation. If you’re lucky enough to live near to water step outside to meditate whenever you can. The sounds of a trickling stream, a fountain, or the ebb and flow of the tide offer a naturally soothing sound on which to focus.
Another way to connect to water through meditation is by imagining yourself diving into a lake or pool of energising water. Feel the buoyancy of your body as you float and the soft repetitions of the water lapping at your skin. Wiggle your fingers and imaging the ripples moving outwards towards the shore.
Hydration and Healing
Looking after the body through good hydration will further enhance the benefits of yoga practise. Water will lubricate the joints and allow blood to run freely through the body, oxygenating and improving circulation as you practise poses and flows. Immersing your body in water and allowing yourself to become weightless will also relieve built up tension and sooth joints.
When any of the chakras are out of balance it can have a draining and negative effect on the body and mind. Heal your sacral chakra by consuming, connecting with and being close to water.