I absolutely love curling up in front of a fire, in winter. I find it hypnotic, comforting and mesmerising. There is also a sense of respect and awe for the power of fire, where it can consume and destroy.
This month, the My Kind of Yoga practice is focused on the fire element.
Certainly in the norther hemisphere, we are experiencing the height of summer. It has been a rather wet and dull winter, and today, it is warm and the sun is shining. Whilst you may wonder why on earth are we focusing on fire, the summer months, are a perfect time to connect to the element of fire; both internally and externally.
Read any sacred text…the Bible, the Koran, the Torah or the Sutras, and references to the power of fire abound. Fire purifies, engulfs matter and reduces it to ash, transforming it from one form to another. Likewise, fire does the same for us in our practice. The fire of our breath and the heat of the physical posture burn through our obstacles, establishing a fertile landscape for new energy. Those obstacles can be physical, mental or emotional. Yoga is the practice of personal alchemy, through which we are transformed.
Our fire practice cultivate the third chakra, which is located in the area of the solar plexus and navel. It awakens our spiritual warrior, igniting in us a resolute strength, willpower, commitment, fearlessness and control.
When our fire is out of sync, on the one hand, we start to feel heavy, sluggish, untrusting, defensive, depressed and anxious. The other extreme is when our fire is white hot. We do not know how to control it. Always going, always ‘on’, always talking, self-centred, restless and always wanting to ‘make things happen’ and be ‘productive’.
So how do we control our fire?
When fire is out of control, consider some grounded Poses, or perhaps lay with your feet up the wall. Sit quietly and repeat, “Breathe in Love, Breathe out Hate”.
For most of us, fire is lacking and burning inconsistently. This can be noticed as affected digestion, metabolism and menstruation. Twists are a great way to help get your digestive track moving. Twists also help increase blood and oxygen flow. Inversions are a great way to increase blood flow and flush out the liver, kidneys, nourish the digestive organs and release toxins.
Fire provides us with heat and warmth but if not controlled can ignite and leave us smouldering. Fire can give us wings of compassion and courage, but it can also be selfish and will destroy anything in its path. Learn to look within and find a way to nurture your flame.
Fire is that tiny voice speaking to us, burning in our soul. It represents our dreams, our beliefs, our virtues, and our spark.
Be fearless and realise your fire, dreams and desires.
Till next time …