Bring the element of water into your yoga practice for fluidity, power and adaptability. This is what your vinyasa and breath-work can do – explains Kat Farrants, founder of the UK’s online yoga platform.
Did you know it’s World Oceans Day this Friday 8 June? It’s wonderful that we are all now aware of how beautiful and precious the oceans are. We all know that there are not ‘plenty more fish in the sea’ and that there’s no simple ‘drop in the ocean’. Every drop in the ocean counts and nothing is so numerous or so vast that our actions upon it have no consequences. Humans’ effect on our planet is comprehensive.
But the pristine vastness of the oceans of the past, and in our imagination, has a strong hold on the human psyche and it impacts the way we see and do things in the world.
Bring The Power Of Water Into Your Life
Focusing on our vinyasa – our journeys between each posture – brings the element of water into our practice and into our life. We can immediately feel the impact of practicing with a greater fluidity embodying the fluidity and strength of the oceans. We may even become imbued with the power and adaptability of water – for water loves change. What a beautiful thing, to embrace the ever changing nature of life – and even face up to any changes we might need to make in our own lives.
It is as important to bring the water element to our yoga practice, and life, as it is to bring the grounding, centred feeling of the earth element.
The Ocean Breath
When practicing a calming, static practice, we can bring the power of the oceans into the breath. In fact, Max Strom calls the yogi breath ‘Ocean breath’, also known as Ujaii breath, or victorious breath. Breathing in this way is deeply relaxing and brings about an almost immediate sense of peace. Max did a TED talk in which he discusses the very healing power of the breath. And of course like the ocean, the breath rises and falls continuously, is the true constant in our life until our death, and although it is automatic, can also be controlled by us.
I find that learning to control the breath in this way immediately creates a peaceful feeling, reduces anxiety and feelings of stress and overwhelm and gives me a sense of strength and resilience for thrivingthrough all that may happen in life.
By the sea
Of course making your way to the ocean or pausing by a river or a stream can enhance our connection to water. Even if you can’t do this, perhaps in your practice this week focus on the fluidity of your body, of moving with a watery quality and bring extra attention to your beautiful ocean breath, an immediate source of healing and strength for us all.
Find Your Yoga Like Water
MFML Teacher, Dan Peppiatt, has created this Finding Freedom Challenge – a series specifically designed to help you find your yoga like water.