Yoga and your nature: what is your element?

This can relate to your astrological sign, but also to the stages of development within chakra psychology (you can read about this in more detail in Judith Anodea’s amazing “Eastern Body, Western Mind”).

In chakra psychology, it is believed that we all have a dominant element – based on the element we come into this world with (our astrology sign), plus our upbringing and how we move through the various stages of development. Your dominant element will determine your thoughts, actions, relationships and motivations, and will also determine the element that you are most deficient in (your opposite element and the key to rebalancing you).

Air types

They are the dreamers, the idea people, the creatives and the change makers. They are rational and logical, analytical and changeable, both in the head and in the mood. Rarely do they sit still, jump from one idea to the next, and tire themselves (and anyone who can’t keep up).

At best – they are sociable and easy to make friends, they can talk endlessly on a million different topics, and love meeting people from all cultures and walks of life. They are the advocates of fairness and equality and want everyone to feel welcome and accepted.

When out of whack, they are easily burned out and their mind weaves a web of anxiety that leaves them amazed and disconnected from their bodies. When a problem arises, they suppress their emotions and turn inward. They cut themselves off from their community until they have resolved the problem by rationalizing and repressing their feelings until they make sense of them.

In relationships – they live in their heads as well as in any other part of their life; dream, fantasize and intellectualize. Most of all, they need mental stimulation, but they could also benefit from some grounding energy that they bring into their bodies. They like novelty and get bored easily, so it’s important that the relationship doesn’t stagnate – if they’re bored they’ll likely create drama to spice things up a bit, but the only thing you rely on with an air sign you will never be bored!

The greatest lesson for air: Moving is easy for you, but how about staying still? If you can learn to accept the stillness, the stillness and the slowness, your overactive mind will enjoy a break and you will find ways to turn your numerous ideas into reality. Try a morning meditation practice, calming down and grounding food (think: all of the earth) and some gentle yin or relaxing yoga.

Earth types

Reliable, loyal, and practical – they are the kind of people you want at work, as a friend, or a partner. They are grounded, solid, and reliable, and want their lives to follow this pattern. Earth types are resistant to change and favor routine. They are generally more materialistic than the other types, if not frivolous. They enjoy good food, music, art, and sex.

Earth type

At best – Earth types are loyal, stable, and reliable. They are the friends who keep your secrets in their hearts, who will remain constant despite the ups and downs of life, and who will inevitably do well in life due to their ability to apply and maintain their energies in a stable manner.

However, when they are out of whack, it can be difficult to get them moving. They can get stuck in their ideas and comfort zones and will move on even if they don’t feel really satisfied or inspired.

In relationships, they can be easily satiated by satisfying their senses with good food, good sex, and simply the calming presence of their partner. Compared to an air or fire sign that indulges in the early stages of dating, playing and dreaming, Earth types are less enthusiastic about the “new” ones and are more likely to stick around for the long term.

The greatest lesson for the earth type: learn how to introduce more exercise and incorporate it into your otherwise routine life. As you face new challenges, places, and people, you may push them a little out of their comfort zone, but they will benefit so much from having a little spontaneity put into the mix.

Fire types

The Elements Dedicated Entrepreneurs, Fire Signs, need to feel (and are seen for) making a difference. You tend to take action and think about the consequences later, and will likely start a fire under other people’s seats as well.

At best – they are charming and entertaining, joyful and inspiring. They start the party (with the help of their trusted air sidekicks) and encourage us all to be spontaneous and determined.

When out of whack – patience is not a fire type strength. If you want something, you want it now, not a moment later. They also need to be “seen” and valued, which can lead to their tendency towards people to let in the wrong people. When things inevitably don’t go their way, an excess of fire can cause tempers to rise or, on the other end of the spectrum, once their fires have been put out, turn to a victim mentality.

The lesson for the fire type: patience. Their natural urge is immediate action that progresses from a place of passion, but sometimes a good lesson for them is to take a breath and pause, letting others share their ideas, or at least using others as a sounding board before jumping into the conduction movement . When the fires are kindled or feel out of control, cooling foods and flowing activities like yin yoga, swimming, and dancing can help them express their great need for exercise through gentler ways.

Water types

Water type

Be like water and go with the flow. This sums up the always adaptable water type that can adapt to any situation and relationship. Their strong attunement to the emotions of others can be both a blessing and a curse as they learn to navigate the flowing water of human interaction. In doing so, they often take care of everyone along the way while holding and naturally happy to nurture the mother’s energy.

At best, they are the chameleons of the elements. They are very adaptable and attuned to the emotions of others. You can transform, charm, groom, and connect with people in any scenario. Their fluidity allows them to fit in easily and share a caring and dreamy energy that can help us escape the sometimes harsh realities of life.

When the water types get out of whack, they can sometimes be a little too adaptable, lose themselves and adapt, change and bewitched in the process for a smooth ride instead of acting decisively or even defying the status quo. Led by their emotions, they can easily plunge into the depths, embody the victim’s mentality, or subtly manipulate others through their emotions.

In relationships, they are prone to co-dependency. They rarely take responsibility for their own emotional waves and instead look to their partner on whom they will project. However, their flowing, flexible and dreamy nature makes them the ideal partner to find your way around in everyday life while they whisk you away to their fantasy land and make sure that life never gets too stagnant.

The lesson for the water type: Create boundaries. Learn where to start and where your partner / friend / colleague ends. All of these adjustments in life can lead you to forget your own self. So by setting firm guidelines for your own and theirs, you can maintain your own identity. You can also look to your counter-sign – fire – and cultivate a little more warmth through fire-building activities like HIIT or boxing and enjoy the spice of life through exotic and warming foods.

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Lauren Brady

Lauren is a Vinyasa, Mandala, and Yin Yoga teacher offering online and in-person courses, events, and retreats in Barcelona and beyond. She has a special fondness for astrology and the lunar cycles and is a lover of nature. All of this feeds into her teaching style and gives it depth.

Visit their website and look at the unique Yoga & Astrology Offer to learn more about your element and how you can bring yourself into balance.

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