Yin Yoga and the Element of Fire
Summer is the power of fire. It is easy to see nature’s qualities of fire imbued in this season. Particularly when we take the time to understand all that the element of fire offers us. Consider the yang-like qualities of the sun, light, passion, movement, transformation and warmth. Fire can burn fiercely and when stoked it roars upwards consuming and transforming anything in its path. When contained fire shines outwards radiating warmth and light. Fire has the capacity to create irreversible change and it can bring people together in community arounds its hearth.
All these qualities of fire are expressed in oriental therapies. When the energies of fire are balanced within our very nature we radiate joy, health and our inner spirit is tranquil. When the energies of fire are deficient or in excess we experience ill-health, psychological dysfunction, disruptions to our inner cycles (menstrual, digestive, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders to mention a few).
In traditional Chinese medicine the heart is at the center of the Fire element. It is protected by its interrelationship with the other Fire meridians and integrates with the other elements and meridians of the body. It is the home of Shen, our spirit, mind and consciousness. To find balance we must nurture this aspect of the Fire element within.
Summer time is the perfect opportunity to check in with your inner fire. With the festive season all wrapped up maybe you are considering resetting your thermostat to a level of balanced health. As you check in with yourself ask where does your fire burn? Did you enjoy too much summer heat over the festive break? Was there a lack of laughter and joy in your season? What was at the heart of your summer break?
Take time to meditate, nourish your Shen and find a balance between passion, play and presence. Move your body, allow any dwindling embers to find a healthy spark and glow so as to balance the deficiencies you may have. Acknowledge your passion, your emotions and feel what you feel. Gaze into your inner fire and tune into your inner shen. If your fire is lacking, get it fired up by surrounding yourself with laughter and excitement. Work to balance the Fire element within you and stay healthy.