Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Vinyasa Yoga Sequence: Earth and Space Element Yoga Poses
Students who seem distracted during their practice sessions, despite doing yoga for quite some time, need to be introduced to the Root (Muladhara) Chakra poses to awaken the Earth Element. These students have excess Air and Space in their body, both of which tend to highlight qualities like insecurity, fatigue, imbalanced energies, a constant state of distraction, lack of control, restlessness, etc. It is essential to nurture these students with yoga poses that create a sense of balance while making them feel grounded and centered.
Students who have learned to balance the first three basic chakras (Root, Sacral, and Solar) and are familiar with the fourth chakra (Heart), but want to go further with regards to balance, can be introduced to yoga poses to stimulate the Throat (Vishuddha) Chakra to awaken the Space Element. Balancing the Space Element helps one to express freely, connect the outer world with the one within and encourages confidence, leading to feelings of self- sufficiency and satisfaction.
The Vinyasa Yoga Sequence for awakening the Earth and Space Elements given below uses unusual yoga poses. Typically aimed at stimulating the Root Chakra, the use of standing balancing yoga poses are seen in this, but here, we ground the entire body by supporting the spine in supine poses to awaken the Earth Element.
Going further in the yoga sequence to awaken the Space Element, the use of backbends and forward bends is seen while stretching and locking the neck and throat, respectively. It is important though, to have a strong and stable body to practice these poses. Hence, to awaken the Space Element, complete control over the body and the breathing process is required.
The following yoga sequence is an Intermediate Level one, but at a more Advanced Level, it also involves practicing pranayama, mudras, bandhas, and meditation to awaken the various Elements of the body. For the same, it is essential to have control over the body and mind to make practices smooth and steer them towards a spiritual path.
Before the practice of the given yoga sequence, introducing beginners level yoga sequences for the chakras and their elements is essential. These are given below:
Vinyasa Yoga Sequence: Earth and Space Element Yoga Poses: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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Starting the sequence with the focus on activating the Root Chakra (Muladhara), that represents the Earth Element.
The focus is on supine yoga poses keeping oneself grounded and connected to the Earth.
The spine when close to the ground is a great way to open the Root Chakra while activating the qualities of the Earth Element.
Staying secure, content, detached, in control, being responsible, etc., are some of the features of the Root Chakra. Achieving the same with the ultimate focus to stay grounded, the following yoga sequence is very creative to support the same.
A. Start to relax and connect with the body, as you lie down in Constructive Rest Arms Overhead Pose. A rare way to start with the opening of the Earth Element while in supine pose as being close to the ground with the entire body touching the ground is a great way to feel completely grounded and calm.
B. Using the Ujjayi breathing technique, go with the practice for about 8 rounds.
C. Watch the abdomen and the chest move as the Ujjayi Pranayama breathing is done.
D. A great way to begin the practice to just surrender to the mat and the yoga practice.
E. Unwind, breathe, connect and relax as you stay in this posture.
F. Stretching of the arms above the head keeps you awake while also staying close to the ground with the contact of the arms touching the floor behind you.
A. Release and begin with Cycling Pose Bent Knee. Moving the legs in a circular motion warms the hips and the legs. The opening of the entire lower body is typically a great way to begin to connect to the Earth Element.
B. Inhale, raise the right foot off the floor, bend the knee and bring it to the chest, and then raise it to 90 degrees and go in a circular movement.
C. While the right leg is off the floor, the left leg follows the opposite pattern.
D. Warms the hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, and the feet, preparing for Eagle Pose with Pada Sachalanasana Bent Knee.
E. Repeat this for 12 rotations with 15 breaths. Ensure the breathing and the cycling movement are in sync.
F. Connecting to the Manipura Chakra (Fire Element) while in this practice also encourages to keep the Muladhara Chakra in balance, as they are all inter related.
A. Releasing from Raised Legs Pose, place the feet on the floor and relax.
B. Exhale and place the knees on the floor towards your right side slightly twisting the hips and the thighs in Supine Windshield Wiper Twist Pose. The spreading of the knees, thighs, and the hips stimulates the Muladhara Chakra.
C. A gentle massage for the hips, the lower abdomen, the inner thighs, the sides of the lower back, the entire back and the quadriceps. These will keep the Earth Element engaged.
D. A must yoga pose for all kinds of yoga sequence practice. Breath as you remain towards the right side for about 1 minute (6 breaths).
E. As you exhale, take the twist deeper opening the hips wider. Take the focus towards the root of the spine while in this posture.
A. Inhale, and raise the left leg to hold the toe while taking it towards the left side in Reclined Big Toe Pose B.
B. Straighten the other leg out while holding the toe of the right foot.
C. Exhale completely extending the left leg while feeling the stretch in both the inner thighs.
D. Stay stretching as you exhale for about 6 breaths. The opening of the hips deeper helps to stay connected to all the first three chakras while focusing main on the Root Chakra (Earth Element).
E. Typically the opening of the Earth Element is done with standing poses that involve the opening of the hips, but here, we have used a creative way to work on the Earth Element while staying completely grounded and calm.
Notice: How the hips feel different in both the internal and the external rotation of the hips
A. In a flow, bring the left foot to be placed over the right knee, while releasing from Reclined Big Toe Pose B.
B. Raise the right foot off the floor and come to Sucirandhrasana, with an inhalation. Exhale, to press the thighs closer to you.
C. Inhale, hold the thigh and exhale to press the thigh close to you. Inhale, and bring the leg down and repeat this 6 times along with the breathing.
D. The external rotation of one side of the hips while keeping the other stable is a great way to work on stimulating the Earth Element while taking the awareness towards the base of the spine, Root Chakra.
A. From Sucirandhrasana, interlock placing the left thigh on the right and bring the knees towards the right side on the floor in Supine Spinal Twist Eagle Legs Pose.
B. In a flow, take the interlocked legs as you inhale and while placing the thighs down on the floor towards the right, you exhale. Here, you are resting the Element with both legs interlocked, doing exactly the opposite of the earlier poses.
C. Stay feeling the inner thighs contract while in this posture for about 6 breaths. While here, take the awareness to the base of the spine while coordinating the breathing process.
Notice: The contraction of the inner thigh muscles along with the stretch of the gluteus of one side. It is always important to open the hips to both the internal and external rotation yoga poses, but it always starts with the external practice.