Embodying the Elements

This is a centering exercise I wrote for a client.  This practice allows us to connect our bodies to nature, reflecting on how each body position feels.   Enjoy!


Let’s begin by drawing awareness to our breathing.  Bring in a deep belly full of oxygen.  Feel the air come into your body.  As it comes in through your nose and travels into your lungs, notice how the oxygen is feeding your body with life.  Imagine the oxygen travelling to each and every cell in your body, from shoulders to arms, elbows to wrist, and to the tips of each finger.  Imagine the oxygen feeding every cell in your chest… torso… waist…   your hips and legs… your knees to your ankles… and into your feet, with every single toe.

As you draw awareness to your feet, let’s take this time to settle your feet on the ground.  Connect to the ground.  Feel yourself rooted to this great earth that offers you nourishment and support.  Press your feet into the ground as you lift your head up to straighten your spine.  Send your gaze into the distance, surveying your environment while embodying a mood of confidence and calmness.  This is the element of Earth.  It is grounding and stable.  It is solid and whole.  As are you.  You are confident and calm here, the king or queen of this, your kingdom.  As you take in a deep breath, take in the majesty of this moment.  And as you release, in your mind exhale this thought “All is right in my kingdom.”

Take a few deep breaths here.

Pause to reflect on this experience.

Take another deep breath and we will begin to shift into our next position.

Consider your feet.  Set one foot slightly in front of the other.  Lean your torso forward.  For support, place one elbow or hand on the knee of your extended leg while you shift your focus straight ahead.  This disposition represents your resolution towards action.  This is the element of fire.  Feel the heat brew in your belly and grow into inspiration.  You are a warrior.  You are focused on taking productive action that serves your community.  As you take in your next breath, bring in your determination.  And as you release, exhale “Forward.”

Take a few more deep breaths here.

Reflect on this moment.

In your next deep breath we will begin to shift into our next position.

Again, consider your feet.  Settle them comfortably apart.  Sit back into your chair, letting your shoulders fall back as you open up.  Let your gaze loosen ahead of you, gently.  This is the position of the lover, open to new thinking, new ideas, new experiences… new possibilities.   Allow yourself to feel open to the world without judgment or reluctance, but instead with loving kindness and acceptance.  This is the element of water.  It is the feeling of floating along on an ocean of possibilities.  It is endless peace.  As you take in your next breath, bring in peace and loving kindness.  As you exhale, breathe, “I invite you in.”

Take a few more deep breaths here.

What ideas are you ready to invite?

In your next deep breath we will shift into our last position.

This position – the position of the magician – has motion.  It is the element of wind.  Let your eyes close as you imagine a light wind breezing towards you, like music in the air.  Gently move with this wind.  Where will it take you? What does it bring to mind?  Allow your shoulders to move, and with them, your neck, your head, comfortable.  Notice the sway in your torso reflected in your hips.  Begin to feel flexibility seep into your muscles.  Embody the winds of change.  Breathe with this.  You are open to change.  You are ready to make magic.

Slow your movement down.  Glide back to grounded stability.  We will take a few more deep breaths.  Here, I invite you to reflect on the movements you have made.  Which positions felt authentic and comfortable?  Which felt forced?  Where in your life have you made a habit of one position where you may now be willing to try another?  What possibilities do certain positions open?  What possibilities might they close?

Take a few more deep breaths.  And when you are complete, write about your experience and what you have taken away from this.


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