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Mindfulness based on the five elements

November 13, 2020 - Feeling frazzled or frustrated at ongoing life restrictions? Six Senses Visiting Practitioner Christelle Chopard shares some easy mindfulness exercises to set your heart and mind free based on reconnecting to the elements (air, fire, water, earth, ether).

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Autumn reveals diverse tones of color in the forests and mountains. Leaves turn to yellows, oranges and reds. They are falling gracefully to the earth creating a soft colorful carpet. Autumn is also the time to harvest a symbolic moment of appreciation and gratitude for all that has been nourished during spring and summer.

Observing the leaves falling gently may offer a sense of relief. Sometimes our mind is too busy for us to see or hear what is surrounding us. We may notice a dissociation from our senses and environment as our minds are preoccupied with worry. Stress causes anxiety and impacts our health, our relationships and our quality of life.

Walking mindfully in the forest, we become aware of crunchy sensations below our feet. The wind blows and we hear its whisper. We smell the rich fragrances that are particular to this time of the year.

Placing our hands on our heart, closing our eyes and listening to the voice within, we can draw our attention to our breath while visualizing loving light in our heart center and releasing any thoughts to give space to the heart’s frequency. Love is the best remedy for healing and clarity of mind.

A harmonious relationship to all the five elements (air, fire, water, earth, ether) liberates our thought process to rekindle the mind body connection.

Below are exercises to cleanse each of the five elements. You may apply these in your daily or weekly routine for clarity and wellbeing. 

The first thing we do when we come to this world is breathe. Breath is vital and relates to communication. It supports our wellbeing and rejuvenates the whole body.

A practice of breathing and visualization to clarify the mind with the air element:

  • Take the air in deeply, feeling its freshness. Imagine that your thoughts are in a cloud in front of you. When you exhale, blow this cloud away slowly. Take a moment to disassociate from thoughts and worries with appreciation, forgiveness and gratitude.
  • When the cloud is more distant, take a moment to focus on an intention you would like to bring into your life. You could focus on gratitude, clarity or love, for example.
  • After two minutes, breathe in this frequency and breathe out to enhance the feeling of this intention in your vibration.

The fire lightens up our life. Fire is a masculine element. Its aspects are change, creativity, motivation, willpower, drive and sensuality. Fire ceremonies are used for marriage, birthdays and other auspicious times of our lives for healing and purification. Fire brings warmth. When the fire is healthy and strong it reflects in the charisma of the person.

A ritual to clarifying our mind with the fire element (once a week for a one-month period, and then once a month):

  • Light a candle with the intention to heal. Write on a piece of paper some thoughts and aspects of your life that cause you stress.
  • Then burn the paper visualizing that they are now released from your life. Visualization and the sense of sight is directly linked to the fire element.
  • Then, write positive affirmations that ignite your fire and bring a sense of wellbeing.

In pranayamas (breathing techniques) we teach the fire breath. This technique is a way to cleanse the solar plexus and to ignite inner fire:

For our first experiences, we place our hands on our plexus area, we inhale naturally through the nose. We then follow with a sharp exhalation contracting the belly/plexus area. The exhale is short and direct. We can begin with a series of 15 breaths of fire, and then extend unto 33. We may do three series of 33 breaths of fire. This activation of the fire clarifies our mind and rekindles mind body soul connection.

The water flows and changes depending on its environment. This element relates to our emotions. Sometimes we freeze, sometimes we steam, sometimes we are calm. Our moods and emotions are influenced by the circumstances around us.

Dr. Masaru Emoto has shown how water exposed to positive speech and thoughts can form visually “pleasing” crystals.

Clearing the mind using the water element:

  • You may write “joy” “love” “balance” “peace” on your water bottle. It will program the water crystals.
  • You can also think those words when you hold a glass of water before and during the time that you drink it.
  • Focusing your attention towards a positive intention while drinking water redirects your thoughts towards a positive mindset.

The earth supports us. It is stable, strong below our feet. We walk, jump, run, dance. We lay down. A moment of appreciation for the unconditional support we receive from gaia (mother earth) nurtures our connection. When we feel unsettled, we lose ground. A mindful walk brings our attention to the present moment.

Clarifying the mind with the element of earth:

  • The element of earth relates to the sense of touch. Touching the warmth and sensitive skin of a hand. Touching the smooth texture on a sofa. Exploring the shape of a leaf through the sense of touch.
  • Be mindful that what you touch quietens your mind. Walking mindfully also brings you back to this present moment.

Ether is space and relates to sound. We notice the importance of space in our life. When we breathe there is the inhalation, the moment of contention holding the breath and the exhalation. The best musicians are those who know how to play the pause.

Clearing the mind with ether:

  • When you are in nature, listen to the sounds and the whisper while being in a very relaxing position, surrendering to nature.
  • You can release all tensions and observe the space in between each breath, the space within and all around.
  • If you don’t have access to nature right away, you can still listen to healing sounds such as a singing bowl to enter into a profound relaxation.

Being mindful to all the five elements and senses (touch, smell, sight, sound, taste) when we eat a meal or in any other activities bring our attention back to the present moment. Clearing our mind and giving space to then take in aspects of our lives with a new perspective and more clarity.

Christelle Chopard is a life coach, yoga therapist C-IAYT, vortex meditation practitioner and author of a trilogy about the dharmi method.

www.dharmi.com

www.christellechopard.com

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