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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
Karen is a yogini, writer, student, teacher and meditator. She founded Garden Street School of Yoga in 2000. Karen lives with her husband Chris. They have two amazing sons, Eli and Leo (both of them young men).

Aug 19, 2008

Endless Forms Most Wondrous

Today we worked with the water Element (Ap). Here's a list of Water element aspects and correlations:
  • Soft, Flowing
  • Pranamaya Kosha
  • Inner Spiral
  • Vinyasa
  • An ability to move fluidly
  • The Sense of taste
  • Second Chakra - Svadhisthana - "sweetness"
  • "The sign of Water's presence is its opposite - power." ~~Godfrey Devereaux
We started the practice with Pranayama and then Danielle (who teaches Flow Yoga) treated us to 20 minutes or so of excellent Vinyasa. We loved it. Vinyasa is perfect for the Water element as Water is cultivated and expressed by learning to move effortlessly, softly and fluidly into, out of and between forms (asanas). Also, water is supported by repetition and expressed in sychronicity between breath and movement - allowing the breath to lead the way.

I caught the end of Danielle's flow instruction and carried it forward as we did more vinyasa. (Shiva Rea calls this type of practice prana vinyasa. I like that.)

I wove Inner Spiral and hip openers into the vinyasa. We did some standing hip openers and some that were lower to the ground. Getting the thighs back and the hips open with inner spiral is maybe the best way to assure free passage of ap - water element - as in apana vayu - the free and easy flow of prana through the hips and legs. We cultivate earth element with muscular energy and "shins in" before engaging water element with Inner Spiral and Thighs Out. The banks of a river have to be firm before the flow of the river increases. Chinese Medicine recognizes the The Source of water is in the Ball of the Foot (Bubbling Spring Point)- Anusara talks about the Source of the Water element as the the mound of the big toe where Inner Spiral initiates. The Lake is the Pelvis (no jokes!)

When the water element is is healthy in us, we flow from form to form withtout grasping or aversion. We learn to move among the "endless forms most wondrous" (Darwin) that life presents.

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