Are you in tune with your air element? Are you transparent, carefree, and light? Do you feel like you’re able to jump into the wind and fly without being weighed down?
If not, it might be time for you to connect with your air element! This element is mobile, changeable, and untroubled.
You don’t need to settle for a life with heavy baggage. Instead, connect to the air element within you to find a happy-go-lucky attitude and a sense of freedom that nothing can restrict.
Need help with your water element? Get in Your Flow: Yoga Poses to Connect With Your Water Element
Enter the Air Element
The air element represents the breath of life! Air is literally our life-force (which, of course, is closely associated with our life-force energy or prana). This precious element literally keeps us alive in our day-to-day lives without us even giving it considerable notice.
Curious about prana? Prana: Demystifying Life Force Energy
Because we interact with air every moment of every day, it can sometimes feel unimportant or insignificant. But air is the primary nutrient!
Thus, breathwork or pranayama can drastically affect our relationship to the air element within us. By becoming aware of the air moving through our bodies and nourishing us to our core, we can more greatly appreciate its vital role in our lives.
The air element is also associated with the Heart Chakra, which is housed in the heart center (not surprisingly near the respiratory system’s lungs and diaphragm), so we can also stimulate and activate it by practicing backbends and heart openers.
Use These 4 Yoga Practices to Connect to the Air Element Within:
Explore and experience the air element within you by incorporating the following practices into your flows.
1. Diaphragmatic Breath
Nothing connects you to the air element more than deep breathing, and deep, diaphragmatic belly breath is the perfect way to fully experience air flowing through your physical form.
How to practice:
- Start in any comfortable seated position
- Draw your right hand to rest on your belly and your left hand to rest over your heart
- Take a full, deep inhale through your nose for a slow count of four
- Breathe all the way down to your diaphragm at the bottom of your rib cage and feel how this extends your belly and your right hand forward
- Exhale slowly and deeply through your nose for a slow count of eight
- Feel your belly retract underneath your right hand
- Continue breathing like this for about five minutes, focusing on taking longer exhales than inhales
For a deeper connection to your breath: Try holding the breath both before your inhale and after your exhale to connect to the precious life-force energy of this element.
2. Cat/Cow Pose
Linking movement with breath, the simple undulation of the spine between these two poses both opens and closes off the heart center to create a connection to both your breath and your Heart Chakra.
How to practice:
- Start on all fours with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your hips stacked over your knees
- As you inhale, soften your belly toward the floor, hug your shoulder blades together, peel open your chest, and lift your gaze
- As you exhale, press firmly into the floor, round your back body, draw your shoulder blades apart, and gaze toward your navel
- Continue flowing between these two poses, allowing your breath to guide the movements surrounding your heart
For a deeper connection to the flow: Move your body organically through the transitions. You could add circular motions in your torso, bend your elbows, and/or flow like air in all directions.
3. Bow Pose
As both a heart opener and a challenging yoga pose, Bow Pose not only activates your Heart Chakra, but also brings clear attention to breath as your respiratory organs find resistance from the floor.
How to practice:
- Start lying on your belly with your feet roughly hip-distance apart and your arms by your sides
- Bend your knees and draw your heels toward your seat
- Reach back to either catch your ankles or a strap looped around them
- Activate your core and lightly press your pubic bone into the floor
- As you inhale, equally kick your feet into your hands and draw back against your feet with your hands
- Expand your heart forward toward the top of your mat and hug your shoulder blades together
- Hold for a few deep breaths before slowly releasing back down to your belly
For a deeper connection to your breath: Gently rock with each breath you take in the pose. As you inhale, feel your chest fill with air to lift it a bit higher from the floor. As you exhale, soften your chest as it subtly releases back toward the floor. Let the air move your body.
4. Wheel Pose
By deeply opening the heart center, this posture immediately stimulates the Heart Chakra.
How to practice:
- Start lying down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor roughly hip-distance apart, slightly forward of your seat
- Reach your arms straight up to the sky and then bend your elbows to release your hands above your shoulders with your fingers pointing toward your toes
- Root down firmly into your feet, squeeze your elbows into the midline of your body, and cinch in around your waistline as if tightening a corset around your whole torso
- Press equally into your hands and your feet to lift your hips and chest off the floor and straighten your arms as much as possible
- Expand your heart center forward toward the top of your mat and reach your tailbone toward your knees
- Hold for a few deep breaths before tucking your chin and slowly releasing back down to the floor
For a deeper connection to the air element: Become aware of the flow of air surrounding you. Visualize the air beneath your body and the air flowing between your arms and legs. Feel enveloped by the air around you.
Take the Air Element Off Your Mat and Into Your Day!
When the air element is balanced within you, not only is your breath smooth, calm, and deep, but so is your mind.
By utilizing yoga practices like pranayama and heart openers, we can stimulate and balance the air element within.
So the next time you find yourself feeling stuck, inhibited, or heavy, reconnect with your breath. Tune in to your heart center. Feel the flow of air within you. And then reassess. You just might find that you aren’t so tied down after all.
Need more fire too? Ignite Your Fire Element: 4 Yoga Poses to Boost Confidence and Feel the Burn!
Take a Full Yoga Class That Activates the Air Element
Put it all together in a full-length online yoga class on YA Classes to activate your air element (plus more classes for each Earth Element).
With Jenn Pansa
6 Classes | All Levels