PRESS PAUSE WITH LAURA BECKINGHAM

Many cultures across the world recognise the four primary ‘elements’ of air, fire, water and earth as fundamental energetic building blocks of life. Though the practical meaning of this idea differs across philosophies, what’s shared is the common belief and understanding that to live in balance with the elements in both our inner and outer worlds is to live a healthy and happy life.
PRESS PAUSE WITH LAURA BECKINGHAM

This wisdom is ancient, but it is accessible to us in the modern age. We can use the philosophy of the elements as a lens through which to look at our own wellness habits in a tangible way. This helps us to connect more with what we can do to feel truly healthy and content.

There is no better time to consider this than winter – when life is stripped back and more simple, we can see more of its natural form. We also have the space and time we need to make more conscious, nourishing and sustainable choices.

Here is some insight in to what each of the elements stands for, why that matters and what we can begin do at a simple practical level to bring ourselves more in to balance with them and so more into balance with ourselves.

Air >>

Is associated with love, freedom, and openness. It is related to the heart chakra, so any yoga poses that open the chest support better alignment with air. Try cobra, cat/cow and bridge pose.

Breathing well of course also connects us better with the element of air. Structured breath techniques are a useful tool for this; consider techniques such as the 4-7-8 or ‘relaxing breath’ technique and heart-centred breathing.

Fire >> 

In balance fuels passion, confidence, willpower and transformation. In yoga try a sun salutation sequence and plank pose. When it’s cold, eat warming spices like ginger, cinnamon and cumin and vegetables like parsnip, leek and onion (when it’s warm, the opposite applies – eat cooling foods because fire over stimulated can lead us to feel angry or aggressive). Catch the sunrise or sunset where possible and get as much sunlight as you can.

Water >>

Nourishes us – when we are in tune with it we are calm, creative and more in connection with ourselves and others. In yoga, poses that open the pelvis help, such as pigeon pose and low lunges. Take baths (ideally with some Epsom salt added for an added detox), wash your hands when leaving places and take a swim – these are all useful ‘water’ practices, good for the body and for the mind. Also remember to stay hydrated – this is critical for wellness and overall balance.

Earth >>

When we’re in balance with Earth, we feel grounded, safe and strong. Child’s pose, warrior I pose and tree pose are excellent yoga poses that ‘earth’ us. Eat food that has been grown in the ground, such as root vegetables, sweet potatoes and squash. Also eat foods rich in minerals (such as sea salt), leafy greens, or nuts. Lastly, don’t forget my favourite grounding practice – walking in nature (ideally barefoot though I couldn’t recommend that at this time of year!)

I’d love to hear how you get on with using these practices to bring balance back in to your life – you can email me at [email protected] if you’d like to share!


Follow Laura on social media or get in touch for one-to-one coaching sessions and group retreats.

Twitter: @space_with_in  | Facebook: @space.with_i  | Instagram: @spacewithindevelopment

Related Stories

  • Real Wedding

    REAL WEDDING: NO PLACE LIKE HOME

    Friday 22 September 2017 THERASE & DAVID NUGENT >> Therase and David live together in Australia. Originally from South Tyneside, Therase met Dave on the dating website, eHarmony while...
  • WELL GROOMED

    WELL GROOMED

    BE BOLD >> COMME DES GARÇONS Amazingreen eau de parfum 100ml £90; conranshop.co.uk SIMON CARTER Chess piece cufflinks, silver £35; johnlewis.com HENRY LONDON Chiswick mesh strap watch with trio...
  • Weddings in season

    WEDDINGS IN SEASON…

    BLOOMIN’ LOVELY Spruce up your spring style with floral frocks, fresh fragrances and fancy accessories Ted Baker Valtia jacquard off-shoulder dress £239; tedbaker.com Jimmy Choo Lancer 85 suede pointed courts...
  • MATTHEW BOURNE'S CINDERELLA

    MATTHEW BOURNE’S CINDERELLA, THEATRE ROYAL

    WHAT’S IT ABOUT? You may think you know the fairytale Cinderella story, but this one has a darker twist than any Disney version. In Matthew Bourne’s hands, the ballet...