8 Yoga Poses and a Meditation to Connect You to the Water Element

8 Yoga Poses and a Meditation to Connect You to the Water Element
Understanding the five elements—earth, fire, air, water, space—and their effects on your body can help you keep them balanced within yourself, leading to a healthier, happier life.

In previous articles in this series, I discussed how to better connect to the fire element and earth element through a series of yoga poses. Next up is the water element, or Jala.

The water element is associated with the second chakra, Svadhisthana or Sacral chakra, and is located in your pelvis region. This element and chakra are associated with emotions, passion, pleasure, creativity, fluidity, and sexuality. When the water element is balanced, you are able to connect easily to others, feel content and calm, let things go, be open to joy and pleasure, and express creativity. An unbalanced water element may lead you to feel emotionally unstable, dehydrated, low libido, tense, and stuck.

Water nourishes the body and connecting to it during your yoga practice will allow you to strengthen and relax your hips, release tension, and become more flexible and fluid. There are many ways to bring balance to the water element during your yoga practice, including the following:

  • Focus on deepening your stretches, as well as releasing tension and unprocessed emotions
  • Include flow (think “waves”) in your sequence
  • Include poses that target your pelvis (see below)
  • Learn breathing techniques, such as the Ujjayi breath—to mimic the waves of the ocean
  • Practice the poses and meditation below that directly support your connection to the water element

1. Sequence: Cobra Dance

sequence1.jpgCreating a continuous and deliberate flow of movement through the following poses is a great way to connect to the water element. It also increases the flexibility, mobility, and lengthening of the spine, and can help relieve menstrual cramps.

  • Start in Child’s Pose by kneeling on the ground and touching your big toes together. Spread your knees wider than your hips, resting your weight on your heels.
  • On an exhale, extend your arms in front of you and fold your torso so that it rests in the space between your legs. Gently rest your palms on the ground.
  • On an inhale, gaze between your fingertips and swim forward into Cobra Pose so that you are lying prone on the floor with your big toes still touching. Place your hands on the floor with your elbows bent and fingertips slightly behind your shoulders. As you press your elbows toward your torso, lift your head and upper chest.
  • On an exhale, begin to transition into Cat Pose by rounding your spine, tucking your chin, and releasing your head to the floor, eventually arriving back into Child’s Pose.
  • Repeat flow for 5 to 7 cycles.

2. Sequence: Undulating Dog

downdogplate300.jpgThis sequence of poses is a great way to strengthen your body, move to the rhythm of your breath, and increase your connection to the water element.

  • From Downward-Facing Dog Pose, round your upper back, engage your core, and find your shoulders over wrists for Plank Pose.
  • On an exhale, bend your knees, reach your heart back, and then lift your hips high for Downward-Facing Dog.
  • Repeat flow for 5 to 7 cycles.
For an added challenge, you can include Sun Salutations each time you arrive in Downward Dog. Here is a detailed description of the Sun Salutation with photo instructions.

3. Low Lunge Pose

lowlunge300.jpgLow Lunge pose stretches your muscles, opens your hips, and releases built-up tension in the body, which is a great way to connect with the water element.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms at your side.
  • Step the left foot forward and bend your left knee until your knee is directly over your ankle.
  • Lower your right knee to the ground and tuck your back toe under.
  • Helpful Modification: Use a blanket or towel below your back knee to take the pressure off the knee.
  • Inhale and circle your arms open and lift your fingertips to the sky. Exhale to relax your shoulders away from your ears, still reaching fingertips for the sky.
  • Take 5 to 10 deep breaths, and then return to standing and repeat with opposite leg.

4. Bound Angle Pose (Badhakonasana)

badhakonasana300.jpgAlso known as Butterfly Pose, the Bound Angle pose is a great way to open up your inner thighs, knees, and groin, and release tension in your lower back. If the water element is imbalanced, you may feel it in your hips, causing them to feel weak or tight. This pose will help to remedy that.

  • From a sitting position, bring the soles of your feet together toward your pelvis.
  • Firmly hold the outsides of your feet with both hands, and sit up tall.
  • Allow your knees to fall open to the sides.
  • With each exhale, gently press your knees and thighs toward the ground. You can use your elbows to support this opening.
  • Hold for 7 to 10 breaths.
For an added challenge, fold forward and extend your arms in front of you.

For a deeper sense of nourishment, try reclining backward in a restful position for Supta Baddha Konasana.

5. Frog Pose (Mandukasana)

frog300.jpgAnother great pose to connect you to the water element by focusing on your pelvis is the Frog Pose. This is a simple yet intense pose so make sure you test the flexibility in your knees before you dive in.

  • Start in Child’s Pose.
  • Open your knees as wide as you can.
  • With your arms reached out in front of you, sink down into your pelvis slowly, first dropping to your forearms. If you’re very flexible, you can slowly allow your chest to come closer to the floor.
  • Hold for 7 to 10 breaths.
For an added challenge, slide your pelvis forward and into the floor. If possible, press your feet together.

For sensitive knees, use props like a pillow or folded blanket under the knees.

6. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasan)

pigeon300.jpgThis is an intense hip opener pose that works well to release tension. In return, it may also release any stored up, unprocessed emotions that you’ve been holding on to. Stay with the pose and breathe deeply, letting go of any rigid thoughts or ideals keeping you stuck.

  • From Downward-Facing Dog, slide your left knee behind your left hand.
  • Extend your right leg straight behind you.
  • Square your hips toward the floor and flex your left foot.
  • Walk your hands out in front of you, resting your weight on your forearms or stacking one fist over the other and resting your forehead on your fists. Eventually you may be able to relax your head on the ground.
  • Hold for 7 to 10 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
For an added quadriceps stretch, lift your torso upright, bend your back knee, reach behind you with your hand, and grab your foot.

7. Moving Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

bridge.jpgBridge Pose strengthens the muscles in your legs, hips, and lower back. Add flow to your pose by turning this into a moving bridge to help connect you to the water element.

  • Start on your back with your arms at your sides, your knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor—hip-width apart and directly under your knees.
  • Keep your arms straight along the sides of your body, and shuffle your shoulder blades slightly underneath the body.
  • On an inhale, lift your hips as you extend your arms overhead.
  • On an exhale, return your hips and arms to the ground.
  • Repeat flow for 5 to 7 cycles.

8. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

happybaby300.jpgIn addition to reducing lower back pain and opening the hips and sacrum, this pose also lifts mood, calms the mind, and relieves stress. Once you get into proper alignment, you can increase your connection to the water element by adding flow by swaying back and forth.

  • Start by lying on your back and lifting your knees to your belly and your feet to the air.
  • Grab the outsides of your feet with your hands. Your ankles should be directly over your knees.
  • Open your knees slightly wider than your torso.
  • Rock gently back and forth on your back for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

Visualization Meditation

Take a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths to center before beginning the meditation.

  • Visualize yourself diving into a body of water—it could be the ocean, a lake, or a pool—whatever comes to you first. As you dive in, notice how the water feels on your face and on your skin.
  • Notice the temperature of the water and the sensations you feel as you dive deeper into the water. Watch yourself continue to dive deeper and deeper and deeper. Pay attention to how it feels to keep diving deeper into the water.
  • Then you start to ascend and come up to the surface for just enough time to get a deep breath of air, then you dive back in. Repeat this cycle several times in your mind—surfacing, breathing, and descending again.
  • After a few minutes or when you feel ready to get out of the water, start to surface again, this time finding your way to dry land.
  • Notice your transition of slowly getting out of the water: The cool air hitting your skin, the cool earth under your feet. As you walk, notice any sounds, smells, or tastes.
  • Notice the sun showing up to warm you up—your face, your arms, your entire body—to dry you off.
  • When you’re completely dry, bring awareness back to your breath, slow inhales and exhales through the nose.

Understand how yoga can help you become more balanced, leading to a healthier, happier life at Seduction of Spirit, a signature meditation and yoga retreat. Learn More.