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Fire up your yoga flow this November!

By James Curran

Fire up your yoga flow this Bonfire Night!

Ready to bring the fire to your yoga practice this November?  It doesn’t have to be all about the outdoor bonfires and fireworks on Guy Fawkes Night, we can celebrate internally by bringing the element of fire to our yoga practice.  Igniting the inner heat, reawakening passion for our practice, building strength and resilience through our mind and body and lighting a spark that will carry us through the dark nights until Christmas.  

The Fire Element

The Fire element is associated with heat, power, strength, passion, intensity and transformation.  (Get ready for boat pose!)  In Sanskrit fire is known as Agni.  Connecting to this element through our practice helps to burn away what's no longer serving us, ridding us of limitations, expectations and negativity.  It teaches us to persevere in times of difficulty, allowing us to find courage and confidence in our personal power.  And it helps to renew and increase our energy and vitality.  Say goodbye to feeling sluggish and weighed down as you let that inner spark be reignited.

How to evoke Fire/Agni into your practice

  • Focus on strengthening, standing and balancing postures such as plank, chaturanga, dolphin, chair pose, boat pose, tree pose, the warrior poses, standing figure 4, eagle and handstand
  • Build the heat at the start of your practice and salute the sun with a few rounds of Surya Namaskar A and B (sun salutations) to get the body moving.
  • Connect to the breath in static strengthening postures such as plank.  Hold the posture but make sure you aren't holding the breath!
  • Create longer sequences on one side to build strength and practice balance, try linking 7 or 8 postures together before flowing through a vinyasa and taking it over to the opposite side.
    • Build heat through working into the core and Solar Plexus Chakra, keep the navel drawing in towards the spine and activate the pelvic floor muscles to bring a sense of stability and sureness into the body.
    • Ignite the body with the breath, try practicing Bhastrika, Kapalbhati or Ujjayi pranayama.  These breathing techniques are used to increase oxygen intake and bring a bit of heat to the body.  Only practice if they feel comfortable and return to a normal breathing pattern if dizziness or lightheadedness occurs.

    Taking the Fire Element off your mat

    Let this inner heat and fire you’ve created serve as a reminder of just how powerful you are.  Use it to connect to your creativity, confidence and courage.  Focus on your passion and ambitions and let that spark ignite your motivation to chase down your goals!  Know that you always have this Agni, this heat, this power inside of you and you can use it to do whatever you want in this life.

    Written by Donna Edwards

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