The water element is tied to the ability to go with the flow, to listen to your feelings and channel your creativity.
The 7 poses described below are very fluid movements. They focus on opening the hips first thing in the morning, and provide a burst of energy for the rest of your day.
These poses are accessible to all levels, and no props are required.
- Circular Spine Movement – Sit tall, however you find comfortable (cross legged or kneeling). Start to make big circles with the upper body. Like you are stirring a pot or making circular cat/cows. Breathing in and out through the nose. Reverse directions.
2. Yogi Squat – Come up with the feet hip width apart. Turn the toes out and heels in. Bring the palms together at the heart. Use your elbows to push the knees wider. Reach the crown up to the sky, and sink the hips down. Maybe add a gentle sway side to side. Holding for at least 5 deep breaths.
3. Skandasana/ Side Lunge – Come up to standing facing the long edge of your mat. Take the feet wide, with the toes turned out to the corners. Bend into the right knee, keeping the left leg straight and sinking hips halfway down. Switch over to the left side. Alternate. After a few rounds take into skandasana, sinking the hips as low as you can as you bend into the right knee. Bring the right hand down in front, with the elbow inside of the knee. Using the elbow to press the leg wider. Open the left arm up towards the sky, expanding through the arms. Repeat to the left side.
4. Wide Legged Forward Fold – Push into the feet to stand up. Turn both feet parallel to the short edges of your mat. Fold down, with any arm variations. Relax your neck. Maybe nodding the head or shaking it side to side as you hold for several deep breaths.
5. Dancing Warrior – Stand at the top of your mat. Step the left foot back. Spin the back heel down, so left foot is parallel to the shorter edge of the mat. Bend into the front knee. Extend the arms front to back. Inhale, reach the right arm up and left hand under to come into reverse warrior. Exhale, bringing the right arm down and left arm up and over in extended side angle. Flow through these two poses with the breath for a few rounds.
6. Pigeon – Bring the hands down to the ground, framing the front foot. Bring the right knee behind the right wrist. Extend the left leg back behind you. Square the pelvis. Flow like a wave with the upper body here – inhaling up high on the fingers, chest pressing forward. Exhale to lower the heart towards the mat. Take a few rounds like this. Then lower down and relax into the pose for about 5 breaths.
Repeat 5 and 6 through on the other side.
These poses come from a 15 minute Water Element based morning yoga practice on my YouTube channel.