“Jala” – “Ap” – “Varuna”
Principle of – Fluidity & Flexibility
Sense – Taste (transmits flavour) – tongue/pelvis & reproductive organs
Characteristics – Flowing (with the current), knows the path of least resistance for ultimate strength, liquidity, allowing, loosening, dissolving, downward, pleasure, sensual, sweetness, emotional fluency/health/availability, connected to feelings, ability to bond with others, ability to let go and move forwards, in the body: flow of lymph/blood/fluids, in the mind: adaptability,
Empowerments / Qualities – Receptive, intuitive, forgiving, nurturing, reflective, sensitive, kind, humble, intuitive, compassionate, devotion, vulnerability, creativity, good overall health.
Shadow Aspects – Loss of personal boundaries, lost in others, lost in emotional tides, overly sensitive/emotional/protective, limited idea of self, excess of emotional dependence, escapism, difficulty in dealing with emotions, addictions, extremist, difficulty with healthy boundaries and takes the shape of whatever is present without personal choice.
Emotion – Sadness, Love & Compassion
Lesson – Adaptability, emotional fluency, go with the flow.
Patterns of Movement – Serpentine, Undulating, Wave-like
Dosha – Kapha (Earth & Water)
Refinement – Ojas (container, the juiciness of inner body, unity, consciousness, unifying energy, immunity)
Chakra – Swadhisthana (Sacral Chakra)
Finger – Little finger
Mudra – Varuna Mudra (Varuna – water god, god of the sea, guardian of the waters and king of the aquatic animals.)
“The still waters of a lake reflect the beauty all around it. When the mind is still, the beauty of the self is reflected in it.”
Find greater balance in life through connecting to the Water Element
- Guide your attention inwards to your bodily fluids: blood, lymph (a collection of the extra fluid that drains from cells and tissues), synovial fluid (in joints), genital fluids, saliva, etc. This can be done effectively by doing a body scan meditation. With focus and curiosity explore this watery element in the body.
- Become more aware of the water and fluids around you, when you wash in the shower, when it rains, when you see it in nature; sea, stream, river etc. Even when you eat fruits and veggies, relish their hydrating and nourishing fluid content (try juicing them, and you’ll see how much water they contain.)
- Make a conscious effort to spend time by large bodies of natural water. Better still, immerse yourself in it. Go swim in that lake, dive into that ocean, stand under that waterfall. Whether you walk alongside a river or float along in it, be fully present with the whole experience, what you are seeing, feeling etc. And if you can’t get outside, with eyes closed, listen to the sound of water on audio, take your pick and transport yourself to that location.
- Appreciate all forms of water. Appreciate its healing properties and the role it plays in sustaining the planet and nourishing life.
“Water is the emotional gateway of the elements that provides one with the capacity to feel things deeply. The embodiment of water reveals itself with sensitivity, connection with feelings, emotional intimacy and the ability to ‘go with the flow’. The practice and teaching of yoga with the inspiration of the water element holds compassion, intuition and sensitivity. Watery types tend to be creative, forgiving, compassionate, nurturing, intuitive, sensitive and dream life into being.” Sianna Sherman
Use Yoga to nurture & develop qualities & characteristics of the Water Element
- Practice yoga focusing on the glutes, hips, groins, pelvic, sacral and lower belly regions as this area of the body is connected to the Water Element. Choose postures that warm them up, loosen them up and help reduce tension, rigidity or stickiness. Hip openers, seated postures, and forward folds will be beneficial.
- Water element is connected to the second chakra, Swadhisthana, so it’s helpful to explore this Chakra in your practice.
- Move your body in a serpentine, undulating, wave-like way. Let your movement be as fluid as possible; find movement pathways to allow such. When you move one body part, allow the rest of it to follow harmoniously, like a ripple effect.
- Pour your weight into a stretch and feel a sense of softening and melting away of any physical and emotional ‘stuck-ness’.
- Open and close your practice with a meditation using the Varuna Mudra. Also, you could find ways to incorporate this mudra into other postures throughout the asana practice (in Warrior 2 for example).
“Water can carve its way even through stone. And when trapped, water makes a new path… Water is powerful. It can wash away earth, put out fire, and even destroy iron.”
“Research has shown that being near, in, on or under water can provide a long list of benefits for our mind and body, including lowering stress and anxiety, increasing an overall sense of well-being and happiness, a lower heart and breathing rate…”
“The term “blue mind” describes the mildly meditative state we fall into when near, in, on or under water. It’s the antidote to what we refer to as “red mind,” which is the anxious, over-connected and over-stimulated state that defines the new normal of modern life. Research has proven that spending time near the water is essential to achieving elevated and sustained happiness.”
“This “blue mind” response to water is best understood from the long view. Our ancestors were on the move — and finding water was a matter of life or death. That all of our senses respond positively to water is highly adaptive…”
“Water is considered the elixir and source of life. It covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, makes up nearly 70% of our bodies, and constitutes over 70% of our heart and brains…”
“This deep biological connection has been shown to trigger an immediate response in our brains when we’re near water. In fact, the mere sight and sound of water can induce a flood of neurochemicals that promote wellness, increase blood flow to the brain and heart, and induce relaxation. Thanks to science, we’re now able to connect the dots to the full range of emotional benefits being on, in, or near the water can bring.”
Further reading about why time spent near water is the secret to happiness.
“You are not just a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop.”
Enjoyed reading this? You may like my other blog post…
“Everything Is Interconnected.”