Earth inspired Yoga
The Spring brings with it an opportunity to honour and offer gratitude towards the Earth. Earth Day occurs towards the end of April (22nd April 2022) and provides a moment for us to reflect upon all of what we can experience in our relationship to the Earth. We’re invited to pause and notice the warmth, colour and fragrance of the Earth and its never-ending source of nourishment on so many levels.
Like yoga, the Earth enables us to be in relationship with ourselves and with one another, to cross seemingly complicated boundaries and plains and offers a level of comfort that we perhaps take for granted. And so we are presented with an opportunity to celebrate all of these things but perhaps more importantly to offer our gratitude towards the Earth. Earth day therefore not only celebrates the Earth but inspires us to embrace a loving and caring approach towards its preservation.
Yoga promotes an attitude that is non-harming, kind and gentle towards the self. Our planet needs as much of this as is possible right now! So why not see if you can join a few dots together once you have explored this practice and jot down ways that you can minimise your own individual impact upon the Earth?
I am supported, I am held
This 30 minute yoga practice inspired by the Earth explores a series of guided postures and pauses drawing upon the way the Earth supports and holds our movements, breath patterns and the way we think and feel about ourselves.
Sankalpa; a heartfelt intention
You’re welcome to include the following sankalpa / heartfelt intention for your practice:
I am supported, I am held
Postures and sequencing included within this practice:
- Prithvi / Earth Mudra – a gesture to bring awareness to the Earth element (a gesture to help you feel connected and grounded, safe and secure within your body).
- From a seat of your choice taking some gentle openers include side stretching and twisting to undo tensions or dullness in the body. Stretch legs out upon completion.
- Cakravakasana – cat cow with variations including hip opening into a short flowing sequence designed to energise and move in relation to the ground. Cultivating rhythm and pace from cobra (bhujangasana) to Downdog (adho mukha svanasana).
- Uttanasana – standing forward fold, stretch out the back of the legs. Be aware of the way your feet find the ground here, play with the toes and the heels to encourage more length or depth in your shape (this can also be explored with the support of a chair).
- Vatayasana – horse pose with side angle variations to gather strength and energy from the ground.
- Vrksasana – tree pose – from a mindful walk connect with nature and find your tree, one side may differ from the other (Use chair or wall to support balance where necessary).
- Malasana – deep seated squat, hands to the ground, or rest onto chair, have reverence for the Earth
- Savasana – corpse pose, a guided relaxation to help rest deeply with the support and from the Earth. Repeat Sankalpa 3 times silently “I am supported, I am held.”
- Acknowledge your practice, your connection with the Earth, an appreciation for the Earth as an act of gratitude.
You’re invited to cultivate a deep reverence or gratitude for the Earth and all that it does for you.
The Earth element is the slowest of all the elements so take time to move gently and at a slower, more considered pace. This is a creative practice which I hope allows you space and time to offer a deep gratitude towards this amazing planet we live on. Ensure you have the room available to move freely and any props you need in order for this to be an enjoyable and uplifting experience. I recommend a blanket under the knees for kneeling postures and a chair or wall for balance.
Upon completion continue to honour the Earth by setting small, mindful moments aside to notice what is happening around you, in front of you, above you and beneath you. Pay attention to the small insects and the birds. Look up and notice the clouds passing, or the sunlight touching the leafy canopies above. You may like to place your hands to the ground beneath you, or even better rest fully on your stomach or back and allow yourself to release into the Earth. Spend a few moments in either of those places and reflect upon the Earth’s energies and qualities.
I hope this practice sparks your curiosity as to the many possibilities of yoga, let me know how you get on and most importantly enjoy this time and space to nurture and care for yourself!
Earth Day Yoga practice - 30 minutes
Summer programme of immersive yoga classes and retreats
If you’re inspired by this article and would like to deepen your practice and learning of yoga I’ll be teaching along similar lines of creative thought and inquiry at my non-residential seasonal yoga immersions and a 2-3 day collaborate non-residential yoga retreat taking place in July. The landscape, nature and the seasons will inspire our practices together, combined with vegetarian home-cooked food, like-minded friends and an opportunity to press a well-deserved pause button.
Bookings are now being taken for these events, head over to Llanberis Retreats to find out more.
Weekly yoga classes in Marple and Marple Bridge
Learn more about my weekly yoga class schedule or sign up to my mailing list to be the first to hear about my articles, class schedule, online videos and courses. I teach small group yoga and pregnancy yoga classes weekly from my home town of Marple and its surrounding area. Classes are designed to be gentle, creative and enjoyable. I welcome you to come along regardless of any prior experience. A new timetable will be released soon for June/July 2022.
Where else can you connect with me?
You can connect with me on social media via instagram and on YouTube where you’ll find more practices like this one to explore in your own time. I also write content and design free yoga practices for Bamboo Clothing on their new #bamstudio on YouTube along with a live mindfulness class on their instagram account on the 27th May 2022 at 9am. I am a proud ambassador for this incredible British, sustainable clothing brand and have an exclusive discount code you’re welcome to use anytime;
HELEN15 gets you 15% off Bam’s non-sale items!
Thanks so much for tuning in here, I’d love to hear from you and welcome your comments and suggestions for future home practice ideas or articles relating to wellness and yoga.
Take care in the meantime,