In the realm of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the concept of elemental balance holds great significance. The five elements in this body of teaching are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each of these elements is associated with a certain organ, emotion, season, and sense. Traditional Chinese Medicine views the body as a holistic whole and considers disease to be an imbalance between the elements. It is believed that it’s not only what happens internally that affects us but what external conditions and environmental factors we are exposed to and how those conditions affect our internal system. Of these external elements, the wind is believed to be a potent force. Dynamic and transformative in nature, the wind element can bring either great harmony or disharmony to the body and/or mind. When wind enters the body, it has a similar effect as it would in nature – it creates movement and change when conditions would have otherwise been still. It is yang (dynamic) in nature and it is believed to be the underlying cause of many diseases in TCM. Yin yoga is one way that can help balance this element of invigorating change.
Specific asanas and practices are particularly conducive to restoring the balance thrown off due to an imbalance in the wind element. Inner Yoga Training’s 100 hour yin yoga teacher training in Bali provides a comprehensive foundational understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine and yin yoga asanas that can be incorporated into your daily practice and help balance the wind element within. The wind represents movement, change, and the continual flow of energy- in the Universe and the body. It is associated with the liver- one of the vital organs that is responsible for detoxification. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, energetically, the liver regulates the smooth flow of life force energy or Qi. An imbalance of the wind element is identifiable through various physical and emotional ailments such as dizziness, tremors, anxiety, and irritability. Restoring equilibrium through yin yoga can harmonize the wind element within and establish greater harmony in the bodily systems.
One of the core ways to balance the wind element is to ground the excess energy and foster stability. Therefore, yin yoga poses and pranayama that do just that are excellent compliments to your daily practice if you are feeling flighty, dizzy, anxious, and/or dysregulated from day to day. Dragonfly pose, wide knee child’s pose, banana asana, happy baby, and reclining twists are central to balancing the wind element as they work on the liver meridian (energy line) and its partner meridian the gallbladder. Through stimulating the liver meridian, detoxification is promoted and digestion is supported. The wind element, as mentioned previously, is associated with the liver, and therefore by supporting the liver, the wind element can calibrate back to balance. Twists also help release tension from the spine. The alleviation of physical stiffness and discomfort from the spine assists in residing in a more grounded and calm state- associated with the harmonization of the wind element.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, understanding the elements and their impact on our well-being is fundamental. Among the five elements, balancing the wind element, in particular, is essential for establishing stability and balance within. With its grounded asana and focused, single-pointed attention, yoga is a transformative tool to restore the balance of the wind element. Harnessing the knowledge of yoga and the wisdom of Traditional Chinese medicine is the framework through which Inner Yoga Training has built its 100-hour yin teacher training in Bali.
The five elements are a core component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – one of the bodies of knowledge that yin yoga was born from. The principles of TCM are a core aspect of the syllabus on Inner Yoga Training’s yin teacher training in Bali. By enhancing your understanding of yin yoga and TCM, you can enhance a sense of balance and ease in your life as you will learn which meridians and corresponding poses can help maintain balance in your body and mind according to this ancient science.