- I woke up feeling slightly anxious and tired. My tummy had kept me up most of the night and I had a full day of teaching ahead. I wondered why my tummy was giving me havoc, had it been the banana bread I had baked and indulged in yesterday? Was it the constant fluctuation and changes of the weather and my schedule since I got back to Melbourne? Or was it the underlying pressure to create, achieve and make things happen? I took a deep breath, journaled and then got up and did my morning practices. Chanting, prayer, gentle yoga, kriyas and meditation. I observed my belly becoming soft, my breath expansive and deep, my heart sighing with relief. I realised I was missing connection. I had returned back from being in a harmonious community learning, playing, being and doing yoga in Bali. I had just completed 19 days of Zenthai Flow training in Bali with a collective of inspirational individuals ranging from bodyworkers, yoga teachers to healers. All in the same journey of self-discovery and connection. Gwyn Williams, Sally Meredith and Ma Deva Asho guided us through a journey of the five elements of Chinese medicine with the disciplines of solo asana practice, creative partner yoga, chi kong and therapeutic bodywork sequences. During these 19 days there was a deepening of relationship to self, others and nature, to spiderweb of life that interconnects us. The first element we explored was the element of Earth. Earth Element is all about being grounded and connected. It is associated in Chinese medicine with the Spleen and Stomach. When we are able to take in nourishment, it then transforms Food QI into QI and blood necessary to maintain good health and wellness.
Physical and Emotional Symptoms that occur with a Earth Element Imbalance:
- Smothering attention
- Eating disorders
- Craving Sweets
- Weak muscles/tired legs
- Stomach and Digestion issues
- Weight Gain
- Pain or numbness along associated channels
The beauty about this sophisticated system is that with the right actions and approach we can find balance and harmony. I took a nourishing and healthy initiative. I had warm cooked porridge with warming spices and hot lemon water, I gently moved my body, I connected to the earth and sung sweetly to her and the river while giving her offerings, I practised yoga on her banks with a focus on simplicity and stillness.Then I was ready to take on my full day of teaching and sharing. I recently read an article about self care by Brianna Wiest where she made a point that hit home,
Resting in to the support of earth allows me to rest, nourish and finding sweetness in my life so I can then give and receive with an overflowing amount of reciprocity and joy.
Here is a little poem for the earth, who nourishes and supports us unconditionally.
Earth Teach Me to Remember
by John Yellow Lark
Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled with light.
Earth teach me suffering
as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth Teach me caring
as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation
as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation
as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself
as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness
as dry fields weep in the rain.