Fire symbolizes our will, power, and the discipline to sustain any practice. Historically, in tribal communities, one person was selected to keep the coals burning and tend to the embers.
Fire is sacred; it represents innate wisdom, strength, and knowledge. It expresses our ability to transform. Once something has been touched by fire, it is no longer the same. The heat generates an alchemical experience.
According to Ayurveda—the sister science of yoga—fire is one of the five main elements that creates and sustains the universe. The five elements are earth, water, fire, air, and ether.
Fire embodies light, metabolism, brilliance, digestion, assimilation, understanding, and transformation—which is why we chose fire as our theme for our most recent 30-day virtual yoga challenge.
Keep reading to learn about five of the yoga classes on Practice with Clara to connect to and embrace your inner fire! Plus, see the mantras to burn off impurities.
Courses to Connect You to the Fire Element
See the top five class collections on Practice with Clara to feel the heat and build strength.
NEW: Sweet + Spicy Playlist
10 dynamic days of yoga with classes that target the whole body— get your heart pumping and break a sweat!
Perks of this playlist:
- Strengthen the core muscle groups.
- Lengthen muscles strained by sitting all day.
- Short, powerful classes to build heat and break a sweat.
- Spotify playlists for music to accompany every class.
- All levels classes with modifications.
- Build to a peak pose/poses AND target the whole body.
- 2x 20-30 minute classes to choose from
Fire is Born Lila Flow
This class includes a little bit of everything with lunges, hamstring and hip opening, backbends, inversions, and twists. Perfect for anyone who sits all day to stretch and strengthen.
Style: Lila Flow
Props: 2 blocks
Focus: inversions + handstand
Location: Vancouver, BC
Morning Fire Vinyasa
This fluid and dynamic vinyasa is great for anyone feeling lethargic as it works with the water element to break up heavy or stagnant energy. Lunges, warriors, and balancing poses with garudasana (eagle) build strength in the lower body and core.
Props: 2 blocks
Focus: shoulders, side waist, hamstring lengthening
Location: Vancouver, BC
Quiet Fire Vinyasa
A slow and fiery vinyasa practice that works with creating strength in the core stabilizers. This class features core strengthening from the back with exercises targeting the transverse abdominals and obliques to assist SI stability.
Props: 1 block, 1 resistance band
Focus: core strengthening, twists, and heart-opening
Location: Vancouver, BC
Music: Kurmasana Spotify Playlist
Twisted Flow Vinyasa
This vinyasa practice focused on deep twists was created to wring out any tension/stagnation/heaviness you might be feeling in your body or mind.
Twists help to ignite your Agni (spiritual & digestive fire), leaving you feeling vibrant and lighter.
Props: 1 Block
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Mantras to Burn Off Impurities
Mantra has been around since the Vedas, dating back to 2,500 BC. Mantra is of India and the mantra specifically of Sanskrit. With Sanskrit specifically, they thought of how vibration affects the body. So that particular sound, they figured out, affects a particular part of your body.
A lot of the mantras are almost like a prescription for a particular kind of effect in your body. And so the way that they put these particular sounds together is going to create a particular vibration, which is going to make you feel a particular way.
There was a study by Dr. Masaru Emoto on how vibration affects water. He performed a task where he put water in bottles and spoke to them. He sang to them; he played particular music to them. And then he took pictures of the water molecules afterward, like after eight hours or 10 hours of being exposed to the sound. He sang to and said loving things to some bottles of water—and the water molecules looked like snowflakes. And then he did other ones where he cursed at them and was angry when he spoke to them. And the water molecules looked fractured.
Vibration really affects the way that we feel on a molecular level because there’s so much water in us. We are 70% water. From an experiential point of view, I’ve definitely had some of, most, my most transcended experiences by doing mantra.
Benefits of Chanting
“Chanting is a way of getting in touch with yourself. It’s an opening of the heart and letting go of the mind and thoughts. It deepens the channel of grace, and it’s a way of being present in the moment” – Krishna Das.
Mantras are repeated over and over to instill a sense of clarity and calm to prepare for meditation. Similar to how movement rids the body of excess energy and tension, mantras cleanse the mind of the ego’s negative thoughts and desires. Every time you repeat the sound, word, or phrase, you might think of it as charging yourself up with the sound to create a space and awareness from the inside. Mantras are powerful in that they bring an intention and focus to whatever you wish to manifest in your life—be it compassion, kindness, love, detachment, acceptance, etc.
Chanting is a form of Bhakti yoga, the practice of devotion. The power of vibration is contained in each syllable and sends out a message of the quality of life you wish to manifest.
The benefits of mantra on the mind are vast as it influences the brain’s emotional center, the amygdala. The amygdala is part of the limbic system. It plays a vital role in processing fear and anger and coordinating responses to events and the environment, specifically triggering an emotional response. When we feel angry, fearful, or anxious, the amygdala is activated and initiates a stress response via the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight).
Chanting initiates the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) to deregulate the mind and body. When chanting, delta brain waves are increased. Delta waves assist the person in detaching from their surroundings to focus on the present task at hand and harmonize the equilibrium between the brain and body.
About the Practice with Clara 30-Day Yoga Challenges
During our most-recent 30-Day Virtual Yoga Challenge, Ignite the Fire Within, we connected to our inner flame with strong vinyasa yoga classes featuring twists, arm balances, inversions, and leg balancing.
Part of the 30-day virtual yoga challenge is to show up regardless of how you feel and, whatever happens, is what happens. The question is bringing up beautifully how there is the shadow side of something becoming a routine.
You’re not thinking about it. This makes me think of The Rig Veda, which is the oldest of the sacred texts of India. There’s one line that says something like, “if you just do a mantra for the sake of doing it without any intention behind it, you might as well not do it.”
And I feel like this is bringing up the question of how to do something, not just for the sake of doing it, but to have a connection through it. How do I stay present when I’m doing whatever it is I’m doing?
Self-care is bringing a sacredness to the mundane. Every action could be an act of self-care, meaning caring for yourself at that moment, regardless of the action. It’s bringing awareness to yourself, and part of the awareness is setting boundaries and being mindful of what’s going on inside of you.
It’s also your intention to do whatever it is that you’re doing. Self-care can look many different ways. It doesn’t have to be a bubble bath with a glass of wine; it doesn’t have to be a nature walk. Self-care could be lying in bed and sleeping for an extra hour or listening to music or dancing or whatever it is that takes care of yourself.