The fire element is a psychological element and so working with the fire element will raise a big response from your mind. You will meet resistance, justification and rationalisation as your mind protects the status quo. Allow your mind to have its say and then dig a little deeper. The wisdom of fire will calm your mind… eventually.
Fire: Meet your heart’s true desires and give the power back to YOU.
Fire’s nature is to destroy and transform: In the act of destroying lies also the beauty of a new creation. Understanding this teaching of painful destruction, preceding total transformation, is key to understanding the wisdom of fire. Coming into contact with fire can be seen as a sacrificial act – giving up the current form for the purpose of transformation. Mostly we hope for beautiful creations and new beginnings, but fire has a dark side too. Thinking about fire ceremonies and rituals, it is clear to see how bewitching fire can be: inspiring joy, celebration, creativity and MAGIC! Ever noticed how the dance of fire hypnotises those sitting around it? How it is strangely magnetic? Remember the old saying “ don’t play with fire ‘cause you’ll get burned”? These all illustrate the power of fire to draw you in…and possibly devour you. The issue with too much fire is the notion of giving away our own personal power to the external pleasures we seek. This leads to overindulgence, addiction, and compulsivity. The transformation that fire brings can be a beautiful process of growing in power through an increased freedom in love. However, that same fire, when out of control, can bring mass destruction as we lose ourselves and become a victim of our own desires. As always, the balance here is so key.
The bodily organs associated with the fire element are the heart, the pericardium (muscle that protects the heart), and the small intestine. The body’s immune system, described in Chinese medicine as the triple heater, is also associated with the fire element. The energy meridians for these organs all run through various fingers and up the arms into the chest, up to the head and face. Imbalances manifest in the organs themselves and in injuries, dis-ease or discomfort along any of these energy lines. The fire element is a psychological element. It is therefore much more common to find a fire imbalance evident in your approach to life and your state of mind - a stifling of your inner joy, a numbing of your charisma, lack of compassion and self-love, and an increase in pointless self-destruction.
Common physical conditions associated with an out of balance fire element are peptic ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoperosis, acne and so on. Psychological issues associated with a fire imbalance are bipolar disorder, addictions, and compulsivity. A fire imbalance will also show up in personality difficulties such as an obsession with euphoria and sense gratification as well as compulsive patterns of self-destruction. The opposite end of the imbalance points to a person lacking in creativity and energy, being weepy, bored and easily disempowered. One can clearly see two opposite ends of the spectrum in the out of balance fire element – on the one end the energiser bunny that completely burns himself out, running around, trying to find more and more pleasure and fun and satisfaction, draining everyone around them – and the opposite end: a person lacking in drive, with no fire in their belly left to engage in anything creative or exciting, low or no levels of joy and celebration or excitement. Both ends of the spectrum have placed the ‘power’ for their own love, joy and happiness in the ‘incapable’ hands of external sources of pleasure and satisfaction. They are not accessing their heart’s true desires and their quest to find it anywhere but inside, have rendered nothing but dissatisfaction and a further need to seek!
Balance in the fire element sees an individual acting from a place of unconditional love and compassion to self and others. Such a person doesn’t feel the need to hide his heart as a way to protect himself. Instead the heart and what it has to offer is sacrificed with the knowledge that by sacrificing, nothing is actually ‘lost’. It is simply a part of the natural cycle of elements moving through us, as we remain on a path of purification leading towards a higher consciousness. Fire brings about the quality of passion. People who have the power (and so the lack of fear) to acknowledge their heart’s desire and live accordingly – true and trusting – enjoying a life of celebration, charisma and creativity. It is not a path of least impact, least tears or least pain…but it is a path of huge rewards and satisfaction. It’s a typical case of ‘nobody puts baby in the corner’. If you can access and balance your fire – you make magic – in life and in love. Here’s how to balance your fire:
Yoga postures that balance the fire element stimulate mainly the meridians and to a lesser extent the actual organs. Balancing fire could require a dynamic practice, breaking a sweat and building physical power to create the quality of power in the small intestine, and it can also involve a very slow and conceptual yin practice, honing in on messages of love and opening up the heart – allowing ourselves to be vulnerable; sacrificing fear for transformation. Yoga postures include:
· Plank (Palakasana)
· Boat (Navasana)
· Arm balances
· Headstand (Sirsasana)
· Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)
· Forearmstand (Pincha Mayurasana)
· Dolphin (Makarasana)
· Savasana with heart opening backbend
· Heart Salutations
· Pericardium opening stretches
· Clear intentions for practice given the activity of the mind in fire practices.
Lifestyle and Eating Habits
Foods that balance fire include cooling foods such as celery, lettuce, sprouts, cucumber, tofu, watermelon, lemon, limes, mung beans and chamomile. These foods will cool down your system and are easy to digest. When trying to balance fire it’s best to eat raw and green foods, as well as food cooked at high temperature for a short time. It is important to look after your small intestine in balancing the fire element in your body. Digestion in the small intestine is closely linked with all the other digestive organs – yet 90% of all digestion takes place in the small intestine. Health, in many ways, can be measured by the effectiveness of the digestive FIRE – that which is found in the small intestine.
As for lifestyle tips in managing your internal fire, the following are recommended:
· Swimming in cool water or simply finding ways to stay cool
· Engaging in creative activities, writing, painting, choreographing or dancing
· Meditation to assist your mind in focusing
· Devotional practices, depending on your religion or taste, singing devotional songs and Kirtan are known to light the fire in our hearts, to open us up, to experience the love from the Higher Source that lives through us – that love of endless compassion, care and kindness. Connecting with our higher loving selves here is invaluable.
When we are able to access the full capacity of our loving hearts we find immeasurable power within ourselves. Balance fire – calm the mind and open the heart.