Exploring our inner ecology – Chapter 3: Taking care of our Fire element, confidence and determination

Earth, Water, Fire, Air or Ether, each month we will meet to explore one of the elements of our inner world, how to identify it, understand it, take care of it with some advice and gentle rituals.

To you, the sacred fire that inhabits me and crackles,
You give me the desire, the energy and the power to achieve anything.
 Your flame guides me, even in the darkness and doubts,
I feel your warmth in me, like the sun that shine on the earth, my earth.
With you I am in my truth, determined, nothing can stop me.

This month, let’s reconnect to the “Fire” element, to our inner flame that guides, stimulates and motivates us. This sacred fire that brings us confidence and power, that nourishes our power to act in the world.

Taking care of the FIRE element means cultivating what makes sense to us, staying aligned with our values and our deepest aspirations, what we are passionate about and what moves us. It also means believing in our wildest dreams and feeling that everything is possible. Because yes, everything is possible! Fire is both purifying and driving. It has an essential role in nature but also in our own body, it transforms the elements to produce energy and initiate movement. Fire puts us in action.

In yoga, the Fire element is linked to the 3rd energy center, our solar plexus chakra, Manipura in Sanskrit, head of confidence and power to act. 

Linked to the pancreas and digestive organs, Manipura represents self-esteem, personality, willpower, relationships with others and social identity. It represents our ability to take our place in the world and to direct action according to our objectives. It is our masculine energy (our feminine energy is linked to water). Balancing this chakra is crucial. When the solar plexus chakra is harmonized, you gain confidence and the will to achieve your goals. You are joyful, welcoming, open and spontaneous.

Me and the Fire element

Before giving you rituals to take care of your inner FIRE, I suggest you take two minutes to ask yourself the following question:

What is my relationship with the FIRE element? Is it an element that I feel very present in me? Not enough?

To help you dig in this question, ask yourself for example:

  • Do I have enough fighting spirit, ambition, assertiveness and self-confidence?
  • Do I manage to set up projects and easily reach my goals?
  • Or on the contrary, do I have difficulties to say “no”, to put myself forward, to act, to decide or to find my place?
  • Am I often shy, self-effacing, or do I need the approval of others with the fear of judgment?
  • Or am I quickly discouraged, unmotivated, having difficulty taking action or make my desires a reality?

If the answer to this second group of questions is “yes”, it probably means that it would be beneficial for you to strengthen your Fire element and your masculine energy.

But be careful, it’s all about balance: too much fire is not good either! You must learn to channel and direct it, so as not to “burn” yourself (nervousness, heartburn, stress, too many demands, overactivity…) or you will burn out. Earth (anchoring) and water (letting go) are essential elements to be nourished in parallel to avoid a too intense inner fire which can endanger your balance and your health.

Taking care of our inner Fire

4 rituals to boost your confidence and power to act, without burning out!

Ritual 1 et 2 : connect ourself to the sun’s energy

The sun is a source of joy and dynamism, physiologically but also psychologically and symbolically. Its warmth is a precious help to connect us to our inner fire and restore balance. From a physiological point of view, exposure to the sun increases the production of vitamin D, which is necessary for good psychological health and helps to fight depression. The natural light of the sun brings us good mood and enthusiasm!

  1. Sit in the sun as soon as you can. 30 minutes can be enough to recharge. Go for a walk, or sit outside with your eyes closed for a moment, while focusing on the benefits of the sun on your solar plexus, as if you were filling a good mood and energy reservoir. Enjoying a sunrise or sunset can also be a good way to stimulate your Manipura chakra by connecting directly with its beneficial and regenerating energy.
  2. Honor the sun! Do a few sun salutations in the morning when you wake up. This flowing sequence of 12 yoga postures is a real health and energy booster. It is a perfect morning ritual. It allows to wake up the body and to activate all our systems. It is important to do it with an intention of gratitude towards the sun and all its benefits, it is the sun that allows life. Visualize its warmth and power entering your body. Follow the 12 steps below, at your own pace, in fluidity and joy.

Ritual 3: the breath of fire, kapalabhati

This breathing technique, well known in yoga practice, is very powerful, both energizing and purifying. It’s better to do it in the morning on an empty stomach, or during the day when you feel you are lacking energy. This breath will allow you to cleanse and activate different areas of your body, especially the belly. Kapalabhati can be dynamic or soft. For beginners, it is better to start gently.

How to practice?

Sit with your back straight, cross-legged or on a chair with your feet flat. The chest is open, the solar plexus will open naturally. Take a first deep breath, the belly naturally inflates. Then exhale the air through the nose with power and speed, but without forcing. You must make a loud sound of exhaling with your nose. The belly empties and retracts. Let the inhalation happen naturally, with the belly gently reinflating, then do a sharp exhalation through the nose again. Continue alternating the passive inhalation (it is done by itself) and the lively and controlled exhalation through the nose. The belly will go in and out, creating a pump effect that will clean the intestines and bring energy and warmth to the belly.

Start with very short cycles at first and gradually increase the duration. Caution: if you feel dizziness or other discomfort stop immediately. This is a very powerful breath that must be handled with humility and moderation!  Ask for advice from a yoga teacher who can guide you if needed.

Ritual 4: Meditate with the third chakra

Sit comfortably, cross-legged or on a chair. The important thing is to have your back straight and your chest open to breathe correctly and let the energy flow. Close your eyes. Breathe gently to bring relaxation to the whole body. Then bring your attention to your solar plexus (above the navel, in the middle of the abdomen), where you visualize a ball of yellow light shining, like a sun. With each inhalation, this sun grows and shines a little bit more. With each exhalation you feel the warmth enveloping the entire chest and belly area. Feel the strength and confidence growing in you. Repeat the exercise as many times as you like.

You can finish the meditation by reciting in your head one or two intentions:

  • “I believe in myself,”
  • “I can achieve anything I want,”
  • “I am assertive,”
  • “I am strong and determined,”
  • “I have the power to decide and act,”
  • “I am in control of my own life.”

You can also repeat these intentions in the morning when you get up and at night before going to bed. In this way you reprogram the unconscious mind and anchor in the breath and body these qualities of confidence and action. 

Ritual 5: the fire purifying ritual

Fire is a powerful purifying element. Try this ritual, it will help you nourish your inner flame and to free yourself from all that can hinder your power to act.

  1. Light a candle or a small fire and sit in a quiet place.
  2. Close your eyes for a moment to concentrate on your inner self, breathing and connecting to your belly and heart.
  3. On a piece of paper, start by writing down your goals, projects or changes that you want to bring into your life.
  4. Then on another paper, write down your mental blocks, what prevents you from achieving your life goals, from taking action; note for example the answers to the following questions:

What am I afraid of? What prevents me from moving forward?

What are the behaviors that keep coming back?

What are the blocks that hold me back?

Then throw this paper into the fire and watch it slowly burn away; visualize your blocks and fears going away, as if something is being released in the body. Your inner fire is rekindled. You have the strength and determination to act, in service of what is good and right for you ✨

Take care of you,