The Five Element Form is part of an ancient tantric yoga practice known as Tattwa Shuddhi Sadhana. This practice was shared with Peter Clifford at the Kamakhya Tantric Temple in Assam in Northern India.??The Form is a sequence of flowing movements resembling traditional vinyasa yoga asana, tai chi and chi kung. It connects us to the five elements of earth, water, fire, air, and akasha or spirit. The Form uses breath, creative visualization and healing colors and sounds in a powerful, transformative physical and spiritual practice that unites the Pancha Koshas.
Peter Clifford has studied and practiced yoga for forty-seven years. He has had the honour of studying with many wise and knowledgeable teachers in India including Swami Sarasvati, TKV Desikachar, AG Mohan and BKS Iyengar. Combining his study of yoga with a lifelong interest in learning about bio-mechanics, postural integration, anatomy and physiology, Peter has developed a unique, powerful and comprehensive yoga philosophy described as the Dance of Shiva and Shakti.
Origins of the Form
The exact origins of the Five Element Form are lost in the history of Northern India.??In the ancient text the Shiva Swarodaya 1-3-1, Devi asks Shiva how the universe was created, how it changes, how it dissolves, and what determines the universe.??In 1-4-1 Shiva says that creation takes place due to the Tattwas (five elements). It is sustained by them and finally dissolves into them because the Tattwas are the origin of the universe.??It is believed that in the mountains where Yogis would retreat into caves, sometimes for years, to meditate and seek enlightenment that they would experience many negative effects on their health and vitality from the long periods of inactivity, cold weather, winds and rain. Realising that their students also suffered from the same conditions, often falling asleep from fatigue and illness during their lessons and meditations, yogis developed a series of tantric yoga exercises created from simple village tasks, dance and the nature surrounding them to rejuvenate and energise the students. One of these exercises was the Five Element Form.
Benefits of the Form
?The Five Element Form is a connecting and empowering practice. Its purpose is to enhance the qualities of health and vitality and to promote your natural abilities to heal and rejuvenate so that you can discover your amazing true potential. Practiced at the beginning of each day the Five Element Form will:
• Change your mind’s perspective of your daily activities empowering you to actively create situations that enhance the quality of your life
• Physically tone, stretch and strengthen the muscle body
• Enhance personal health and vitality by creating tissue pumps that promote the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids in the organs and tissues of the body
• Increase the volume and quality of the breath which promotes energy and vitality
Create a calm meditative state that promotes the release of mental stress and anxiety, creating space for reflection, contemplation and creativity.
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