The 5-elements exercises are a different set of exercises for healing that Chunyi has been doing in classes and retreats for a number of years. They are for self-healing and can be intermixed with the classic Level One active exercises -well, the ones that aren't the same that is.
There are some little tweaks like bending your knees on the inhale during the breathing of the Universe and focusing on joy while doing so, rather than replacements for all the classic exercises. Chunyi added the emotions to the classics before later adding different exercises.
We'll rotate through them all in our daily office practice. I find the Connection with Heaven and Earth exercise to be a bit much for those that are a little frail, old, or have some structural challenges, but the rest are simple and straight forward. There will be times when you are lead to do them rather than the classics, and the other way around. A group of us just finished an overnight mini-qigong retreat at Pete's place last weekend, and the 5-element exercises were done a little less than the classics, but had their place in rounding out the practice.