We are a unique combination of the 5 elements in nature.
As we connect more with Mother Nature, we have more awareness of how the five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether(space) work and are expressing in our body. Yoga and Ayurveda (science of life) are sister sciences so we cannot separate them. There are 108 yoga poses that we can do and some poses are better for our particular body type and support balance in our body.
Everyday you can exercise, move and do yoga in a way that balances the elements in your body. Let’s review today the qualities of each element and how to work with them. And it is important to know that you use all the elements even if two or three elements are more prominent in your body.
The Earth element is wet, cold and heavy and is a source of structure, stability and represents balance. Each day you can make a point of staying grounded and walking, standing or sitting on the ground. Of course yoga and the martial arts are a great way to connect with Mother Earth. When you are grounded it is easier to stay focused on your goals and to bring in some breathing exercises.
Water is a very important element with our body made up of about 60- 70% water, depending on age, lifestyle and health. It has many important functions in the body and is the liquid state of matter. It is a very vital nutrient of every cell of our body and keeps us hydrated, regulates body temperature and much more. It is cool, stable, heavy, moist, smooth, gross, flowing and soft. It is an antidote to symptoms that have the opposite qualities in the body e.g. take water when you are feeling too warm, ungrounded, dehydrated etc.
You can work with it throughout the day by drinking at least 8 glasses a day and by swimming in it or getting purified with a bath or shower. It washes away toxins from your body. It also has the property of flowing freely and in the same way, it is important to let our feelings flow freely too, acknowledging them and not labeling them as good or bad. Swimming in water, especially in a fresh lake, river or salt water pool helps soothes the mind and heal the body.
It is a symbol of the radiant form of matter and it creates movement and friction, which creates warmth, heat and burning. It governs our digestion, absorption and assimilation. It is the power of the radiant sun that gives you the power to have confidence, success and recognition. And when it is not balanced it leads to the emotions of impatience, greed and anger.
You can work with the fire element by letting the sun’s rays touch you in a balanced way. The sun is the source of life and energy. It will give you energy, determination and passion to persevere through obstacles to move forward on your own unique path in life.
It is the gaseous state of matter and has the attributes of mobility. It carries the prana and oxygen for us to live. It represents growth and is associated with joy and movement. When the air element is not balanced anxiety, fear and nervousness occur.
To work with air, go for an early morning walk and fill your lungs with air, breath deeply and you will find your mind relaxes and you feel more clarity and peace. Breathing techniques, such as the natural breath, will help your concentration throughout the day,
It is the field in which events occur and has no physical existence; but, its presence is found in the distance that separates matter. It exists everywhere; for example, your cells contain space and can communicate with each other within this space. It brings receptivity to the truth, awareness and expansion and the space in your heart center is where you experience love and compassion.
When you sit and meditate you can work the space element. Space helps you think of the bigger picture and not the little “I” to see that you are not limited and that you are not separate from creation.
So you can work your elements every day with exercise, yoga, meditation and awareness. This article is the first of several Ayurvedic articles to come with our Heart Sounds Yoga newsletter. You will find Ayurveda is a very natural and easy way to balance the body, mind and spirit.
And, you can experience the Elements directly at a family yoga class at “Bhakti In the Woods”, a yoga and music festival in Lady Smith on August 19. We will walk with the elements and do yoga poses for each element to be in harmony with Mother Earth. See more information on the website.