Updated: Aug 5
Yoga and Ayurveda place great value on the five elements as a tool to navigate both our inner and outer landscape. These five elements are easily discovered in the physical body, they are displayed in the breath, and they influence the mind. Our understanding of the five elements and how they show up in our lives is of immeasurable value and is a depth that is often missing in modern yoga.
In Sanskrit, the five great elements are referred to as the Pancha Maha Bhūta's. They are potent and pivotal in our yogic journey and inner transformation. They provide us with a simple framework with which to navigate the mind so that we can reframe our perception in a serving way and move through the challenges of life with grace and ease.
A holistic yogic practice is designed to elevate our elemental harmony promoting the balance of each of the elements and their relationship with one another.
Let's explore each element's serving mental expression and a quick tip for promoting elemental connection and balance!
1. Prithvī / Earth
The earth elements gift is mental stability. As we tune in with the consciousness of the earth element, our presence is enhanced. The mind will become grounded and focused and naturally retain consistent thought and healthy boundaries.
Tip: Incorporate child's pose or postures low to the ground. Avoid rushing through your practice.
2. Āpas / Water
The higher expression of water teaches us to flow and weave around the obstacles of life. It awakens our creativity and ability to problem-solve. Āpas reminds us to relax our resistance and follow the current that is meant to be. With Āpas, eve in challenge, we can access smooth surrender.
Tip: Stay hydrated. Incorporate steady and fluid movement in your practice.
3. Agni / Fire
The fire element governs not only physical digestion but also mental digestion. It is the power behind our ability to digest and assimilate emotions, experiences and impressions rather than suppress them into bodily tissue and the subconscious mind.
Tip: Incorporate candle gazing or trataka. Add in a core building posture to promote the development of heat from the inside out.
4. Vāyu / Air
The air element is the element of movement. As we awaken to Vāyus most serving expression it supports the balanced movement of the mind relative to comprehension. In this reflection we are able to swiftly understand, receive and utilize information and teachings.
Tip: Incorporate pranayama (breathing) techniques and heart centred practices.
5. Ākāsha / Ether
The Ether element represents the stillness of the mind. It also promotes the spaciousness and openness of the mind. Tuning into ether’s essence invites us to see, understand and accept multiple points of view.
Tip: Daily Meditation
As we learn to navigate and embody the consciousness of the five elements, we open the doorway to our inner and outer freedom. And this cultivation of elemental awareness is a key that illuminates the mind and guides us back to our true nature of ease and balance!
If you've found these yogic teachings useful download my FREE Elemental Wisdom Workbook: A Journey through consciousness