As we become steeped in the information age of this century, it's growing more and more important for us to cultivate a relationship with the earth element in order to navigate the noise of the outer world and avoid information overwhelm and its resulting mental instability.
The earth element as our source of stability
The earth element, Prithvi in Sanskrit, is both the source of our stability and the essence behind grounding and balance. Our ability to maintain mental even-ness and equanimity even when the outer world is moving at a rapid pace is the gift of Prithvi. Prithvi's expression within consciousness teaches us to remain steady even in the face of noise, fear, intensity and excessive sensory stimulation that is prolific in this time. Thus, the value and the role that the earth element plays relative to the mind becomes obvious.
As we navigate technology, the internet, social media, search engines, video games, apps, streaming, and advertisements, we are constantly bombarded with information. And not only information but information at warp speed, and intentional sensory stimulation and overload (I encourage you to research the science behind screens and dopamine.)
This excessive sensory stimulation attracts the mind to move and thus increases the mind's fluctuations of thought. The mind's movement becomes rapid, which quickly reduces our ability to focus, concentrate, apply mindfulness, and remain present. And unfortunately, as the mind becomes increasingly unstable, it opens the door-way for dis-ease. This level of mental instability leads to anxiety, worry, scattered thoughts, inefficiency, a disrupted nervous system and a lack of connection with ourselves. In this state, it becomes challenging for the body to function optimally, which leads to weakened health and wellbeing. And it reduces our ability to turn inward (pratyahara), which is a necessary step in accessing our true nature.
Three simple remedies
We can remedy the information fatigue and overload of our current age by re-establishing our relationship with the earth element, the foundation for a balanced mind.
1. Spend time in nature on the daily
Nature is a gift and simply through our exposure to the natural environment, we elevate the harmony of the earth element within the body and the mind. Being immersed in a forest's density or settled in a spacious field opens up our power to remain steady and stable. It really is the breath of fresh air that brings us back home.
2. Healthy Boundaries
One of the teachings in yoga is brahmacharya, and though we could define brahmanachary in many ways, one definition applicable to modern life is moderation. Developing healthy boundaries and applying moderation to our devices will keep the mind in check, invites us to establish a level of restraint that promotes a calm, relaxed mind, not dependant on the constant feed from an external source. This moderation conserves our energy so we can apply ourselves in ways that are more serving. Why not create some healthy boundaries for yourself, such as putting away all devices from 7 pm-7 am or turning off all devices during meal times.
Abdominal breathing is a straightforward yet powerful breath technique. It's one of the most effective ways to shift the body and mind into a relaxed state and simultaneously elevates the earth element so we can approach life from a clear, centred disposition. How to?
Lie down in a reclined position, place the hands softly on the belly, slowly inhale and fill the belly, the hands will rise.
Slowly exhale and feel the belly draw back towards the spine.
Repeat for 5 mins or as long as you need to shift your state.
When we awaken to the innate wisdom of the earth element, we can step back and gain perspective on the information that surrounds us. We learn to intelligently direct our awareness to the information that will serve and support us and let the rest of the clutter fall away without influencing the mind.
If you've found these yogic teachings useful download my FREE Elemental Wisdom Workbook: A Journey through consciousness