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Balancing the five elements through Yoga

Balancing the Five Elements

When we look around us,we notice the five elements in nature which surround us-Earth ,water, fire, air and space. The same five elements exist in our body. The percentage of each element differ in every individual. This different proportions cause disturbance in our body. Yoga practice help us to balance these elements in our body. The asanas and pranayam work on these elements in our body,whether we know it or not. All the elements are related to each other,based on their nature and properties. Some elements love each other and are supportive and nurturing of each other. For example, Earth and water are compatible and same with earth and fire. Some elements are not compatible, like fire and water. Too much fire in the body will create inflammation ,while too much water can dampen fire and cause indigestion.

Human body and Five elements:

Human body structure is governed by different elements.

  • Solid structure such as bones, flesh, skin,tissue and hair represents earth form.
  • Water forms saliva,urine, semen, blood and sweat.
  • Fire forms hunger,thirst and sleep.
  • Air takes care of breathing like expansion, contraction and suppression.
  • Space takes care of physical attraction and fear.

When these elements are out of balance in our body, it result in  disease and suffering. Practicing yoga asanas, pranayama and kriyas purify these elements and restore balance and good health.

Power of Prana (Air element)

Our breath, air element, also known as prana is our life force.That is why, air element is most powerful to clean toxins from our body.When practicing yoga we focus on breath.The reason being, the circulation of breath in our whole body purify us. Teaching the proper use of breath during asanas and including pranayama practice into our daily routine increase both our lightness and our inner power.

The natural order of the elements in our body is as follows:

The base (below the navel) -Earth and water                                                                                                                                      Middle (torso)                      -Fire                                                                                                                                                            Upper body(chest & throat)  -Air and space

When prana flows in our body,we activate certain parts with consciousness and energy coaxing the elements into balance. Chakras are also connected with these five elements maintaining balance and harmony in our body.

How these five elements govern our moods and characteristics:

EARTH: grounding ,calming, keeps ego in check, the energy of bones, muscles, tissues,and hot illnesses such as infections.

WATER: provides the ability to adapt, flow, act selflessly and avoid unhealthy attachments, rules your blood, other bodily fluids and cold illnesses such as joint pain.

FIRE: Brings confidence and courage, the energy of metabolism, drive and creativity, an excess can present as anger or hatred.

AIR\WIND: A channel for clear communication and self expression,influences your ability to act from a place of compassion and love, jealousy occurs when out of balance.

ETHER\SPACE: A container for all the other elements,the source of intuition and wisdom from the universe, associated with expansion.

Conclusion

Our diet and weather contribute to these elements. That’s where the science of ayurveda help us. Eating right kind of food, according to the weather, balance our doshas. Consuming  food with cooling properties like curds in summers is beneficial. Same way, in winters, it’s good to eat hot\spicy food to increase fire in our body to keep our body warm. Right quantity and not in extremes, being the key word. It’s difficuilt to cover five elements and doshas in one article.

Look out for next article containing three doshas-Vata, pitta and kapha in detail.

Prarthana Makhija

 

 

Alternative Text

Total Yoga

Total Yoga is a balanced style of Yoga that focuses on Fitness training and Mindfulness practice equally.


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