In our first blog, we discussed a brief overview of Ayurveda. We now explore the important.
Elements. Ayurveda teaches we are made up of five elements. These five elements are Earth,
Water, Fire, Air, and Space, and the combination of these elements give rise to three Energy.
Principals, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha (read previous blogs). As a reminder, the Energy Principals of
Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are the psychological and physical tendencies found in all of us.
Ayurveda teaches everything comes from the existence of five elements or building blocks,
which make up life and the whole universe, as well as our bodies, and are known as the five
great elements: Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. Ayurveda teaches without them, life is not
possible. Everything that exists, the entire material universe that surrounds us is made by
combining these elements in different proportions. Ayurvedic philosophy condenses these five
elements into three energy principals, also known as Doshas, which are called: Vata (a
combination of the elements of space and air); Pitta (a combination of fire and water) and
Kapha (a combination of water and earth). These principles govern our entire physiology. Our
five senses of sight, touch, sound, smell, and taste are based on these five primary elements
and therefore our respective sense organs; eyes, skin, ears, nose, and tongue, function based on
them as well.
Vata is the elements of air and ether. Vata dominance may express itself in ways such as being
hungry at any time of the day or night. Loving excitement and constant change. Going to sleep
at different times every night. Skipping meals and keeping irregular habits. Digesting food well
one day and poorly the next. Displaying bursts of emotion that are short-lived and quickly
forgotten and walking or moving fast.
Pitta is the elements of fire and water. Pitta dominance may express itself in ways such as
feeling irritable if dinner is half an hour late. Living by your watch and resenting having your
time wasted. Waking up at night feeling hot and thirsty. Taking charge of a situation or feeling
you should. Being too demanding, sarcastic, or critical towards others at times. Having a
determined walk and demeanor.
Kapha is the elements of earth and water. Kapha dominance may express itself in ways such as
pondering things over for a long time before deciding. Waking up slowly, lying in bed a long
time, needing coffee when rising. Being happy with the status quo and consistent with it by
giving in. Respecting other’s feelings and having genuine empathy. Seeking emotional comfort
from eating and moving gracefully.
In short, the elements are quickly explained with the following descriptions:
Earth – Earth has the most utility of all the elements. There is substance and stability when there is a predominance of the
earth element. Earth element creates sense of grounding,
stability, steadiness, and support.
Water – Water is nourishment, water is flow. The water element is substance and volume
without stability. Water is powerful, unpredictable, and heavy; it yields to whatever is in its
path. It cleanses and brings life.
Fire – Fire is the transformational element. Fire converts things into new things. Fire has the
quality of digestion, the assimilation of food, thoughts, and ideas. Fire lights up our drive,
charisma, passion, sensuality.
Air – Wind is responsible for the movement of all things. It has no form. Air is all about the
movement of thoughts, ideas, and communication. Air is the vehicle of wind, which is
adaptable, light, dry, and rough. Air moves quickly and lightly into the unknown.
Ether – Ether is the synergy of all the elements. Ether is space, stillness, that which contains and
holds. Ether is the element that connects us to spirit, intuition, and other realms.
A combination of each element results in three energy principals, known as Vata, Pitta, and
Kapha. These principals are believed to be responsible for a person’s physical, mental, and
emotional health. Vata is Ether and Air. Pitta is Fire and Water. Kapha is Water and Earth.
For those unfamiliar with this ancient knowledge, it is urged to explore and adopt many of the
principals into your own life and experience the many benefits Ayurveda offers.
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