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The Five Elements of Ayurveda


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.

Deeper Dive:

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.

Important Keys:

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.

Wrap up:

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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