In the ancient healing science of Ayurveda, the five elements are discussed like philosophical concepts.The elements are the basic principles of the Universe . . . and they represent the primary components of all living things. Imagine a breeze flowing through the trees, the softness of the earth beneath your feet, the vastness of the sky, the feel of water on your skin . . . the warmth of fire. When we look to the beauty of nature, we find that five elements provide a foundation for what we know to exist. Ayurveda recognizes the elements, Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth, as the building blocks of all that encompasses the material world. Here is an example you may be able to relate to . . . Let's say it's autumn where you live and you are constantly exposed to excessive wind. You often become cold and have dry skin this time of year. The wind, in Ayurveda, can cause an imbalance of the air element, so you may start to see the element of air increase in unpleasant ways as well, including ailments of the digestive system . . . such as gas and/orÂ constipation. However, through a greater understanding of Ayurveda, we can identify more complex associations and discover specific treatments for any excess element. For instance, the emotion of fear affects the nervous system . . . and increases the air element in the body and mind. And over time the imbalance of extra air (fear and worry) is likely to create coldness and dry skin. Elements are more than just the mere state they exist in. Water, for example, has more to it than the substance humans call H2O. It also embodies the physical qualities, biological functions, and energetic properties. Since water is liquid, it is heavy, soft, and cohesive. It governs all our bodily fluids and is even necessary for chemical reactions to take place in nature. On the subtler levels of the mind and emotions, Water relates to a calm personality and promotes love, compassion, and contentment. This is the cycle of nature and body, of element and emotion, of all things together.
The 5 Elements in Ayurveda are:
Earth, the principle of inertia
Water, the principle of cohesion
Fire, the principle of radiance
Wind, the principle of vibration
Ether, the principle of pervasivenessThese elements can be assigned to different regions in the body and are each connected the five senses. Joined together as pairs, they can manifest in a dosha, known as a bodyâ€™s constitution in Ayurveda.