The Five Elements (Part Two)

13 Jan

ayurveda massage

Ayurveda believes that everything in this universe is made up of five great elements or building blocks. These 5 elements are responsible for the structure of the universe; they are the building blocks of the material world. Everything in the universe, animate and inanimate, is made up of the five mahabhutas. The five elements are: aakash (ether), vayu (air), agni (fire), jala (water), and prithvi (earth).

Water – is fluid, soft, viscous, cold, dense and cohesive. It brings molecules together. Water is chemical energy. It is associated with the sense of taste, because without moisture, the tongue cannot taste anything. It exists in the body as plasma, cytoplasm, serum, saliva, nasal secretion, cerebra-spinal fluid, urine and sweat. It is necessary for nutrition and to sustain life – without it, our cells could not survive. Water brings contentment, love and compassion. It also creates thirst, swelling and obesity.

Earth – heavy, hard, rough, firm, dense, slow-moving and bulky. It is the most solid of the five elements. It is neither hot nor cold. Earth is mechanical, or physical energy. According to Yoga and Ayurveda, it is nothing but crystallized or solidified consciousness. It gives strength, structure and stamina to the body. Bodily structures like bones, cartilage, nails, teeth, hair and skin are derived from the earth element. Earth is associated with the sense of smell. It promotes forgiveness, support, groundedness, contentment and growth. It also creates attachment, greed and depression.

In both our outer and inner environments, the proportion and balance of these five elements is forever shifting. It changes with the seasons, the weather, the time of day, and the stage of one‟s life. For health, and often for sheer survival, we have to continuously accommodate ourselves to these changes, by means of altering what we eat, what we wear, where we live, etc. This is a balancing act – one of playing elements against each other.


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