The Air Element Vayu
This term we are focusing on the five basic elements: earth, air, fire, water and ether. Knowledge of these elements helps us to connect with and understand the laws of nature; to help us gain knowledge, health, energy, power and happiness. The elements form the world we live in and the structures of our body.
Last week we focused on the element earth, representing not just soil and the earth the beneath us, but everything that is solid in nature, our bones, muscles and hair.
This week we focus on the air element. The air element in yoga is known as Vayu or prana. Air is essentially anything that is a gas. Air is responsible for all movement including expansion, contraction and suppression.
Some elements work well together, such as air and fire; each increasing the other.
If any element is impure or out of balance disease may occur. So as we focus on the elements in yoga; yoga can help us purify these elements and restore balance and health.
Air, of all the elements, is perhaps the most powerful to cleanse the body of toxins. This is particularly because it fans the fire in our bodies. It is also because it is pure life force. When air flows through our bodies it automatically purifies us. Breathing properly and techniques of pranayama can increase our lightness and power and energy.
The air element in yoga represents the ability to move freely, lightly and effortlessly and is embodied in the breath, putting us in touch with the flow of prana.
The air element is associated with the heart chakra, the forth chakra and the chest and lungs. When this element is balanced in our bodies our breathing is, steady and deep. The breath is calming and stills the mind.
The element air is about lightness, new beginnings, a fresh perspective. A breath of fresh air. Working with the element air is like opening up a window and allowing a fresh breeze to come into a room that’s been stagnant.
Think of air, birds, leaves, breath, the sky, movement, sunshine and spring.
Lift your arms above your head, reach skywards, elevate your practice.
In yoga use vinyasa and flow to enhance the air within you and a flowing practice, will also ignite your inner fire. Bring breath and energy in.
Please head to our Resources page for further podcasts on the element air and yoga.