Since we are out to explore ways of synchronising our bodily energies with the infinite pool of Universal Energy, let me bring into the picture, another crucial component that you will need to connect with in order to expand and harmonise your relationship with all things, physical and metaphysical – The 5 elements. The Five Subtle Elements- Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Ether or Space form the basis for all things found in the material creation, from a grain of sand to the complex physiology of every human being.
The elements or the Pancha Maha Bhutas as the Vedas describe them are the fundamental building blocks of the Universe. These 5 elements are the essence of the entire world, both within you and outside, so it is more than essential to connect with them for tapping into the powers of the Universe. It might seem rather surprising but the 5 elements influence behaviour, emotions, and overall health. Balancing these elements in just the right way is the key to a happy and healthy life. If we take some time to understand the elements and relate to them, we can use them to stay in balance physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally.
By understanding the positive and negative aspects of each element, we can tune our minds to use each element in the most effective way. The first rule of thumb is that we cannot dominate the Elements. Instead, we have to surrender to the elements and respect them. The more we comprehend the Pancha Maha Bhutas, the more we will understand and relate to the universe. The best way to get to grips with these 5 elements is to figure out their basic characteristics and how they relate to physical attributes. Here is a simple way to begin your journey of understanding the universe from an element based viewpoint.
THE FIVE ELEMENTS (Pancha Mahabhutas)
The Earth element is the most powerful of all elements. The Earth is our source of stability. Earth represents balance and dominates centre and diagonal directions. When it is in a balanced state, it induces a feeling of stability, peace and harmony. In human attributes, strengthening the Earth element enhances the strength of mind, steadfastness, determination and uninterrupted advancement towards a goal.
How to strengthen the Earth element:
Make sure that you ‘Thank the Earth’ wholeheartedly everyday when you wake up in the morning. Thank the fact that you are standing on Mother Earth that supports so many life forms. As soon as you get up, touch Mother Earth, touch your forehead and ask for her blessings to keep you grounded through the day.
Be mindful of what you are doing each moment as the day passes. Focus your attention on deep rooted breathing. Your breathing should be full in the belly (stomach expands on breathing in, contracts on breathing out).
Keep well grounded – always feel your feet on the ground, or your bottoms on a chair.
Stay in touch with the physical experience of walking, standing or sitting on the ground, sometime during the day.
Practice disciplines such as yoga or martial arts that work as a means of connecting to Mother Earth.
The Water element is a huge life force. Water is also known to have healing powers. Almost 70% of the earth and our bodies are made up of water. Water has nurturing energies. We can observe perfect cycles of water throughout the planet. You must have realized that when you take a bath, or go swimming, the body naturally relaxes very quickly. Water pulls out negativity, balances our emotions, and makes our mind calm and focused. When water is in a balanced state, it induces a spiritual and philosophical attitude to life. In attributes, Water is associated with the power of conceptualising new ideas, thoughts, healing energy and restoration of health. It also has an effect on emotions, feelings and intuition.
How to strengthen the Water element:
Drink loads of Water through the day. This may sound simple, but many of us go around in a state of partial dehydration. To add to it, tea, coffee and juices use up some of the body’s water to be digested. So it is essential to keep drinking enough water to keep you hydrated and energetic through the day. It is vital for good health.
Since the water element controls emotions, it is important to let your feelings flow freely like water. Learn to acknowledge and respect all your feelings without labeling them as good or bad, negative or positive.
Express as much as you can. Try and share your feelings with anyone you feel close to or can trust.
Practice a listening sensitivity to other people’s feelings as well.
Avoid added sugars. These sugars interfere with the absorption of anthocyanin pigments that help in keeping the kidneys safe and active.
Practice being introspective and listen to your body. Focus on recharging your reserves.
Water also has the capacity to hold energy. Use a copper vessel to store water overnight so it is able to pull out positive energies. Drink this water early in the morning.
Try and practice Swimming. It is a great activity to soothe and heal the body and mind.
Fire is the driving force behind all life processes. When in a balanced state, Fire induces power, confidence, fame, recognition and money. The fire element is the element of love and all affairs of the heart. Fire represents our relationship to ourselves and to others.
It governs our ability to share love, warmth and joy with friends, colleagues, intimate partners, and in fact with the entire human race. It is the spark inside that allows us to feel enthusiastic and inspired in what we do. Opening and enriching the mind to recognise the power of Fire or the Sun is a great generator for all creation.
Fire is associated with Universal energy as also with the inner guiding light that helps destroy all doubts and negative thoughts. The Fire element is worshipped in various forms across religions. The Sun aptly represents this element. Sunlight sustains life, it brightens and illuminates. The early morning sun can heal many diseases and depression. Fire brings with it, a lot of positive energy and power.
Though Fire in its positive form is enlightenment and radiance, it can also result in negative traits like rage, hatred, greed, envy, and the desire for revenge. So, it is very important to connect with the Fire element and keep it balanced. Learning to regulate and temper your inner Fire is essential for moving ahead in life with zest.
In traits, individuals with a balanced Fire element are often capable of clear, perceptive, and discriminating judgment. They can digest and synthesise large amounts of information. They can be extremely focused, working relentlessly towards their goals. They however, deliver their judgments in scathing attacks, and love to argue and win. They are articulate. Though Fire is one of the strongest elements, it is the hardest to balance.
How to stabilize Fire element:
If you have an east-facing window, open it at sunrise, letting in as much of the early morning light as possible. If you can sit out in the sun and let the rays touch your body, better still.
Ensure that you worship the power of Fire in any form during the day. Thank the Sun for providing you the energy to run through the day.
Use soft scented candles around the house.
Bring warm lighting and colours into your home.
Wear warmer colours – reds, oranges, yellows. Drop the cynicism and train yourself to see the bright side of every event.
Go on a brisk walk. Make time for creative self-expression.
Find healthy ways to burn off nervous energy.
Non-competitive swimming is an excellent exercise to soothe the Fire element and keep it under check.
The Air element is our most basic connection to life. Our body can only survive if we breathe. Air represents growth and is associated with movement, joy and happiness. When in a balanced state, Air induces courage and perseverance to achieve your goals.
While balancing the Air element, it is important to understand that each of us breathes the same air, even plants and animals. This makes it easier to connect to the thought that we are all one. That we are all the same, only our surroundings, upbringing and circumstances frame us.
Once you connect to this thought, you can easily connect with everyone and stop finding faults and imperfections in others. When the Air element is balanced, the mind is peaceful and controlled. By mastering the mind, you also gain the capacity to handle all other elements and use their energies to the best advantage.
Much like Fire, unless kept under check, the Air element has the capacity to bring in nervous agitation, fear, and anxiety. Once balanced, Air can positively initiate new insights, revelations and knowledge. Air activates inspiration and creativity. Once you connect to the Air element, your sense of intuition also grows stronger.
How to balance Air elements:
Resolve to wake up early to allow ample time for all the things that need to get done before the work day commences.
Get outdoors for a morning walk or other exercise and fill your lungs, eyes and ears with the clarity and peace that this time offers.
A period of meditation, prayer or yoga will help cement the feeling of centeredness and peace before the craziness of the work day begins.
Cut down on caffeine and other stimulants.
Don’t skip a meal and take time to eat slowly.
Spend some time watching clouds float around in the sky.
Spend time bird watching.
Try out Breathing meditation (following your breath)
Design a daily routine that creates stability, calm, and peace.
Once dinner is done, wind down toward a peaceful night of sleep.
Take a break from the information deluge.
Stop fidgeting with your cell phone.
Steer clear of anxiety-inducing images and news, especially at night.
The element of Space represents expansion and enhancement. When it is in a balanced state, it induces knowledge and awareness to understand new and creative ideas. The Space element encompasses everything around us and influences the mind and the heart. Enhancing the Space element helps you smoothly sync your energies with the Universal energies.
Also referred to as Ether, the influence of the Space element is limitless. Balancing the Space element can in fact give you highest self-healing powers. You can heal anything from addictions, heartbreak to depression. The Space element is most powerful and dominant because without the Akash Tatva, none of the other 4 elements can exist. If there is no Space, nothing can exist. So, it is crucial that we get up every morning and thank Space for supporting Life and all Life forms, including us.
How to balance your Ether energies:
Try and surround yourself with the colour blue. This colour is associated with the Ether element.
While meditation or prayer, sit silently and feel the expanse of Space. Connect with the sounds of the Universe. Feel the peace.
Engage in some form of Art or Music.
Travel a lot. Learn and Explore.
Focus on the sense of hearing, whether to conversations, responses or the sounds of nature.
Spend time with literature/music/movies/images that inspire you on a regular basis.
Consciously practice ‘Big Picture’ thinking. Expand your horizon from carrying through day to day activities to thinking about the larger purpose and rhythm of Life.