The five elements of Ayurveda
Balancing the five elements of Ayurveda earth, water, fire, air and space is the foundation of Ayurveda. We call them the Pancha Maha Bhutas, the Five Great Elements. Everything in nature, from the subtle to the gross, is made up of the elements.
Working our way from subtle to gross, we’ll start with the space element. Everything is contained in space, universal energy, information, truth. Deepak Chopra calls this the field of infinite possibilities where everything is connected to everything else. Space is part of the field of the soul.
Air is the principle of change and uncertainty. If you think about it, life is always changing and never stands still. It is also unpredictable. Outside the body air is wind, inside the body, it is the breath. Through the breath you are communicating with the universe.
Fire generates heat and light and is the principle of transformation. The sun warms the earth outside the body, and inside the body the element of fire digests food, thought and experience. A healthy internal fire allows us to detoxify the mind and body.
Water is the principle of fluidity and pulls everything together. Water cushions our brain, heart and joints. It’s protective and flowing.
Earth is principle of form, stability and consistency.
The five elements of Ayurveda often determines our ability to sleep well
Each of us is made up of different degrees of each of the five elements depending on our makeup at the time of birth. If you imagine someone with a lot of air and space, they may be cold and dry right? What happens with the wind blows? Yes it dries everything out. That is exactly what happens in the body. Too much movement and the air in the body increases creating havoc in the mind, upsetting the digestion and the quality of your sleep.
If someone has too much fire, they’ll get irritable, start over achieving pushing their way ahead like an angry bull. What happens when you contain fire in the forest? It keeps you warm and gives you light. What happens if the fire takes off? It strips through the forest destroying everything in it’s way until it burns out. In your body, too much fire creates acidity and inflammation and an angry mind.
Whilst water is protective if it is flowing. What happens if it can’t flow? It starts to stagnate and smell. That is what is happening in your body when water starts overflowing and getting stuck. We call that bad circulation. Too much water will also put the fire out and affect your digestion.
As you can see, it makes perfect sense when you look at it in a practical way
The human body is the microcosm of the macrocosm. Just watch nature and it will give you the clues. The right amount of stability, combined with flowing water, warm sun, fresh air and space creates balance.
Knowing what your individual constitution is important to find out where the imbalances are. From there you can work on bringing the elements back into harmony and cutting the roots of you insomnia, for the rest of your life.
Kapha: Bring the earth and water element into balance with movement and warmth.
Pitta: Bring the fire element back into balance by cooling and relaxing.
Vata: Bring the air and space element back into balance by calming, soothing and quietening.
My methodology for healing sleep issues, Sleepology is based on the principle of balance.