The Five Elements of Life

The Five Great Elements Of Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, our anatomy, and also another life anatomy (animals, insects, birds, plants, trees), everything is made from Pancha Mahabhuta/Tattva – The  Five Great Elements.


To understand Your individuality is to know yourself. To know yourself is a foundation of life, the foundation of your health and happiness and this is what Ayurveda and Yoga are trying to make understand more than 5000 years.

We are made of the same “ ingredients“ but the proportion is different which makes us physical and mental a unique phenomena, and for a perfect balance, the elements must be balanced. These elements exist not only on Earth but also in our body.

Let`s take a look.

Pancha Mahabhuta (The Five Great  Elements of Life) are:

I. Akash ( Ether/Space )

2. Vayu ( Air )

3. Agni/Tej ( Fire )

4. Jala ( Water )

5. Prithvi ( Earth )

For example, a flower contains space thru water can pass, gases, water, the heat of the Sun, and is made of Earth.

Like everything else, we comprise all five elements working together.

1. Ether/Space – from the mouth to the anus, is a tremendous space.
We need space that our breathe to can go to the lungs and further, space through which it food passes and goes in our stomach.

2. Water – is 80% of this world and 70% of our body.

* the lymphatic fluid is a base of water

*blood in our circulatory system contains water

*mucous membranes, the sinuses, the eyes.

*our saliva

3. Fire – Our body is warm, and this comes from fire.

*metabolism and hormones are hot

*our blood is characterized by fire – sometimes we are ` too hot-blooded`.

But the most important Fire is our internal Fire, the digestive Fire Agni, which is responsible for all transformation in the body. When our Agni is healthy we can easily digest, when is too much or too little we got digestive problems.

Too much Agni ( when the digestive fire is too strong) – heartburn, acid reflux, diarrhea, too little Agni ( when the digestive fire is too weak ) – water retention, lethargy after meals, constipation etc.

To keep you Agni healthy, with a proper constant burning fire, pay attention to your food.

4. Air – anywhere there is space is air as well. The passive air and the moving air which we can feel like a breeze, and “ see it“ like a wind moving leaves, the clouds.

*respiration is the “movement“ of the air

*belching are caused by the air.

*our intestinal and stomach gases are provocative by the air movement.

5. Ether/Space – from the mouth to the anus, is a tremendous space.

We need space that our breathe to can go to the lungs and further, space through which it food passes and goes in our stomach.

The Five Great Elements of Life in Yoga

1. Earth – Regard to Yoga teachings our physical body is annamaya kosha (food body), an amount of nourishment that we ingest and digest. The food that we consume is, in fact, the earth, and this earth becomes us.

If we eat an apple, that Apple takes the form of our nose, eyes, liver and so on.

The body responds when is in touch with the earth, and the earth never allowed the body to forget this origin. The reason for why spiritual people and true yogis, special from India walked barefoot and sit on the ground in a specific asana ( posture – way of sitting) is not that their budget is tight and do not afford to buy a pair of shoes, or they don`t know how to sit on a fancy chair.

They just want to have maximum contact with earth.

***Try to be as much as you can in contact with earth, walk barefoot in your garden, if you don`t have one, go in the nearest park, is no need to walk, just stay, feel the grass or sand or stones.

If you find a tree that looks to you lively, sit there, spend some time around it. The beautiful tree will give you all his pranathe vital life force, because what the tree exhale you inhale.

2. Water – sustains also our life. Take contact with water as much as you can, go to a river, listen water sound music.

The most important thing is to respect the water that you drink, the water that you use. Take minimum 1 shower/day, in this way you clean not just your physical body, you clean also Pancha Koshasyour all five layered bodies.

Pancha Koshas – Annamaya Kosha ( Physical body )

Annamaya Kosha (Physical/Food Body)

Pranamaya Kosha (Energy/Vital Air Body)

Manomaya Kosha (Mental Body)

Vijnamaya Kosha (Intuitive/Knowledge Body)

Anandamaya Kosha (Bliss Body)

3. Fire – The Sun is the life source of this planet. In everything that we eat, drink, the breath there is because of the sun. Every existence on this planet is a solar panel, we are solar panel as well. If the Sun does not exist will be a freezing planet, no existence.

*** Try to take minimum 15min/day a “ Sunbath“, just stay outside and feel the sunlight on your skin.

But Fire in yoga is not just about the sun. Since Ayurveda and Yoga are twins sister science, here, Agni-digestive fire is present too and is working on digesting emotions, experiences, and senses.

Who’re emotions, experiences, and senses !? Yours, in special negative ones.

When your Agni works well, you experience joy, confidence, mental clarity, enthusiasm etc. When not, you might suffer from impatience, indecisiveness, anxiety, depression etc.

***Try to take life as it is, rather blames somebody or something, learn from experiences, learn to listen to your instincts, learn to listen yourself.

“The most effective way of touching lives around you is to break your own barriers “ – Sadhguru.

4. Air – We breathe so, we are alive. The air exists so, we can breathe.  Prana is the breath of life and responsible for respiration, circulation, movement and also our mind, thoughts, emotions are directly connected with prana – vital life force.

When we breathe in, our intercostal muscles contract and the diaphragm moves downward. In this way space found in our chest cavity rise, causing our lungs to expand.

When we breathe out, our diaphragm relaxes and move upward, causing our intercostal muscle to relax, making the space in our chest cavity smaller.

We are not conscious about this moving, but our brain it signaling the lungs to inhale and exhale, keeping us alive.

The deeper our breathing is, the more we can connect with our true nature, and the best teachers in breathing are a newborn baby and animals. For a human being till 3-5  years old, the connection with nature is pure and strong but the older we get the breath becomes shallow.

And why does this happen?

Well, our big “problem“ is that we have a brain that “ always thinks“. The brain of a newborn baby and of an animal is not developed, and the connection with Nature is direct.

If you have a new baby born around, look when he sleeps, look at his breath, what part of the body is moving? The chest or the belly? Or look at your cat or your dog or, on youtube.

Well, the belly is moving, where is the center of 72.000 nadis – the channels of the energies of the physical body, and this belly is, in fact, the silver cord after being cut, through which we were connected with our mothers.

Where your breath is stopping? I think is in your chest.

*** Be conscious of your breathing, stopping in your chest is not a complete and profound way of breathing, and this goes to anxiety, angry, restless.

Our body and Nature knows better than us because there is a memory that we are not aware of.

So, don`t force your breath to expand your stomach. You have to feel the air going into your stomach and further, and because the air is there your stomach expands.

Be totally relax and aware, when you practice, it will take a while until your body “tells you“ it`s the right breathing and you will know, and then will not be necessary to think of your breath, will be natural, but should pay attention when you are not sure.

*** Take a “Wind bath“ either, be thankful for windy days and feel the breeze on your skin at least 15 min.

5. Ether– well, we arrived at the tremendous space, where we are like a minuscule ant. To be correlated with space we must have a perfect geometry, like space has, because this perfect geometry if is not in balance, the life itself will not be here. So, in yoga, we “use“ asanas (postures-way of sitting) for that, to be aligned with the SUN, MOON, and EARTH.

In fact, from the day we were born, we are in Ayurveda and Yoga, because Ayurveda is the Nature itself and Yoga if you think of asanas (postures), we are sitting into asana every time. When you sit on your chair, sofa, on the ground, when you walk, when you sleep we are into endless asana (posture).

But the difference is that we are into unconscious posture, and even we are aligned with the Universe, we will not notice.

*** Is not necessary to go to a yoga class (busy schedule and besides that is very hard to find a great teacher), because yoga in western style is to go in a park where everybody can see you, to put music and do strange movements.

Yoga is more than that, is our connection with Universe, the connection between you and another life (even is a plant, a rock, an insect), is the balance between + and -, Sun and Moon, Ying and Yang, Ida (feminine) and Pingala (masculine), etc.

***Therefore do the Namaste pose every day, like this beautiful Indian woman, approach both palms to your chest, and look up at the sky or sun, look at space. You can do the Namaste pose looking at a photo of dear lost, at your dog or cat and so on (1-2 min).

This simple pose brings union, calmness, and joy.

Hope this article helps you to realize the importance of five elements.

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