Self-Care Through The 5 Elements
feed your fire
cleanse your air
tend your earth
treat your water
Ayurveda recognizes the 5 elements as the building blocks of all material existence. Humans are are created with the subtle qualities of earth, water, fire, air and ether.
We nourish ourselves with foods that come from the Earth, and eventually our body returns to the earthly matter from which it came. Earth in body is represented by bones and muscle tissue and forms the structure and support of the body.
Fire provides the body with heat and radiant energy. It also exists within all metabolic and chemical actions. Our digestive system is an action of the fire element and controls our internal thermostat and metabolism.
Water is our life-sustaining liquid, making up more than 70 percent of our total body mass. (The earth is also 70% water.) It's qualities keeps us fluid and is the protector of the body, providing us with our basic nourishment.
Air gives movement to biological functions and feeds every cell with oxygen. It's drives our life force energy or "prana".
Space provides the other elements with an opportunity to interact in the ways just mentioned. Space separates us and also connects us.
How can we take better care of ourselves using the elements?
We can feed our fire by eating foods that help us digest properly. In the winter season, foods that nourish us are warm and adequately spiced. It means eating our largest meal at lunchtime, when our digestive fire is the highest. (Just like the sun.) Feeding our fire is getting our body moving each day with exercise or yoga. We can harness this fire by taking action towards our goals, embrace change and own our power
Cleansing our air means getting our heart rate up regularly to strengthen our cardiovascular health. Practicing pranayama to cleanse the lungs and the mind frequently goes along way to keep our lungs safe and our mind healthy. We can use our breath to pause - before reacting habitually from past experience and taking a deep breath to respond in the present moment from calm place.
Tending to our earth means asking for support when we need it, taking action to create stability in life with routine self-care and setting healthy boundaries. Being grounded is moving forward, even in the face of fear, with faith, and trust that the universe will provide all you need to thrive.
Water has the qualities of shapeshifting, cohesion and connection. Treating our water means keeping connections strong with loved ones. The ability to go with the flow and letting go of the illusion of control. Water is connected to our creative energy. Continue to birth new ideas and keep evolving. Don't forget to stay hydrated! Drink half your body weight in ounces in water every day.
The final element, ether or space, means creating time to slow down. Make time for yourself. Get quiet. Go within and find the answers your searching for...seek and you shall find.