the elements of air + space

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Ayurveda / Blog / Writing

In considering the elements of air + space [vayu + aakash] that constitute the vata dosha, they relate to both movement + stillness. These elements are pervasive and exist both internally — e.g., the movement of the breath, the movement of the thoughts, and externally — e.g., the movement of the wind in the atmosphere. These elements share a relationship — movement creates space, and space creates a boundary-less sense of expansion and freedom. When working together in balance, these elements extinguish rigidity and fixation in the mind and body. In the embodiment of vata energy that speaks to the element of air, there is an inherent love of movement — but how the movement is executed greatly influences the physical, mental, and emotional qualities within us. Imagine a calm breeze as opposed to a windy fall day, or an even and steady breath as opposed to a held or short breath, or feeling the space between thoughts, as opposed to an erratic and fast-moving thought pattern. When movement is slow, steady, and mindful, vata energy is soothed, and space is created in the body and mind. Conscious movement eases the transition into stillness that also speaks to the element of space. In the ayurvedic tradition of treating dis-ease with opposites, stillness is deeply nourishing to vata energy. Yet even in stillness, there is subtle movement through the inner-workings of the body. Through this subtle movement — e.g., the movement of the breath — space is created. The combination of balanced air + space elements creates a deeper connection within the body to allow for greater mobility and freedom of movement, in addition to finding comfort in stillness. From a mental and emotional perspective, the space between the thoughts expands, cultivating lightness, flexibility, and creativity as qualities that connect to the essential and infinite self + all that space pervades.



The Author

yogi + registered yoga teacher + life-long student of the eight-limbed path

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