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Pancha Mahabhutas- The 5 Elements


Ayurveda views the human body, as well as all forms of our universe, as being made of different combinations of the five elements working together. The relationship of the Elements with each other greatly determines our natural constitution and predispositions to health and ill health; and influences even minor things like our habits and hobbies. Ayurveda groups these elements in three Doshas -

Vata: Ether and Air

Pitta: Fire and Water

Kapha: Water and Earth

SPACE: Has the qualities of cold, light, clear, subtle, sharp and flowing. It is the idea of connectedness. Space allows for all other things to have a place to take form and exist within. Represents awareness and expansiveness. It is what connects us to everything. In the body it creates empty spaces or cavities that quickly get filled by the other elements. In the mind space represents consciousness.

AIR: We don’t see air, but we can feel it as the wind blows on us. Has the qualities of dry, light, clear, cold, hard, rough, mobile. Air is the force behind all movement. Air represents movement throughout our body. It helps with circulation, nerve impulses, movement of the joints, and the breath. In the mind air moves our thoughts and emotions.

FIRE: Has the qualities of hot, subtle, mobile, dry, hard and sharp. Fire represents light, heat and transformation. It helps to regulate our digestive system and metabolism. In the mind it brings clear perception and discernment.

WATER: As seen in the ocean. Has the qualities of cold, mobile, heavy, soft, gross, static, smooth and cloudy. Water is the idea of flow and liquidity. Cohesiveness. represents fluid. Plasma, urine, salvia, sweat, any body fluids. In the mind it brings in feelings of attachment, love and compassion.

EARTH: Has the qualities of cold, dry, hard, heavy, solid, stable, dense and rough. Earth is the idea of stability and solidity. Represents the physical structure. The skeletal system, muscles, hair and organs. In the mind it brings mental stability and structure to our life.


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