Yoga and the Five Elements

This term we are returning to the basics of asana (yoga poses), and pranayama (breath regulation) and that will be particularly served through our next two weeks dealing with the element of Earth.  Earth is the first of five elements we’ll be using this term as the springboard for our practice. After that we look at 2. water, 3. fire, 4. air and 5. Space.  This progression is handy as it ascends from the basics of yoga to the more complex.

The sister science to yoga, known as Ayurveda, is what we would consider today the “medical” side of yoga, dealing with diagnosis, diet, lifestyle, exercises and other techniques to bring us back to our own particular balance.  Ayurveda’s concept is that the human existence, all its sensory experiences, all the stages of life, all the likes, dislikes and personality traits are manifestations of the balance of the five elements.  As yoga developed, its power to restore health was attributed to the five elements being brought together into a harmonious relationship with each other.

We won’t be delving into Ayurveda, but we will be using each element as inspiration and as a route of enquiry for our yoga practice.