The ancient Indian lifescience Ayurveda takes into account the greatest elements in the universe when describing us human beings. Something we can feel quite flattered about! According to Ayurveda the human being and the universe are partly made of the same elements and are closely interconnected.
THE FIVE ELEMENTS
Ayurveda states that the human body is made up of the following natural elements: Ether (or space), air, fire, water and earth. These elements all have features that define their nature:
- Ether: vacuum, emptiness
- Air: dry, cold
- Fire: hot, liquid, dry
- Water: wet, cold
- Earth: solid, cold, dry
According to the Indian philosophy Samkhya the Five Elements (also called the Mahabhutas) make up our gross body, meaning our tangible physical body, while there are other elements that create our subtle energy body. Apart from our gross body and our subtle body we also contain consciousness which is considered as the non-material aspect of the human being.
THE FIVE ELEMENTS IN OUR BODY
In Ayurveda all the above elements are believed to be present within our body in different forms.
Ether and air is believed to be present in the hollow parts of our body such as blood vessels, eartubes, intestine, foodpipe, etc. The characteristic of ether and air in our body is movement.
According to Ayurveda the fire element can be found in the acids and enzymes present is our body and thus especially in the digestive process. The fire works on digesting everything that enters or is created within our body, from food to thoughts.
Water can be found in all the fluids within our body such as blood, interstitial fluid and lymph. This element is responsible for lubricating the body.
And last but not least, Ayurveda believes that the earth element is present in all solid things in our body such as bone, muscles, organs, etc. Its property is to attach, to keep things together.
The elements exist in our body in different proportions, and this makes up our constitution and nature, or prakriti. I will get more into this in my next posts.
This is just a very short description of the Five Elements and how they relate to human beings, but I hope to give you a taste of the holistic perspective so characteristic of Ayurveda!
Wishing you a meaningful day ahead,
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