THE 5 ELEMENTS
Everything in nature is made up of five basic elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space. Knowledge of the five elements allows the yogi to understand the laws of nature and to use yoga to attain greater health, power, knowledge, wisdom, and happiness. This arises out of deep intuition of how the universe operates.
Knowledge of the five elements is an essential pre-requisite for yoga practice because the elements form the world we live in and the structure of our body-mind. All yoga practices work on the five elements, whether we know it or not. Knowledge of the elements (tattvas) is also the basis of traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine. Through consciously working with the elements, we learn how to attain and maintain health and also how to consciously enjoy a long and fulfilling life based on higher awareness.
Summer is the time of light and the full expression of life. It is a moment for celebration and joy. Fire element teaches us to transform old habits, a way of thinking and belief systems. To let our inner light shine and dance with nature in pure devotion. It is the full expression of yang energy.
It is the time of transition between the growth and expansive energies of spring and summer, to move inward and cooler energies of autumn and winter. It lasts about 6 weeks, until the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. It is a time to watch, simplify and allow the natural rhythm of the season to come to its place-the center.
Autumn is the time of big changes. Nature is showing us how to let go of what no longer serves us and to connect more with whatever is going to be useful or beneficial. Letting go of all summer excesses and experiences, keeping only what is needed. The energy is contracting and pulling inward. It is the beginning of Yin energy.
Winter is one of the most challenging times for most people. And yet very necessary for the balance of life. Winter is the end of a cycle, a time for a pause, rest and restore the energies, a moment of contemplation and observing the self. In this time of darkness, we might face our own dark side, fears, and emotions. Water teaches us to trust and to let ourselves flow with life. Is the full expression of Yin energy.
After a long period of darkness and cold, hibernation and rest during wintertime, the sun comes back and all nature begins to express all its beauty again. The energy is expanding. The light and warm has returned. Spring is the time for blossom, renew, cleanse and detox. It is the beginning of a new cycle. Yang energy is rising.