Air is the very essence of life. All pervasive, it represents movement, change, curiosity, learning, flow, and flexibility.
You can connect with air to lift yourself up when you feel down, breakthrough constricted habits and mental pattens, or get unstuck from an entrenched argument or point of view.
Tuning into the 5 elements – earth, water, fire, air, and space – is a powerful way to transform moods, accelerate personal growth, and activate the healing power within.
Each element represents unique qualities that exist both in the outer environment and the internal environment of the body. Thus, connecting with the outer elements can help restore balance to the inner elements. This will aid in bringing about greater well-being in mind, body, and spirit.
In the first article of this series, I suggested nourishing yourself with space. This time we explore the transformative power of the air element.
Imbalanced Air: Jittery, Worried or Stuck?
When the air element is dominant, you generally feel a lack of stability and contentment. Being jittery, nervous, worried, or flighty are all signs of imbalanced air. There is usually a deficiency in the earth and water elements when air is overly strong.
On the other end of the spectrum, when the air element is deficient, it’s common to feel stuck and unable to change. A worry or concern seems to lodge inside. You feel stuck and unable to move or change.
The air element is also the prana or wind that carries the mind according to ancient spiritual traditions. So when air is out of balance, spiritual practice can be challenging. It’s often difficult to concentrate, sit, or meditate. Your mind darts about magnetized by all the thoughts and emotions.
Balanced Air: Flowing and Flexible
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche describes what it’s like when the air element is in balance:
“When there is balanced air, worry and concern give way to the next thing – a resolution can be found. Balanced air allows us to be flexible. If things go wrong, we can still appreciate other aspects of experience: there can be bad news and a beautiful sky at the same time. Air allows the mind to move in new directions, to see things from different perspectives, and this allows the accumulation of knowledge and understanding. How fast you can change your negative anger or depression or annoyance or self-pity into something positive has to do with how developed your air element is.”
Reflection: Release Yourself with the Air Element
The reflection this week involves take some time to consider how the air element manifests in your mind, body, and life. Do you tend to feel jittery, nervous, or stuck? Is it easy for your to flow with life?
The following quote from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche describes the practice he recommends for working with the air element.
“Go to a place where there is wind, perhaps a mountain pass or a beach. Or go where the air is cool and clean – in the shade of a forest or beside a river. Gentle your breathing. Feel the movement of air. Internalize it – the freedom of it, the quick intelligence of it. Feel the life moving in your flesh and in your thoughts, and the prana moving in the channels of the body. Recognize the air in the central channel, in the heart, in consciousness. The principal quality of air is flexibility; it is free.”
The key to working with any one of the elements is to connect with it and then internalize the qualities of the element in your body and being. Don’t worry if you are not aware of the subtle energy channels of your body. Just give the idea the benefit of the doubt. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche recommends practicing like this for 30-45 minutes.
However, be sure to use your common sense. Some people are very sensitive to wind. They easily catch a cold when exposed to wind or strong wind triggers pain in their body. If you feel adversely affected by to too much wind, it might be better to work with the earth element to ground yourself or the water element to comfort yourself.
You can also practice with everyday experiences. When a breeze stirs, image your negative habits or mood being carried away. Use your imagination.
If you would like to learn more and engage in healing with the elements, I suggest reading Healing with Form, Energy, and Light by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, the source for this article.
How about you? Is it easy for your to flow with life? Are you aware of the air element in your life? How do you connect with the air element?
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