Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Worried, Nervous or Stuck? Release Yourself with the Wind

Feel the gentle breeze and internalize it.

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?

Related Articles on The Healing Power of the 5 Elements:

Take a peek at the gorgeous new design at Upcycled Love and read my article The Wisdom of Ecology.  Image Credit:  Public Domain Pictures (dot) Net

If you liked this article, please share the link by using the share button below.  And, I would love to hear from you in the comments.  Thanks so much for your support!  Sandra


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  1. I love the reflection exercise Sandra, you transported me to my favorite place the beach and I saw myself standing as i did last week with the wind blowing as I did my stretches and yoga poses. i will now look at this in a new way, thank you

  2. Sandra,
    Yesterday, I was outside burning some tree limbs that had fallen down over the winter. The day started pretty still (which was good for starting the fire) – and then later as it was mostly just some coals – the wind had picked up. I was out there – both connected to the hot coals and to the wind reaching to me. While I wasn’t specifically thinking about the connection to the wind and what it was doing for me – I really did feel a sense of flowing throughout the rest of the day. (and that was all very, very good)

    Anyway, now after reading this – I am going to use this exercise to connect more fully with the wind within me… (thank you)

    • Lance,

      That’s amazing how you were intuitively connecting with the wind and felt more flow throughout the day. Thanks for sharing this. It’s a great example of how you can use everyday experiences to connect with the elements.

  3. I agree Sandra!

    My stress and anxiety and been high lately, but when I get outside for a walk or job and take in the fresh air my depression lifts a little. It’s as though the new air moves the clutter from my mind and gives me a fresh start.


    • Alex,

      I’m sorry your stress and anxiety have been shooting up. Those times happen for all of us. I can relate. Wind is especially good for helping us to lift out of depression. It’s good to hear how breathing the fresh air moves the clutter from your mind and gives you a fresh start.

      Isn’t it amazing how the air outside becomes the air inside through breathing? This really illustrates the connection between the natural elements and inner elements.

  4. Hi Sandra,

    The wind is my friend. When I feel like I am carrying a hard day or emotions from someone else, I let the wind blow it out of me.

    Thanks for a beautiful post.

  5. Hi Sandra,
    I loved this! I thought the other element was “ether?” I guess “space” is the same?
    I’m a long time astrologer and I can definitely relate to your description of “too much air.” Grounding ourselves by spending time in nature is such a wonderful way to bring the earth element into our lives. When I’m too “spacey” I like to sit on the ground and meditate. Having the root chakra connected to the earth really helps me when I’m nervous.

    • Hi Angela,

      The names of the elements vary according to different traditions. I haven’t heard of “ether” before, but in Chinese medicine there is “metal” and “wood.” These names are according to the Tibetan tradition. I think the various systems are roughly the same just with different names.

      I really need to work with the earth element too. These are perfect ways to do so. Thanks for sharing your methods!

  6. Hi Sandra,
    Interesting concept. In Ayurveda (an ancient healing system) the air element is represented in one of the three doshas, the Vata dosha. When our Vata dosha is unbalanced, it can generate anxiety, restlessness, among other things. To balance the air element, we use certain foods, herbs, and various therapies. Interesting how different philosophies approach the elements specially in the way they achieve balance for that element. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing. Loving blessings

    • Hi Andrea,

      I also greatly appreciate Ayurveda and am so glad you have mentioned it here.

      The Tibetan Medicine system also works with three body systems like Ayurveda (wind, bile, and phlegm), which are similar to the three doshas. The 5 elements are the basis of these three body systems in Tibetan medicine. Tibetan medicine also uses foods, herbs, and various therapies to balance the body systems. Working with the natural elements to bring about healing is a slightly different but interconnected approach.

      Thanks for giving us a glimpse into Ayurveda and Vata dosha. It’s a wonderful holistic system of medicine. I’ve consulted with an Ayurvedic physician myself and have learned so much reading about it. It’s a very inspired approach to healing.

  7. Hi Sandra,

    I have never consciously reflected on the air element although I have been aware of the 5 elements in my personal studies. At one point I was trying to integrate the 5 elements to add more depth to my I-Ching divinations. That gave me cause to look at the 5 elements a little more closely.

    That said, I am generally balanced although there are times when my air element is dominant and I just can’t help but feel restless. But it is not difficult to regain my balance after awhile as soon as I am aware of what is happening. Sometimes, I just go with the flow and sleep it off.

    While reading your article, I was reminded of Hexagram 57 of the I-Ching, “Sun” which is known variously as the Gentle, the Penetrating or the Wind. Here is the extract:

    “Sun is one of the eight doubled trigrams. It is the eldest daughter and symbolizes wind or wood; it has for its attribute gentleness, which nonetheless penetrates like the wind or like growing wood with its roots. The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable, is dissolved by the penetrating light principle, to which it subordinates itself in gentleness. In nature, it is the wind that disperses the gathered clouds, leaving the sky clear and serene. In human life it is penetrating clarity of judgment that thwarts all dark hidden motives. In the life of the community it is the powerful influence of a great personality that uncovers and breaks up those intrigues which shun the light of day.”

    As you can see, the penetrating quality of the wind or air has many uses. And if we could follow the example of the wind or air in our lives, it would do us a whole lot of good. For example, if we are stuck, worried or nervous, it helps to penetrate to the core of the problem to release our tension.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier

    • Irving,

      “Penetrating” is another perfect adjective to describe the air element. This is a beautiful hexagram. I appreciate the connection with gentleness. Yes, the winds to indeed part the clouds.

      I’m glad you feel generally in balance and are able to clear imbalances relatively easily when they do arise. Bring awareness to the discomfort is the first step in dispelling our troubles.

      Thanks for sharing this profound hexagram with us. You are always so giving!

  8. Hi Sandra,

    I feel my troubles ease when I get outside, take a walk, and really breathe in the fresh air. I love your suggestion to imagine negative thoughts being carried away with the breeze… beautiful idea! Thank you :~)

  9. We have had a windy several weeks here in the Arizona desert. Even though it aggravates my allergies, I thoroughly enjoy the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, spinning the wind chimes, and rippling the surface of the fountain in the backyard.

    Wind is the way we are made aware of air. Otherwise it is too easy to take its presence for granted.

    • Sorry for your allergies, Bob! That would be another reason to be cautious of wind. But you have a beautiful way of tuning into the energy of wind while taking care of yourself at the same time. It seems like we do mostly take air for granted, but without it we would last more than a matter of minutes. Thanks for your thoughts.

  10. I love walking the beaches here. The ground is quite wild and pebbly, though the wind and water range from silent stillness to gale force. So long as I remember sunscreen (to preserve my Celtic-heritage skin), it’s always a good time. Thanks for giving me new things to contemplate while meditating in motion.

    • That part of the West coast can be quite wild, can’t it! I feel so lucky to live near the sea. I’m glad you enjoy it too.

  11. Thanks, Sandra. Loved this exercise:

    “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.”

    I do this all the time at night if there is a breath on the back deck. I raise my arms and pull the energy in, centering myself in the moment. Aah . . . that’s better. 😀

    • That’s a great exercise, Nancy. Often times, we are intuitively working with the elements in a perfect way for our body. This is a good example. Thank you.

  12. You know Sandra
    if i can make it to the place in the picture above for 5 minutes a day to smell the Air i think i will always be feeling good
    thank you for the great advice 🙂

    • It’s really a special gift to be in or a near a place that has fresh air! I hope you will always have this joy.

  13. Hi Sandra-what an interesting concept. Your suggestion to allow the air or wind to carry away negative habits or moods is very helpful. There have been a lot of windy days around here-having this image is soothing.

  14. Hi Lori,

    The trade winds are blowing here today as well and this lovely idea came to my mind too. It’s such a blessing to have this wonderful advice from the ancient wisdom treasures. I’m glad it’s resonating for you. We can really put each moment to good use when we have these ideas at our fingertips. Thanks for your comment.

  15. Sandra, this is an incredible exercise. Learning to let yourself go and reflect on your being as the air (and the wind) is a freeing experience. It reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously. And also not to be so stubborn and set in our ways. I had not applied this to my own life until now, and I’m looking forward to the rest of this series!

    • Hi Bryan,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this one so much! I appreciate your enthusiasm and the potential benefits you outline are awesome indeed. Go with the wind, my friend!

  16. Wow, this is a powerful article! I’ve never heard of this method so far, but will definately give it a try. It sounds very promising. Thx for sharing this wonderful approach!

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