The interaction of the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether, however simple it may appear, often inspires a feeling of true mystery in me. The more I study the elements, the more I discover how multi-layered Samkhya philosophy actually is. In essence all the elements are present, to varying degrees, in every physical appearance, including our own bodies and minds that we use to interpret our experiences.

According to Vedic seers there are three basic forces in existence. Life is a play of these forces, continually changing and interacting.

The first force is #prana (Energy), associated with the primal breath or life-force, divine will, pure consciousness and the element air. The second force is #jyoti (Light), associated with illumination or radiance, transformation, intelligence and the element fire. The third force is #prema (Love), associated with vigor or vital essence, cohesion, sustainability and the element water.

In the manifestation process of these forces into our physical bodies and minds the elements are often disrupted from their harmonious flow.

During my recent travels in India, I developed a real fascination with the element of Fire, partly because I’m Pitta dosha, but also since I found myself devoted to Arunachala, a holy Shiva mountain in Tiruvannamalai and spent much time in the Annamalaiyar temple, one of the most significant Shiva sights, associated with the element Fire.

Upon returning home I became very aware of how modern life affects my nervous system and how important it is to balance these core elements inside me, especially the intense fluctuations from too much Fire to too much Water, from high energy irritation, frustration and anger to low energy lethargy, dullness and depression. I believe it’s a common modern phenomenon that many of us experience through the increase of technology and our fast-paced lifestyles. 

Exploring the three cosmic forces guide me to find more balance. But it’s not a quick-fix journey, Yoga is a life-long commitment that requires raw humility, true honesty and trust in the unfolding mystery of life in this human form. 

(Creative inspiration by Melanie de Villiers in Tiruvannamalai, India)

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