Our focus this week is on the element of air, known as “vayu” in Sanskrit. The qualities of air include lightness, mobility, gracefulness and sensitivity. In the physical body, the air element governs the movement of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs as well as the movement of nerve impulses, the circulation of the blood and the flow of thoughts. Air is the force behind all motion.
At the subtle level, the air element supports balance of the psycho-emotional body. When there is excessive movement within the mind, one may become unfocused, anxious, or hyperactive. When air is deficient, the mind can become sluggish and dull. When the air element is balanced, thoughts and feelings come and go easily, without attachment. One may experience feeling light and free.
When looking to balance the air element, the importance of steady routines is imperative. A great place to start is eating meals at the same time every day. If you are looking for something more, you might begin developing a morning or evening routine. Start with just one or two activities such as drinking tea and journaling in the morning, or turning off all screens twenty minutes before going to bed coupled with a nightly gratitude practice.
Other suggestions to steady the element of air include:
- Go for a walk: Make it a point to feel the connection of your feet on the earth.
- Breathe: Sama Vritti helps settle an anxious or unfocused mind.
- Yoga: Stabilizing poses such as Table and Down Dog as well as standing poses such as Warrior 1 and 2.
- Mantra: The repetition of a positive word or phrase is centering in of itself. Try repeating the following upon waking or before going to bed at night. “With a greater sense of grounding and centering, I move forward in life fearlessly.”
To experience the benefits of well-filtered air, I suggest choosing a technique or two and practicing it on a daily basis for at least a week. It might be helpful to take notes or journal your experience. Be aware of enhanced feelings of ease, lightness and grace.