Pancha Mahabhutas: The 5 Elemental Building Blocks of Nature

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Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth

Ayurveda Chart symbolsThese are THE Elements that make up absolutely EVERYTHING we know.  There is NO THING that is not comprised of these elements.

According to Ayurveda, these elements manifested sequentially in Krama -which means a Supremely intelligent order.  Similar recognitions have been made with our modern science and the “Big Bang” theory.

The origin of the Universe

Here I have condensed for you my understanding of the yogic theory of creation, passed down from the very early lineages of yoga.  Obviously, I am not a scientist, or PHD Sanskrit scholar, BUT I am a SEEKER, who has deeply pondered and studied yogic philosophy for a long time now.  This outline is informed and inspired by Dr. Vasant Lad (Ayurvedic specialist and leading author on this topic) as well as other teachers I have had the privilege to learn from.

Here we go…

At first there was Silence.  Oneness. Pure, undifferentiated awareness.

SPACE  -empty, light, all pervading, limitless, omnipresent, unmanifest

From this stillness, limitless Space of infinite ground and potential (Shiva)  OMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM………………………………………………..

From this sound and from this source of came a stirring, a pulsation, subtle vibration….The ONE,  out of it’s own love and desire to know and to create, (Shakti) became the many…and ultimately infinite diversity.

From this pulsation, Space stated to stir.  This movement of Space became AIR
AIR – dry, light, clear, mobile, formless, cold, variable

Movement of air particles produced friction.  Friction produces heat and light.
FIRE  – Active, hot, sharp, penetrating, transformative, linear yet mobile, creates light

Particles heated, then cooled to created condensation or WATER
WATER  – Fluid, soft, accommodating, cool, dense, heavy, moist, flowing, cohesive

Water and particles froze and condensed to create EARTH.  Earth contains ALL the elements.
EARTH  – Solid, structured, stable, heavy, hard, dense, slow, supportive, holding

It is important to know, ALL FIVE ELEMENTS ARE PRESENT on every level of our physiology, all the way down to a cellular level.  We all come from the same stardust…..the same origin, yet as individuals, we have a different set of circumstances, birth parents, conditions, birthdays, etc.  There are infinite variations like snowflakes…no two are the same.

DISCOVER YOUR DOSHA QUIZEvery person is unique in their elemental composition.  For example, some of us have more air to our nature, some people are more fiery, some grounded and stable like the earth. These elemental characteristics have been categorized into what we call THE DOSHAS.

Dosha means energy. Knowing yourself through the Doshas will gives you deeper insight into personal patterns.   When we are in balance, we can THRIVE in who we are. When we are out of balance we might feel STUCK and struggling, without power or potential to change. These elements (doshas) are the essence of our “earth vehicle” and they shape the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of who we are.

A PRAKRITI – is a mind-body type created from the doshic energies…. like an archetype, or a bit like an astrological sign…..  This is how you remember “being” from the earliest age. This is your innate natural physiology, temperament, and tendencies.  Our prakriti remains somewhat constant throughout the course of our lives. It is the deep underlying qualities that make you, YOU!

A VIKRUTI – are the elements (or doshas) are most alive for you, in your body right now -in this set of circumstances and life changes. Our VIKRUTI is variable and related to our stress levels, daily habits and lifestyle, age, and other factors.


Vata Dosha – is predominantly a combination of AIR and SPACE
Pitta Dosha – Is predominantly a combination of FIRE, with a little splash of WATER
Kapha Dosha – is a combination of EARTH and WATER

Discover Your Primary Dosha by taking my quiz!

[wp_quiz id="1775"]
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Heart Space Yoga Studio and Movement Center welcomes students of all abilities, from beginners to experienced yoga practitioners. We offer introductory yoga classes, gentle therapeutics and more advanced flow sessions for those who want the challenge. All of our yoga instructors are experienced and fully certified – committed to helping you unwrap the gift of your limitless self through our inclusive, community orientated yoga studio.

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