Air represents movement and changeability. Air is without form, and can move in all directions: inward, upward, downward, expanding and contracting. While Water is the element that flows in the path of least resistance, Air is the moving force. Air is element responsible for all movement in nature/prakriti.
Everything that moves is moved by Air.
Wind is a tangible, physical representation of the element Air, and sometimes we refer to Air as Wind. Air is the force that moves the ocean, our breath and the beating of our hearts. Nerve impulses, lifting an arm, and the flow of ideas in our minds, is all possible because of Air. While the other elements are moved, Water rushes down a mountain side… Fire appears to run and jump at times… they don’t have the ability to move on their own, they need the propelling action of Air.
Just as wind moves in all directions, and our bodies can move in all directions, Air has five main subtypes or manifestations, each of which has a seat in the body, a direction that it moves, and actions it’s responsible for. The Sanskrit word for the element Air or Wind is vayu. Thus the element Air is referred to as “vayu” and the five subtypes of Air are also called vayus. Here’s a post that dives into each one of these manifestations of Air.
Connecting with Air can help us notice how we’re skillfully harnessing this energy of motion… when we’re moving too fast, not enough, or depleted because we’re moving in unskillful ways. We’ve all had the experience of moving too quickly for too long a time and feeling exhausted. On the flip side, we’ve all likely found ourselves stuck on the couch in Netflix-land, not moving enough and feeling drained because of the inertia. Attentiveness to Air, and how we’re moving in our lives can help us to refine the ways in which we move, so we have can access to all of the flavors of energy and calmness, when we need them.
Here are some ways to call upon, connect with, and celebrate the element Air:
AIR / VAYU PRACTICES
- Tools that promote the movement of all Five Winds / Vayus
- Postures: Simple Vinyasas that invite awareness of the five vayus; postures that direct attention and Prana to the heart center
- Breathing: Nadi Shoddhona, Brahmari
- Mindfulness Tool: Touch – the feeling of body on props and ground, clothing, Air on skin, Sensations of Breathing
- Chakra: Heart / Anahata ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Add Air items to your Altar or Practice Space: Representations of Air such as images of the sky with clouds, or winged creatures: Air Yantra / Blue Circle⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Colors: Air Yantra is Blue, and Green is one of the colors associated with Anahata – play around with what feels useful for you⠀⠀⠀
- Outside: Hang wind chimes and enjoy the breeze
- In your home: Decorations or plants that hang or move with the circulation of Air, other Air features or decorations in your home
Practice with Air when you want to refine how you’re utilizing your energy, where you’re directing it, and how you’re recharging your battery. Turn to Air to help you intentionally move in your body and within your life.