Exploring the Elements: Air
Air gives humans life. Without air there is no breath bringing in oxygen into the body for life. This movement of air that gives life connects life to movement and change. Across the traditions air is connected to the breath, communication, thought, intellect, ideas and worry.
Growing up in a windmill I was surrounded by air as the building would howl and move in high winds. I was at ease with the wind around our home and the frequent changing activities of my home life. There were always different people in and out of our windmill, lots of fast discussions, quick-thinking minds and witty jibes. This element was core to my childhood living and how I have developed as a person.
As a Gemini, I possess the mutable element of air. The qualities of someone who is intellectual, highly adaptable, needs stimulation and moves swiftly. I have always loved to share ideas, communicate with others and piecing things together in problem-solving. Great in a crisis where quick decision-making is required I love these high-stress moments and thrived off them as a lawyer especially.
Unfortunately, a mutable air can get lost in these many layers of self. As a lawyer I used my skills well yet allowed them to take over - addictive behaviours and anxiety issues arose. Addictive workaholism in over-intellectualising my world, problem-solving my personal life and too many ideas. Anxiety in excess worry and precrastination to overly control the world through my mind.
I love my air qualities, but to slow down, seek fewer experiences and more embodied have been skills to master in balancing my airy persona.
Zodiac Air element
The other star signs that share the air element are Aquarius and Libra, who I have always enjoyed relationships that are speedy, chatty, witty with abstract minds and explorative. Air signs are all about communication but from an alert and curious perspective. Fair and objective unless you get on the wrong side of them and then it is a less pleasant experience.
Balance is important for those of the air element. They need to feel free to be who they are and have want they desire without being restless and selfish in relationships. They enjoy pondering large philosophical questions without living in the world. The love of spontaneity for fun and adventure can spiral them into losing their identity as they change their persona often. When unhappy they become detached, cold and overly analytical in dealing with others.
Air signs should be encouraged to:
- Eat regular meals
- Cut back on stimulants like caffeine
- Take a break from information or learning - books or online
- Bedtime routine to wind-down needs time
- No harsh or upsetting images
- Healthy ways to burn off excess energy e.g. Pilates and hiking
In need of more air in your life? Then do the following:
- Watch the clouds
- Bird watch and drawing them
- Sage your home, burn incense and have fragrant flowers in your space
- Candles in the evening (make a wish at bedtime)
- Flowing movement forms like Tai Chi or Qi Gong
- Have some free time for nothing!
Invisible yet felt, it is manifested in movement, thinness, freshness, communication and intellect. Often associated with travel, freedom and masculine energy that projects things forward in the world. The time of day for working with the air element is dawn facing the east.
Air or vayu is located between the heart and throat chakras being the key areas of breath and sound in the human body. Breath is often called the bridge between the body and mind because it is located around the part of the body where the lower and upper chakras meet.
In ayurveda air is part of the vata dosha that combines with space, which you can read about in our blog post here. A fabulous pose to train towards for balance of air is dancer pose or natarajasana that opens the heart and throat in a one leg balance.
There are 5 airs in the yoga body:
Prana - the inhaled respiratory air in the lungs
Udana - the exhaled respiratory air from the lungs
Samana - the air of the stomach and digestive system to carry food
Vyana - blood circulatory air to filter and carry the flow throughout the body
Apana - the air to excrete unwanted substances from the body
When in balance the body, life and thoughts are in a harmonious rhythm. Excess air results in an excess in everything - work, sleep, diet, exercise and supplements. The sense to always grow and improve without ever stopping to acknowledge and embrace the present connections and moments that you have created. There can be dryness in the skin in the physical body as air evaporates any moisture.
To balance wind it helps to:
There is not a Chinese Medicine element that equates to air. It is the metal element that is connected to the lung meridian as discussed in the space blog post that is also air.
Shamanic teachings have air being the element of change. That your wish and intentions are carried on the wind of your voice to make the changes that you desire in your world. Creation comes from the mind first through your thoughts. Be aware and attentive to your thoughts for it is from here that you create your world. Shamans use air to take you between the upper and lower realms on Shamanic journeys, and air is the final element that takes you into the cosmos where Spirit resides.