Air Element

Air Element Amy Bell Yoga Blog Post Wellbeing Wellness Health

Vayu – The God Of Wind

Principle of – Mobility/Movement.

Sense – Touch.

Characteristics – Responsiveness, alertness, agility, adaptability, freedom, curiosity, flexibility, free spirited, and seeking to even itself out. Upward, changing, loves to try new things, fluctuating, erratic, light, charismatic. Connection (mind), full of ideas, in the body its connected to the nerve impulses, the breath, and the movement of the limbs (motion/active).  Vibration, thought and intentions.  Light, dry and cold.

Empowerments / Qualities – Creative, spontaneous, intellectually dexterous, multi-tasking, adaptable, quick-minded and ability to juggle. Playful, light-hearted, lightness of being, buoyant, joyful and enchanted by the wonder and awe of the Universe.  Inspiration, insight, new beginnings, imagination, communication and eloquent.  Stress-free, loving, forgiving and compassionate.

Shadow Aspects – Chaos, indecisive, scattered, restless, careless, overly busy, nervous energy, lack of focus, ungrounded, flighty, flaky/unreliable, unable to complete/finish task.  All talk no action, doesn’t follow through, overwhelmed, forgetful, unpredictable, anxious, distracted, hasty and naive.

Emotion – Joyful / Playful / Inspired.

Lesson – Embrace the wings of change, open to the joy in your heart.

Patterns of Movement – Spiral, circular, wing-like, playful.

Dosha – Vata (Air and Ether).

Refinement – Prana (link between universal and individual, cosmic life force through respiration, flow of intelligence, governs movement and sensory functions.)

Chakra – Anahata.

Body Part – Breathing, Circulatory System, Heart, Arms and Hands.

Finger – Index finger.

Mudra – Vayu Mudra (balances excess Air energy), Garuda Murda (enhances energy of freedom), & Hridaya Mudra (compassionate heart gesture).

Air Element Amy Bell Yoga Teacher Wellness Wellbeing Lifestyle Blog

“The air element appears in yoga students and teachers as highly creative types who are quick to assimilate ideas, information, and teachings. They are visionaries with spontaneous and out-of-the-box personalities. People with enhanced air qualities are often articulate and able to use the power of words to bless, heal, and inspire. Airy types are spontaneous, light-hearted, curious, socially graceful and lovingly aware.”  Sianna Sherman

Be mindful of your default physical and emotional state and the stimulation you are exposed to.  Do you live in a busy city, rush around for work, drink lots of stimulating drinks, live in a noisy or chaotic household, are anxious or stressed? Then your air element could be out of balance, and you would benefit from looking at and working with the earth element to ground your excess air energy.  Or, if you find yourself feeling bored, stuck in your ways and uninspired in life, or wish to cultivate any of the other empowerments/qualities in the list above, you may benefit from turning towards the air element and activating it with the practises below.

Pranayama

(Best practised in the morning and on an empty stomach – avoid late on in the day)

Full lung expansion
Bhastrika – Bellows Breath
Anuloma Viloma – 3 Part Breath

Stimulating and Awakening
Kapalabhati – Skull Shining breath
Agni Pran – Breath of Fire
Brahmari – Humming Bee Breath

Air Element Amy Bell Yoga Teacher Wellness Wellbeing Lifestyle Blog

“We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” Thomas S. Monson

Asana

(Best practised in the morning and on an empty stomach – avoid late on in the day)

  • Be playful, curious and creative in your approach; try new ways of doing things.
  • Move around the mat ‘mandala style’, 360 degrees.
  • Make spiralling and circling patterns of movement, e.g. twists.
  • Focus around the heart centre and connection into arms and all the way to the fingertips.
  • Work on front body openers/backbends – Anahata (heart) chakra based practices.
  • Be sensitive to the sense of touch.
  • Create variations of classic poses (Garudasana – Eagle legs, move arms like flying wings, lower chest spread over thighs, spread wings out wide).
  • Add in some non-yoga movement work that supports the other poses and direction you are heading.
  • Include focused mobility movements.
  • Get your heart rate up and keep connected to the breath.
  • Find moments of awe and wonder (appreciating and being amazed by your body, movement, breath and life.)
  • Move with the qualities of lightness and agility.
  • Take time to meditate at the end of practice and journal any insights that may arise.

“If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down.”

Air Element Amy Bell Yoga Teacher Wellness Wellbeing Lifestyle Blog

Off The Mat

  • Spend time in nature so you can take some enriching deep breaths.
  • When outdoors, become more aware of the wind: its direction, how the leaves and plants are moved by it, how it feels against your skin and in your hair, its temperature, its sounds, etc.
  • When surrounded by trees and plants, be consciously aware that you are breathing in the air they give off, and they are breathing in the air you let out.
  • Open your windows, clean your home space, shake out your bed sheets or rugs – create a sense of airiness and freshness within your home.
  • Before showering, use a body brush to stimulate your sense of touch and increase your blood flow.
  • Have a cold shower to wake you up, refresh your mind, and help you feel more alert.
  • Do exercise that gets your heart rate up. A brisk walk, sprinting, high-intensity training or agility exercises.
  • Try something new that interests or excites you.
  • Be creative, whether that be in the garden, the workshop, the kitchen, with pen and paper, or paint and canvas.
  • Try to be a little more adaptable where you would otherwise be stubborn.
  • Find ways to be playful, curious and spontaneous in your everyday life.
  • Adopt a light-hearted approach to things that don’t really matter in life (catch yourself stressing about the small stuff).
  • Do things that bring you a sense of freedom.

Here and Now
I evoke the elemental force of Air,
the winds of intellect and imagination,
swirling source of flight, breath and life.
I seek the open sky within myself that I might breathe deep of freedom, ideas, sounds, and space.
I call you forth to sweep away all that accumulates in the unseen places and to sing beauty into the world.
Wing & Feather
Storm & Leaf
Air, I call thee hence.

(Author Unknown)

Air Element Amy Bell Yoga Teacher Wellness Wellbeing Lifestyle Blog

Ready to create some more playfulness and joy in your life?  Check out this post…

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