Akasha – Space / Sky / Ether
“Into the void of silence, into the empty space of nothing, the joy of life is unfurled.” C. S. Lewis
Principle – of Space/Vacuity
Sense – Sound/Hearing
Characteristics – Absence of the other four elements, the concept of Shunyata (the void – cosmic void – fullness and emptiness), spacious, unbounded, clear, all-pervading, playground, blank canvas, without dimension, transparent, ethereal, uncluttered, in the body ether is represented by the cavities or empty spaces (lungs or stomach), in the mind it is big picture view, silence.
Empowerments / Qualities – Humble, humility, open, beginner’s mind, listens, attuned, intuitive and present. Non-judgmental awareness, equanimity, contentment, detached yet empathic, perceives thought yet remains un-identified with it. Open to possibilities. spontaneous and holds space for the soul journey to unfold with grace. Inner peace, communication, self-expression, closest to our true nature.
Shadow Aspects – Aloof, evasive, detached, disassociated, cold, spaced out, unfeeling and escapism.
Lesson – Create sacred space, meditate, be an open vessel.
Patterns of Movement – Sahaja (spontaneously arising) & Freedom.
Dosha – Vata (Air and Ether)
Refinement – Prana (link between universal and individual, cosmic life force through respiration, flow of intelligence.)
Chakra – Throat “Vishuddha “
Physical Associations – Throat, Mouth, Ears, Sense of Hearing.
Finger – Middle finger
Mudra – Akasha
“Space is embodied in both students and teachers as the ability to be an open, clear vessel. Those with the space element are humble and open minded, receptive, attuned to Source Energy and able to trust in the bigger current of life. These people are willing to suspend their own preferences and ideas to hold space for others’ expression and opinions. People with the qualities of space are open and humble, yet able to express their voice with truth and kindness.” Sianna Sherman
Create more space within the mind and body.
(Best practised in the morning and on an empty stomach – avoid late on in the day)
“Bhastrika” – Bellows Breath
“Viloma” – 3 Part Breath
“Brahmari” – Humming Bee Breath
- In a comfortable seated position, gaze into the darkness behind your eyes and with a quality of open awareness, notice thoughts, feelings and sensations arise. Hold space for them all and watch them come and go.
- Seated or lying down, eyes closed, expand your awareness beyond the space that your body inhabits, start of with the space around you and keep broadening it further and further afield until you see yourself as a form of energy within the cosmos. And then work backwards, holding onto that sense of spaciousness.
“All things are in a state of vibration. Vibrations from objects in our surroundings are constantly impinging upon us and carry to our senses a cognition of the external world. The vibrations in the ether act upon our eyes so that we see, and vibrations in the air transmit sounds to the ear.” Max Heindel
“The wise person looks into space and knows there are no limited dimensions.” Lao Tzu
- Practise poses that feel expansive, open and spacious (“Tarasana” – starlight pose – is a perfect example.)
- Chose postures that focus on stretching the muscles and loosen up the fascia (connective tissue).
- Warm up the joints.
- After holding a position that feels closed off (eg. chest over thigh in “pigeon” closing up the front hip) punctuate the moment when you come out of it, re-open the body up and create space again in that area.
- Visualise the space (cavities) within your body (eg. lungs) and from tip of one extremity to another.
- As you breathe, visualise the breath moving freely around the body.
- Take your time to find the repose (rest) within the pose.
- Create space in time between each posture, no rush, make the transition slow and mindful.
- Treat your self-practice as a playground, a blank canvas, tune into what your body needs and be spontaneous.
- Be conscious of the space you move your body through.
- Work with the Throat Chakra – which is associated with self-expression, communication, listening etc.
“The throat chakra is the communication centre of your subtle body and your energetic centre of expression and creativity… Together with the element of Air, Ether makes up the Vata dosha, the motivating energy that keeps you moving and achieving goals.” Swami Saradananda
“Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.” Blaise Pascal
Off The Mat
- De-clutter and tidy your physical space.
- Be mindful of moments of silence; create more of them.
- Carry out practices that help you feel a sense of inner peace (meditation etc.)
- Work towards specificity and essentialism, helping to create more time and space for the important things. Less is more.
- Unbind yourself to unnecessary obligations.
- Notice when and how often you are in ‘doing mode’, if you often have a busy agenda, create some space in your diary, try and find more time to ‘just be’.
- It’s tempting when you have free time to fill it, but explore the benefits of the newfound freedom.
- When you have things to achieve, and your amidst the ‘doing’, still give yourself some space, even if it’s just a mindful moment or a few deep breaths.
- When communing with others, be mindful of your intensity and the space you take up physically and verbally (Overly dominating, judgemental, stealing focus and attention, not listening, etc.)
- Take yourself to wide-open spaces, enjoy the expanse, emptiness and vastness of it all.
- Explore “Space” element qualities such as humbleness and humility.
- Find more attunement to yourself (meditation & deep inner listening) and to others.
Keen to create a little more space and calm in your mind? Then check out this post…