Monday, September 20, 2010

The Element Earth

Most of us have fond memories of squishing mud through our toes. building castles in the sand and digging in the dirt. When we touch the Earth, we connect with the roots of nature. The Earth is fertile and stable. All life forms, as we know them, spring from the Earth. We affectionately call our whole planet Mother Earth.

The diversity of the forests, the majesty of the mountains, and the richness of the precious metals all come from the Earth. The Earth provides the foundation for these entities to thrive and take shape. The metals and stones we value the most such as gold, silver and diamonds lie buried within the deep, rich Earth.

Of all the five elements in the Pancha Tattva and ayurveda systems, Earth is the most solid, and the most supportive of our basic needs. The Earth is teeming with life and is constantly giving birth to various life forms. Plants send roots into the earth so they can rise toward the sky. Nutrients within the Earth are continuously being recycled to keep enriching the Earth as it continues to give its resources to sustain the life above and within it.

Someone who has earthy qualities is thought of as stable, supportive, giving, and practical. They can be counted on as a friend and are strong and reliable. They have an affinity with Nature and are slow to anger but also slow to forgive. Their emotions run deep and they are persistent in following their goals.

Grounding as we practice yoga is vital to having a solid foundation in our poses. The more we ground, the more we can soar. We can use Earth energy to inspire our poses. Connecting with Nature is at the core of our yoga practice. Root to rise. That is our mantra. Remember the larger energy of Earth and Nature and observe how that connects you back to your true self. Use the Earth qualities of sensitivity and resiliency to grow and deepen your practice.

Even though the exterior form of Earth appears to be stable and durable, there is always some movement within. Bones, the most solid Earth-like matter in our bodies, are constantly being dissolved and rebuilt. Rocks are continually in the slow process of erosion. Everything in the Earth and our bodies, no matter how solid and stable, is still on some level changing and evolving.

Earth is everywhere. Ever notice no matter how often you clean your body or your house, it gets dirty again? Some little piece of earth is always clinging to you. Our natural cycle is to be born of the Earth and eventually return to the Earth.

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