Happy Sinhala and Tamil yogies. Lets start this new year off with understanding some yogic anatomy and how this can bring us into balance. Western philosophy only recognises matter which can be anaylitical studied and believes that the only way to effect reality is through the laws of physics. Eastern philosophy acknowledges the material realm but also understands that we are much more than matter. Yogies experience to perceive reality beyond what is known through the 5 senses and understands that when you change something in the subtle realm it can create great change with minimal effort in the material realm. Therefore by working with the energy of your elements or tattvas and bringing them into balance you can shape your experience of the Universe.
There are 31 tattvas in yogic anatomy and a bit like a drop of ink in water, they move from the most concentrated form of infinity, in varying degrees to the atom. We will concerntrate on the last 5 most gross tattvas which make up the human, ether, air, fire, water and earth. Each of us has a dominant element which expresses itself most strongly in our constitution and personality. The behaviour or qualities of these tattvas are a result of the combination of gunas that predominate them, sattvic (graceful, peaceful, disciplined, intuitive, connected to soul), rajas (positive, active, emotional, demanding) and tamas (inertia, solid, persistent, lazy).
Earth Tattva – Pritvi – wellbeing of all v greed
The Earth tattva is dense, dry, cold, and smelly. When this stabilizing tattva is healthy, it brings plumpness, heaviness, compactness, and steadiness to your body, your emotions, and to your life. But an unbalanced earth element can lead to insecurity and greed.
To Balance – We can balance this element by stabilising your lifestyle i.e. your diet, exercise, etc. Earth foods are warming and heavy. Your earthy diet should focus on meals that are nourishing, easy to digest, filling, substantial, moistening, and strengthening. You might do better with small frequent regular meals, and you definitely will want to include mild warming spices. Bear in mind that staying calm and concentrating while you consume and digest your meal will help to stabilize your grounding tattva.
Sweet fruits, cooked vegetables, cooked grains, nuts, natural sweeteners, mild warming spices, and warm milk products in moderation, make up the pillars of the yogic diet to develop a strong Earth tattva. On the flip side, dry fruits, dry grains (think rice cakes), and raw vegetables bring more air tattva into your body. The cabbage family, including broccoli, also abounds in air, and contradicts your efforts to get grounded. Beans can also be a problem, like any other food that creates gas, which is pure air tattva. Barley and oats are nutritious, grounding grains. For the ‘spaced out after sadhana’ yogi, a piping hot breakfast of these foods, with some warming cinnamon or cumin, sets the tone for a grounded, solid day.
Try daily connecting with mother earth and nature. Walk barefoot on the grass, do a handstand in the garden (one of my favourites) or just lie on the grass and look up at the sky feeling grounded and secure.
Apas Tattva -Water -Lust for breath and consciousness v exploitation
This tattva is linked to your conscious and subconscious emotions. Like water emotions flow through us, but when we get stuck on one, i.e., “ I should not feel jealous, angry, upset”, etc. this is when the flow stops and the balance goes.
To Balance- The key is not to stop the emotion but to make the energy of the emotion serve you. Channel it, jealously can be inspiration, anger can be channelled into determination. When you are overly emotional try drinking more water to bring yourself back to balance. Also try this meditation when you feel over whelmed or stuck with a particular emotion that you cannot shift. Turn that commotion into devotion.
Tuck your elbows into you’re rib cage, hands in gyan mudra, arms are at 60 degrees from the body. On one deep breath through the nose chant, Sat Narayan, hari Narayan, hari Narayan, hari, hari. After 11 mins put your hands in your lap and chant Wahe guru to balance the Rajas and Tamas gunas.
I also throw myself into the swimming pool, sea (preferable) or shower after an emotional time.
Agni Tattva – Fire – Anger/Blame v Discipline/Will power over ourselves
Agni tattva is the fire of the Kundalini energy. It is increased with the practice of Kundalini Yoga. It aids in the digestion and absorption of food in order to provide the whole body with the vital energy needed for survival. Agni tattva burns our karmas, our blocks, and our fears. It gives us the strength of commitment, discipline, will-power, and the ability to carry out our intentions. It is the power to digest, absorb, and assimilate both physically and emotionally. Through the proper use of this element, we learn to fully digest the experiences that we get from life.
“You all want to get rid of your anger,” Yogi Bhajan would say. “Get rid of your anger and you won’t be able to digest your food.” The same capacity that causes us to get hot under the collar is what enables us to process food into energy. You can use this capacity to burn others, or to purify yourself. It can manifest as burnout, or as the radiance experienced in the purifying fire of Kundalini Yoga.
To Balance –Breath of Fire. Regularly monitoring yourself to make sure you are not supressing your anger thereby becoming passive aggressive. Use kriyas and exercise to sweat out the inner anger, use your determination for your Sadhana (daily personal practice).
Vayu Tattva – Air – Attachment personal benefit v Wellbeing of All
The air element is seen as the teacher or Guru. It gives us life as we can only exist for a few minutes without it. It also gives us our purpose. It carries the sound current and you can still feel its light touch. How this element works in us determines how we engage with life. Was our first breath of ease or fear, that there would not be another. Monitor your breath, are you rushing to greedily grab a breath or can you exhale deeply to evenly breath in?
Balance – 16 stroke breath in and out through the nose, with your hands in Venus lock with the thumbs on top next to each other at the heart area. Try and make it a continuous breath so there is no break between the inhale and exhale. End by holding the inhale, squeezing the locks for 15 sec x 3. Then just breath normally feeling the air in your spine and the spaciousness of this element.
Akasha Tattva – Ether/Spirit – Pride/Ego v Focus on Soul or Infinite
Ether is the subtlest of these 5 tattvas. It is the ability to see the subtle, beyond the obvious. It is understanding the drop of sea water contains the elements of the entire ocean. You can understand through wisdom without needing the details of how and why?
Balance – We can meditate on the Trikutee mantra which understands that we are our own guru or teacher. Bringing ourselves from the darkness of unconsciousness to the light of consciousness. When we recite this with devotion to ourselves it builds trust, triggers our destiny and releases fear. Meditate on Wahe guru – 11mins. Sat nam Fi x sanasumainsrilanka.wordpress.com read our weekly blogs and brain candy firstname.lastname@example.org www.sanasuma.co.uk 0778011984
This week’s classes:
Tues 18 April 6-7pm Meditation @ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5
Wed 19 April 5- 7.30am Sadhana @ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5 (FREE)
Wed 19 April 3-3.45pm Radiant kids yoga @ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road,
Wed 19 April 7.15-8.15pm Kundalini Yoga @ the Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Co
Sat 22 April 5am-8pm Sadhana then TT Level 1 @ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5
Sun 23 April 5am-6pm Sadhana then TT Level 1 @ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5
Sadhana students can attend for free, if you want to stay for Teacher Training Level 1 – Half day is 3000Rs full day 5000Rs. Please let me know in advance. Full day includes 2 meals, half day 1 meal.