May 19 Restore Series
The elements of nature. Upon further study and contemplation, I found not only are all aspects of our life created from the basic material elements of the birth of our home, the earth but aspects of our own nature and mind are made up of the qualities of these natural elements. These are called the gunas (with a little "g") in Ayurvedic study. Gunas are the characteristics of the 5 elements (ether, air, fire, water, and earth). For example, air is dry, cool, windy, mobile and rough. Water is mobile, steady, soft, dense, liquid.
Upon waking, it may be useful to check in with your physical body and notice how it feels. Does it feel dull, heavy today or is there a sharpness to it or maybe it feels completely light. And then as you set your intention for the day, you could include an intention to balance those qualities in your body. If you are feeling that dull, heaviness in your body possibly inertia, maybe you can add a brisk walk or energetic breath to move the sluggishness. Or what if your thoughts are racing and your body feels cold with air like qualities, add as your intention some grounding activities like restorative yoga or nuturing your body with oil massage (abhyanga in Ayurveda).
These gunas can assist in seeing where your imbalances are and provide a starting point for balancing practices.
Journaling Exercise: take 5 minutes to sit comfortably, close your eyes and observe your physical body. Open the eyes and write in your journal the qualities or characteristics that you feel in your body along the lines of those qualities found in the 5 elements. Are your daily activities increasing those qualities or supporting your balance? Try this for the mind. What qualities are present in your thoughts? What activities in your life are adding to these qualities (i.e. feeling stressed (spacey, air element), what is adding to this stress?
After journaling, take a few more moments to breath evenly and deeply to let any observations go. For more information on the gunas, please go to https://www.dharmainc.org/teachings/view-teaching/twenty-gunas-qualities.