ELEMENTS – AIR
Air is the highest of the four classical elements, representing movement and openness. It is lightness, freedom and positivity. It is a vital spirit, swirling freely in and around you. It is thought to supply the power of the mind, associated with memory, awareness. Ephemeral and inspiring, air can’t be seen or really captured, but it can be felt in many different ways. It is connected to ideas and the divine, a powerful link to spirit.
Air & The Heart Chakra
Air is associated with the heart chakra energy centre, linking two important sources of intellect, love, and openness. The heart chakra is the merging point of the physical chakras with the spiritual chakras. This heart energy force is often related to love, compassion, forgiveness, and empathy.
For many people who have had painful life experiences, closing off or constricting their heart chakras is a way to block out the pain or prevent future pain. These barriers can make it difficult to restore the heart chakra’s balance. In these instances, the chakra’s connection to the air element may help. Some believe that using air to help access the blocked heart chakra is a “side door to the heart.” In this way, one can more easily open the heart chakra with breath work and other healing meditations, aromatherapy sessions, and yoga asanas.
Air & Aromatherapy Oils
Using aromatherapy with yoga and meditation to restore balance to the subtle body’s energy centres and connect with the universe’s elements dates back thousands of years. It’s still just as appealing today, providing a concrete link to the elements.
There are countless ways aromatherapy aids your mind-body connection, awareness of the universe and pursuit of greater spirituality. Let’s talk first about the actual physiological response your body has to essential oils. At their most basic, essential oils are molecules of volatile compounds that are easily vaporised. These essential oil volatile compounds float through the air into your nostrils when placed in a burner or diffuser, used on aromatherapy jewellery, spritzed into the air or used to anoint regions of the body or healing crystals. There they reach your olfactory system, which in turn causes your brain to signal certain physiological responses. These physiological responses depend on the type of essential oil used. Lavender oil for instance, has an analgesic effect and triggers brain responses that reduce anxiety and depression.
Some people also believe that the vibrational frequency of essential oils helps to shift your body’s frequency so that it is more aligned to the frequency of air.
On a more basic level, air is the conduit for essential oils, creating the medium for the oils to do their work.
The essential oils that are most closely linked to the air element include:
- Cedarwood Atlas
Yoga is a beautiful way to reconnect with your body, still your mind, open your subtle body’s energy centers and heighten your awareness of the air element. Some yoga asanas and pranayamas are particularly helpful in connecting you with the universe’s breath. Here are a few to try yourself:
- camel pose
- cow face pose
- standing bow pose
- locust pose
- supported bridge pose
- ujjayi breathwork
As you would expect, meditations that involve a focus on your breathing can help you feel more connected to the air element. They’ll also help you balance your heart chakra. Here are few simple breathing meditations:
- Imagine that you’re inhaling through one nostril and exhaling through the other as you take in and release each breath. Use a guided meditation while you practice this breathing technique or simply quiet your mind. Think about how the air feels as it enters your nostril; is the air cool, warm, soft, soothing? Do the same as the air rushes out of your other nostril on your exhale. Focus only on your breath for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Settle into a comfortable position and simply breath normally. Focus on the air as it enters your body. Think about how there is no delineation between the outside air and the air in your body. Imagine how your body takes the air in, pulling the oxygen from it to send through your blood to every part of your body. You may start to think about the transient, impermanent nature of air, but also consider that the air you are breathing is the same air your ancestors used for life. Simply feel your breath and the air around you for as long as you choose to meditate.