Air (Vayu)

Published Date: 6/17/2023 6:08:42 AM

  • Air (Vayu), the principle of┬ávibration

Wind or air represents the gaseous state of matter and indicates mobility and dynamic. In the body, the wind element is responsible for the respiratory system and necessary for all energy transfers as air is the key element needed for fire to burn. Wind connects to the skin which perceives touch. Air is the dominant element in the Vata Dosha.

This is the second element because it evolves from the ether. When the potential within empty space becomes active, the result is air. It represents the capacity for motion and all forces and movements which occur as a result.

Air originates from Sparsha, the tanmatra of touch. It is the potential of the touch experience in its most subtle form. Touch and air are inseparable, so the skin which receives the touch is considered to be the sense organ of the element air. The hands through which we reach out are its organ of action.

We associate air in our body with the air we breathe. Ancient Rishis recognized this air as the immediate source of life; that which is synonymous with prana (life energy). Air is described in five forms according to its direction of movement. These are inward (prana), outward (vyana), upward (Udana), downward (Apana), and the force that stabilizes these movements toward the center (Samana). These five movements are known as the vayus and the pranas.

In the body, the air is present in the form of motion. Its force allows the blood to circulate, breath to move, nerve impulses to travel, thoughts to flow, and joints to propel movement. Disorders of tactile perception and those of grasping are the result of the vitiation of the air element.

People with a strong air element in their constitution are agile and tend to move quickly and easily. By nature, they are cheerful and enthusiastic.

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