In yogic philosophy the human being is a small model of the universe. It also recognises that we are part of everything. What exists within us, our mind and body can also be found in the world and universe that holds us. The 5 great elements ( Pañca mahā bhūta) help us to understand how to balance our minds and bodies as we transition through life and nature's cyclic rhythms.
Earth (pṛthvī )
The most complete of the 5 great elements.
In the mind the earth element connects us to the physical body and allows us to use the physical body to live this life.
We must engage with the body and all of it's senses to allow us to grow. We must ground to grow spirtitually in this life
Wind ( Vāyu)
The wind element is our inner and outer space. It corresponds to the sense of touch and is intimatley related to prana- the life force! Air is the planting of seeds, thoughts, ideas and communication.
Vayu is the vibratory field of energy internally and externally. It gives us the ability to relate, identify and feel alive. Through vayu we move through life as a concious being. Wind provides movement and with that we can move through life, evolve and even transform
Fire is what transforms. Fire lights us up, keeps us moving and drives us in life, and allows us to see things clearly.
Fire provides power to the water and weather cycles of nature around and within us. The suns energy fuels us and all living energy on this earth. From fire we burns, digest and covert our feelings thoughts and impressions so that we may find knowledge from them them.
Water allows us to imagine, be creative and form our own reality. It is our will and motivation and contains our ordinary thoughts, emotions and sensation
Water can characterise change. It cleanses, nurtures and nourishes us whilst taking away what we no longer need.
Space (ākāśa )
The Space in which all matter and energy is contained including the other 4 great elements. Akasha can exist within the mind as mindspace for all thought, mind function and impressions.
We are rarely aware of the space that is here within us. It can be practiced and learned in meditation and mindfulness.