Once in the space between sleep and awakening, I had a sudden realisation that every living, breathing being would inhale and exhale pretty much in the same time frame that I inhaled and exhaled. That would make for a global, collective simultaneous in and out breath every few seconds or so.
Try it with me here if you like, a deep inhale followed by a deep exhale – with the awareness of sharing this moment of breathing with the whole planet.
I find it connects me instantly to the community of living beings. Not only does the breath connect with life and the living, it also connects us with those who lived before us. I am sure you have heard how the air we breathe is the same air our ancestors were breathing. We are always connected through the breath.
There would be no life on Earth without the precious Air element. To breathe, we need air. Air is vital for life and so, in my contemplation of the health and harmony of my own personal domain which is my life, I began exploring the Air element.
The second of the elements, Air activates the potential promise of ether. In Ayurveda, Air is described as ‘that which moves’. In my imagination I envision my healthy spaces filled with the qualities of air to activate them. I look at stuck and rigid places in my life where I need to breathe fresh life into to move forward. What needs help to move or to circulate?
One of the qualities of air is playfulness and humour. No matter how beautiful a space is, laughter and joy make that space truly exceptional and I am deciding I want much more play in my life to make it vibrant and alive.
Are some areas in my life stagnant and stuffy? You bet. Some need a fresh breath of air to invigorate them and to create some movement in. Symbolically, I have started to regularly open all windows and doors in our little cottage to allow fresh air to move and circulate through the house to help move stagnant energy from every nook and corner. I imagine energies from arguments that lead nowhere, frustration from sleepless nights with endless tossing and thoughts from beliefs that no longer serve me, being ushered out and carried away with the wind to then disperse and no longer be
I notice that my many and varied ideas and passions are gifts of my active and fast mind and so typical of the air element. When too many ideas blow around my mind, I catch them and put them down on paper in a beautiful notebook. It is often a feeling of relief to free the mind of them, great as they are.
Sometimes my mind goes in all directions simultaneously and even though I personally feel capable of the fast movement of my thoughts, my beloved husband can show signs of not following me. That’s when I know I am carried away by the Air element gone haywire.
I see clearly how when I was younger, I was like an erratic wind with no direction. My life felt like a constant whirlwind and I found it hard to even stay at home, always craving activity and stimulation. I was also spontaneous as if sudden windy gusts grabbed hold of me and carried me away elsewhere.
Now when I notice those tendencies, I know I need some structures in place and I need to ground myself so that I don’t get carried away. For this, I need the Earth element which I will write about in another blog post.
In these times of uncertainty, it is so easy to get blown off centre. What holds me in my centre and makes a real difference in my world is taking time to do a simple breathing exercise. I inhale counting to seven and exhale counting to eleven, slow and steady for at least five minutes. The difference afterwards is tangible. The help of Air in the form of breath is – just a breath away!
I was and still am a multi-passionate person who is just learning how to finish projects. Air finds it hard to stick to one thing and I need to find ways to temper that wind. In Ayurveda, too much air can be tempered with moist, warm and slightly oily and heavy foods.
Cool and dry are attributes to Air and if things are out of balance these attributes can aggravate the skin or the mind. A warm Ayurvedic oil massage called Abhyanga soothes and nurtures both my skin and my nervous system. If I find my emotional environment is too cold and dry, I can add warm loving hugs and maybe a bit of moisture in the form of a few tears.
Sometimes the wind stops altogether, and I lose my enthusiasm. Any motion gets the air moving again and I can dance or walk or initiate something that moves the energy to a more desirable place.
I sometimes use the Air element to soar high over my life to get a greater perspective. Creative visualization is great for this. If I am lucky, I might come back from a visualization with a fresh insight that can benefit an area of my life or I have seen something in my life that I didn’t see before.
I wonder how we would live and change our ways if we decided to really appreciate Air, an element so important for our health. Fresh, oxygen-rich air cleans our lungs and enhances our immune system, sharpens the mind and make us more energetic and happier. An amazing free resource to really appreciate and take good care of. Our lives and the health of our beautiful planet depend so much on Air.
Below are two recipes that are easy to make and work really well to freshen the air at home without any nasty chemicals.
Infuse the air and invoke Devi with this heavenly, feminine, and soft air spritz.
1 cup distilled or filtered water
2tbls vodka or rubbing alcohol
7 drops orange essential oil
7 drops rose essential oil
250 ml spray bottle
Funnel if needed
2 tbsp of either 60+ proof vodka or rubbing alcohol (to act as a preservative and mild disinfectant)
Pour 1 cup of water into the spray bottle, using the funnel if needed. Add vodka or rubbing alcohol and last the essential oils. Shake it up and spray this mist in areas that could do with a bit of Devi magic.
Mama Devi’s Aromatic Air Freshener
Before we got used to buy commercial air fresheners filled with harmful chemicals, women like yourself used what they had at home to freshen the air in their homes. They put spices, herbs, and fruit in a simmering pot of water on low heat until the aroma filled the house.
You can do the same with what you have at home. You can use apple peels, lemon halves, orange rinds, cinnamon sticks, fresh rosemary, cloves, anise and any other herb or fruit you have at home.
After this fragrant liquid cool down, strain and store in spray bottles and use in the kitchen or anywhere you want to infuse the air naturally.
The element of Air was honoured and revered by ancient cultures. In Ayurveda, Air is a deity called Vayu, the Purifier. In ancient Egypt, Shu was the deity of Air. Sylphs are the mythological Air Spirits, similar to Angels and Fairies. Shamans use their psychic abilities to connect with the Upper Realms which are places of air and greater perspectives.
Prayer flags allow the wind to carry prayers with the wind to where they are needed.
I would love to hear from you – how can you honour and be grateful for Air in your daily life? How does Air play out in your own life?