What is your Elemental Nature?

Posted by Maria on May 3, 2010 under Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Esthetics School, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Wellness | 18 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

In school we’ve been learning a lot about Ayurveda and Elemental Nature so we can customize our spa treatments for our guests to match their needs.

According to ancient Indian Ayurvedic philosophy, every living thing in the entire universe is composed of five building blocks called “elements” and they are: Infinity, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. We each have all of these qualities within us to some degree, but most of us favour one or two over the rest and the unique composition of these elements and qualities within us changes from hour to hour and day to day. The goal is to find balance between all of the elements and within the elements themselves as best we can, otherwise, life gets out of hand and we are living in extremes rather than feeling centered and at our optimum.

By understanding our elemental nature and recognizing when we get out of balance, we can take steps to re-adjust our situation and feel better. You can tell you are out of balance when you don’t feel like yourself. An imbalance can show up on your skin as a rash or as acne or as dandruff, for example. Also, you might feel sluggish or nervous or cold. Or your stomach may become upset after eating certain food. All of these symptoms correlate to the elements.

What do you do when you get out of balance? Working with the principle of like increases like, the best approach is to do the opposite and counterbalance the symptom and therefore not encourage more of the same. So, if you’re feeling sluggish, eat something or do something that will give you energy. Also, if your sensitive skin is red and burning, then apply a cold compress. You wouldn’t want to make it burn more, right?

Below I’m going to introduce the 5 elements and I plan on writing about this topic more in the future because I find it fascinating. It really explains why we behave the way we do and why we as individuals prefer some things over others.

1) Infinity

The element of Infinity is represented by:

  • Force: Space
  • 3 Key Qualities: Cold, Light, Dry
  • Sense: Sound

Foods to Favour in the diet:

  • Sweet: breads, pasta, meat, fish, milk, cream
  • Sour: citrus, cheese, yogurt
  • Salty: sea salt, tamari, seeweeds, pickled foods

Foods to Reduce in the diet:

  • Pungent: peppers, ginger, onions, garlic, curries, spices
  • Bitter: kale, spinach, broccoli, coffee, chocolate
  • Astringent: beans, legumes, tea, cabbage, cauliflower

Infinity’s mind: Quick, expansive and open (like outer space).

Skin: Tends to be normal to dry with small pores.

Body Frame: Petite

When in balance the personality is: Warm, outgoing, make others feel comfortable, have lots of energy.

When not in balance, the personality is: Nervous, anxious, they lack focus and lack follow-through.

2) Air

The element of Air is represented by:

  • Force: Movement
  • 3 Key Qualities: Cold, Light, Dry
  • Sense: Touch

Foods to Favour in the diet:

  • Sweet: breads, pasta, meat, fish, milk, cream
  • Sour: citrus, cheese, yogurt
  • Salty: sea salt, tamari, seeweeds, pickled foods

Foods to Reduce in the diet:

  • Pungent: peppers, ginger, onions, garlic, curries, spices
  • Bitter: kale, spinach, broccoli, coffee, chocolate
  • Astringent: beans, legumes, tea, cabbage, cauliflower

Air’s mind: Rapid, creative, learn things quickly but forget just as quickly.

Skin: Tends to be dry and dehydrated with fine lines and small pores. Skin feels tight.

Body Frame: Tall and slender.

When in balance the personality is: Airs are the movers and shakers of the world. Airs are creative, energetic, good conversationalists, open to new experiences, don’t like things to stay the same and like to try new things.

When not in balance, the personality is: Difficult time making decisions, like to keep options open and not commit, tend to speak quickly and excessively, are worriers and are forgetful.

3) Fire

The element of Fire is represented by:

  • Force: Transformation
  • 3 Key Qualities: Hot, Light, Moist
  • Sense: Sight

Foods to Favour in the diet:

  • Sweet: breads, pasta, meat, fish, milk, cream
  • Bitter: kale, spinach, broccoli, coffee, chocolate
  • Astringent: beans, legumes, tea, cabbage, cauliflower

Foods to Reduce in the diet:

  • Sour: citrus, cheese, yogurt
  • Salty: sea salt, tamari, seeweeds, pickled foods
  • Pungent: peppers, ginger, onions, garlic, curries, spices

Fire’s mind: Linear, determined, focused, intellectual. Have strong views, are ambitious and like to get things done.

Skin: Sensitive, sunburns easily and have tendency for sun damage, hyperpigmentation (spots and uneven skin tone) and are prone to rosacea.

Body Frame: Athletic, solid build.

When in balance the personality is: Fires are the leaders of the world. Fires are charismatic, witty, focused, independent. Fires like making decisions and are organized.

When not in balance, the personality is: Angry, irritable, aggressive, frustrated, impatient.

4) Water

The element of Water is represented by:

  • Force: Connection
  • 3 Key Qualities: Cold, Heavy, Wet
  • Sense: Taste

Foods to Favour in the diet:

  • Pungent: peppers, ginger, onions, garlic, curries, spices
  • Bitter: kale, spinach, broccoli, coffee, chocolate
  • Astringent: beans, legumes, tea, cabbage, cauliflower

Foods to Reduce in the diet:

  • Sweet: breads, pasta, meat, fish, milk, cream
  • Sour: citrus, cheese, yogurt
  • Salty: sea salt, tamari, seeweeds, pickled foods

Water’s mind: Get emotionally attached, are compassionate and learn a little more slowly but memory is pretty strong. Like routine and familiarity.

Skin: Oily to Acneic. Have smooth skin but prone to breakouts on face and back. Have bigger pores.

Body Frame: Tend to be heavier and tend to retain water.

When in balance the personality is: Waters are strong, thoughtful of others, consistent, dependable, have a lot of stamina, bond for life.

When not in balance, the personality is: Emotional and needy, emotionally attached to people, places and things.

5) Earth

The element of Earth is represented by:

  • Force: Matter
  • 3 Key Qualities: Cold, Heavy, Wet
  • Sense: Smell

Foods to Favour in your diet:

  • Pungent: peppers, ginger, onions, garlic, curries, spices
  • Bitter: kale, spinach, broccoli, coffee, chocolate
  • Astringent: beans, legumes, tea, cabbage, cauliflower

Foods to Reduce in your diet:

  • Sweet: breads, pasta, meat, fish, milk, cream
  • Sour: citrus, cheese, yogurt
  • Salty: sea salt, tamari, seeweeds, pickled foods

Earth’s mind: Have strong, long-term memory, are true to their beliefs, have calm and stable mind and no crazy/rapid thoughts.

Skin: Normal to oily with a thicker skin texture. Waters aren’t prone to fine lines but suffer from breakouts.

Body Frame: Are heavy, large and have broader shoulders.

When in balance the personality is: Earths are dependable, caring, calm and function best with routine and structure. They make good friends.

When not in balance, the personality is: Lethargic, depressed, slow, sluggish, tired, have a hard time adapting to change and new situations.

I hope these descriptions give you something to work with. If you have any questions, please post a comment or email me. I’m curious to know which element you resonate most with. If you want to know my elemental nature, I’m a Water/Earth with some Infinity/Air and very little Fire, though my hair did go grey early. When I get out of balance, I definitely get lethargic and sluggish and I’m a home body and like my routines. I also get nervous and anxious easily too which is more Infinity/Air. I’ve found unexpectedly that drinking a glass of pureed ginger in warm water and eating Jalapeno potato chips (not at the same time) really help me so I include those items in my diet from time to time.

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  • Donna said,

    Very interesting! I’m definitely a fire/water combo perhaps with a dash of earth thrown in? I think if I had to choose one it would be fire. Love it, thanks for sharing Maria!

  • Maria said,

    Thanks for commenting Donna. The fire energy definitely helps with Jazzercise!

  • Megan said,

    I am definitely Fire & Air…YIKES…with a little splash of Water to keep things in check I suppose. Fun!

  • Maria said,

    Hi Megan – it’s good to have a little of each so you’re right on track!

  • Debbie said,

    Maria! I don’t have a clue???? None of them really seem like me enough that I would choose one or two? Is that possible? Or do I just not know myself well enough? Very strange indeedy!

  • Maria said,

    Debbie,
    I think your fire might be out of balance, but beyond that, I don’t know. If you want, I can give you a questionnaire to fill out which will give you some clues. Maria

  • Ask Maria about Aveda » Homespunspa Blog said,

    [...] crazy and out of balance. (For more details on Infinity and Air Natures, please see my blog post, What is your Elemental Nature? dated May 3, [...]

  • Debbie said,

    Maria,

    I would definitely like a questionnaire!! I don’t like being a mystery!!

    Debbie

  • Shanel said,

    But did you ever think about what ingredients make those products
    so effective?

  • Maria said,

    Yes, Shanel, Check out my ingredients page on the Homespunspa website. I’m also working on a book called Supernatural Spa ingredients that shows the healing properties of various plants and how to navigate through a health food store.

  • Chance said,

    I was ablle to find good info from your blog articles.

  • Tegan said,

    Unlike most other forms of exercise, which tend to be performed quickly, yoga poses are held for
    a certain length of time. In seeking to teach, the teacher goes more and more deeply
    into his or her own practice and self-transformation. You will
    also be able to help many people in many different situations to improve their own life through the
    use of it.

  • Georgetta said,

    First off I would like to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question which
    I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing.
    I’ve had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts
    out there. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems
    like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted
    just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?
    Appreciate it!

  • Maria said,

    Thanks for asking about my writing, Georgetta. The hard part is figuring out a topic and after that it’s pretty easy for me. Keeping a journal can help keep the creative juices flowing. If you’d like to talk about your writing some more, I’m offering a complimentary, 30 minute introductory coaching session for a limited time and if you’d like to schedule a session, please contact me by phone or email. Also, check out the coaching page on homespunspa.com https://www.homespunspa.com/coaching. Thanks for your comment. I look forward to hearing from you soon, Maria.

  • cj said,

    I have rough texture, large pores and dark spots on my face…I am not sure what element I am??? Any thoughts? Thanks!

  • Maria said,

    Hi CJ, thanks for your question. The large pores tell me that your complexion is mostly Water element however, the rough texture and dark spots are conditions and imbalances that are more in line with Infinity/Air. I recommend the Aveda Enbrightenment line which will help you exfoliate your skin and reveal your naturally smooth skin. I think most people can show signs of having more than one Elemental Nature and it’s important to adjust your self-care routine to address all of your unique attributes. Here’s a link to some Ayurvedic Questionnaires on my website: http://www.homespunspa.com/Ayurveda.htm. Go ahead and answer the questions and see if you get any more clarity. And if you’d like some wellness coaching, please send me an email. Maria

  • Dean said,

    Im 100% Earth, i’ve always felt a deep conection to everything solid in nature, now how do i get back in balance?

  • Maria said,

    Hi Dean, I’m glad you know your elemental nature. That’s a good start. Being an Earth is awesome, but sometimes you need to not get too comfortable and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Next time you’re feeling tired, get up and do some physical activity instead of taking a nap even though the nap will be more tempting and see how you feel. Let me know the outcome. Maria

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