In Ayurveda it is described that the five elements were formed in the following way: First there was pure consciousness (non-material energy) and from the subtle vibrations of this energy the ether element was formed. When the ether element began to move it created air. Friction between the moving elements of air and ether created heat forming the fire element. When the Fire element melted and liquified, it created water. Finally some of the fire solidified and formed the earth element.
The human body and all the material things on Earth contain the five elements in various quantities. These five elements interact in the material world in an infinite variety of proportions and the material forms contain various attributes. The ether element represents space. It allows for the existence of everything and allows for the communication between different parts of the body. The air element stirs everything into life. The quality of the movement of air can be seen throughout the body especially when giving someone a massage or feeling for the flow of energy (the breath of life) in the body during a CST session. Fire contains the qualities of heat and light. It is responsible for the shine in the hair, the light in the eyes and the sheen in the cheeks. It has an upward movement and maintains body temperature and all transforming activity in the body like digestion of food for example. Water element is responsible for holding everything together. It holds no specific shape and is found in all body fluids in different amounts. It opposes fire and has a downward motion. Finally the earth element is responsible for the body's shape and form. It provides stability and structure. This element is found mostly in the muscles, bones, and tendons.
Now that we have an idea of how the elements constitute the body and a general idea of their energetic properties we can look at how each chakra corresponds to the different elements.
First of all I had people ask me if the chakras are even real? How do we know they exist? Can they be scientifically proven? The answer is yes. They are real and they have been proven to exist. In the book Meditation as Medicine by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, it was described how the chakras have been proven scientifically to exist. It was Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama in Japan who measured the bio electric energy within the human body in one of his experiments. Some of the subjects of the experiment were meditators and some were not. There was an increase in the measurement of bio electric energy at the location of the chakras when the subjects meditated. There was also another experiment where electrodes were placed at the location of the chakras and measurements were taken of the bio electric activity in those areas. There was a significant increase in frequency in the location of the chakras throughout the experiment. (subjects were asked to perform various activities like meditation, chanting). We can conclude that these energy centers exist and hold a significant function.
Now let us take a look into how the elements apply to the different chakras. We talked about the earth element and how it responsible for the stability and structure of the body. The chakra that is most related to the earth element is the root, representing stability and support. I'm not just referring to physical or anatomical stability but also the stability we are faced with in life. For example in our relationships, our work, family. Also our financial support that we receive through the stability of our job or other sources.
The sacral chakra is related to the element of water. We said that the water element is responsible for holding form is found in all the fluids of the body. The sacral chakra contains a lot of our fluids. It contains the reproductive organs, the bladder, the lower digestive tract. When our water element is in balance we feel a sense of joy and general well-being. We also have inspiration to express ourselves creatively. Being out of balance we experience a lack of creativity, sluggishness, and emotional instability.
The solar plexus chakra is related to the fire element. Most of our digestion occurs in the area of this chakra. Our stomach is the center point between the balance of water and fire elements. When this chakra is in balance we have a good state of confidence, self-esteem, power and wisdom.
The heart chakra is related to the air element. This chakra represents love, compassion, and forgiveness. We spoke of the air element as stirring everything into life. This chakra shows us the vibrancy of the life force within us. When we are forgiving, and compassionate our heart is wide open to receive more of this life giving energy. When we close up and reject others for the certain qualities they possess the life force goes down and the air element becomes stagnant. This can result in disease of the heart. It is important to practice compassion and unconditional love towards others to keep this chakra open. Also, the heart chakra is the center point of our torrus field. The field of energy around our body (some call this the aura). When this chakra is in balance the up and down channels of energy will also be in balance between our upper and lower body.
The throat chakra represents the ether element. We spoke of the ether element as being created from the subtle vibrations of consciousness. Our throat also holds vibration. Depending on how we communicate our vibrations can be different. Those who communicate with anger and hate will hold a low vibration and those who communicate with respect, honesty, and love will hold a higher vibration. Our vibrations exist also in the quantum level and what we say is carried out into the universe to the stars. What we receive in return is also dependent on what we send out. We can say there is a karmic effect.
The upper three chakras: throat, third eye, and crown are all represented by ether. Our third eye represents our intuition, and our crown our wisdom and oneness with the universe. When our third eye is open we experience our world through our 6th sense. Some people even develop psychic powers like clairvoyance and clairsentience. Our crown chakra influences the brain and nervous system as well as our level of understanding and enlightenment. With a well-balanced crown chakra we see the beauty in things, and experience serenity and bliss.
With reference to The Ayurveda Bible by Anne McIntyre and Meditation as Medicine by Dr. Khalsa.