"We ourselves feel what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” - Mother Teresa
Water is the great carrier and mobilizer. It moves and flows in a gentle trickle or can be violently crashing with thunderous applause. It makes up 60% of the body and is critical for the movement of nutrients, blood, minerals, biochemicals, vitamins, oxygen and more . 75% of the brain and muscles; 92% of the blood; and 22% of the bones are water. The water element is linked to taste, is associated with creation and the sacral chakra, and is the feeling of adaptability. The organs associated with water: Pancreas, adrenals & kidneys.
Here are some facts about the water element according to Ayurveda:
Signs of Deficiency:
Dry mouth, tongue, skin and eyes
Deep tissue dryness as reflected by cracks in the tongue
Constipation or poor digestion such as heartburn
Muscle cramping and weakness
Mental fog and lack of clarity
Limited or no sweating
Causes of Deficiency:
Pharmaceuticals and prescription medications
Diuretics such as coffee, tea, sodas and water without minerals
Being too cold
Eating a diet of carbs, refined sugar and processed foods
Lack of essential minerals
Signs of Excess:
Water weight gain
Inability to make decisions
Inability to let go (emotions, material things, experiences)
Causes of Excess:
Consuming too much salt, dairy, meat and wheat
Not enough exercise and movement
Lack of digestive fire (agni)
Parasites, fungus and imbalance in GI health
Eating too much
Note: If you are feeling an excess or deficiency the below practices will help with light imbalances. However, for severe imbalance, please contact me (email@example.com) to schedule an Ayurvedic consultation.
Ways to balance the water element:
Asanas: twisting poses, inversions such as forward bend and wide leg forward fold, balancing poses such as eagle and tree and dandasana (shown right).
Mudras: Jal Vardhak used for dehydration (pinky folded and thumb placed on top), Jal Shamak used to release excess water (pinky and thumb pads touch) & Mira the gesture of the ocean (using both hands pinkies and thumbs touch and the two ring fingers come together forming a triangle)
Pranayama: Lion's breath and sweet breath (3-part breath)
Bija (seed sound) mantra: Vam (associated with the Sacral Chakra)
Practice: visualization meditation to notice if any emotions of lower frequencies occur persistently in your life (guilt, shame, anger, jealousy, fear, resentment, etc.) and decide if they still serve you. Compassionately interrogate where they came from, what patterns and triggers are associated with them, and what you may want to replace them with.
Sounds: Running water, rain, ocean waves, thunderstorms and crystal & Tibetan bowls tuned for the Sacral Chakra.
Aromatherapy: ylang ylang, sandalwood, ginger & cedar
Foods for increasing water element: Electrolytes, salty tasting foods (pink Himalayan salt, mineral salt, sesame, tamari, seaweed, & most vegetables), and sweet tasting foods (watermelon, apples, ghee, rice, and meat)
Foods for reducing water element: astringent foods (beans, cardamom, chia seeds); sour tasting foods (lemons, limes, ferments) and pungent foods (peppers, wine, cloves, mint, coffee)