Sky, Earth, Water, Fire and Air so the name is SEWFA
Knowledge of the five elements allows the yogi to understand the laws of nature and to use yoga to attain greater health, power, knowledge, wisdom and happiness. Knowledge of the five elements is an essential pre-requisite for more advanced yoga practice because the elements form the world we live in and the structure of our body-mind. All yoga practices work on the five elements, whether we know it or not. Knowledge of the elements (tattwas) is also the basis of yoga therapy and of Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine. Through consciously working with the elements, we learn how to attain and maintain health and also how to consciously enjoy a long and fulfilling life based on higher awareness.
Each element is responsible for different structures in the body. Earth forms solid structures, such as bones, flesh, skin, tissues, and hair. Water forms saliva, urine, semen, blood, and sweat. Fire forms hunger, thirst, and sleep. Air is responsible for all movement, including expansion, contraction, and suppression. Space forms physical attraction and repulsion, as well as fear.
If any element is impure or out of balance with another, disease and suffering may occur. Yoga helps us purify these elements and restore balance and health, and to unfold the inner powers and abilities contained in each element. In fact, yoga is one of the most powerful ways to restore health because it gives us the means to bring even those elements that are natural enemies into harmonious relationships with each other.
Imbalance of Elements and Disease
1. Imbalance of Water element: Cold, sinusitis, asthma, swellings, blood thinning or blood clotting, problem of urination, diseases of reproductive organs.
2. Imbalance of Earth element: Weakness, obesity, cholesterol, weight loss and weight gain, bones or muscular diseases etc.
3. Imbalance of Fire element: Coldness or fever, skin diseases, increased coldness or heat in body, loss of vital energy, acidity, diabetes, and mental disorders.
4. Imbalance of Air element: Nervous disorders, blood pressure problems, lung disorders, physical pains/deformities, depression, locomotors ataxia etc.
5. Imbalance of Space element: Thyroid disorders, throat problems, speech disorders, epilepsy, madness, foolishness, ear diseases, etc.
Diseases are the bane of humankind ever since its advent on this planet. Humans have been fighting against a variety of diseases since prehistoric periods. Eventually humans developed an indigenous system of medicine.
For millennia human societies have been depending on plants and plant products for various remedies. In certain areas these folk medical prescriptions are endemic and have survived through ages from one generation to the next through the word of mouth. They do not exist as written knowledge. Generally these systems of medicine depend on old people's experiences. Indigenous systems of medicine are specially conditioned by the cultural heritage and myths.
In natural therapies, like in Ayurveda, used herbal products. According to the mode of application, the natural therapies have three categories:
1. Herbal products used in systematized system of medicine like Ayurveda, Siddha.
2. Herbal products used in ethno-medicine or indigenous medicine based on oral tradition.
3. Herbal products used in modern medicine, based on active chemical principles of the herbal products.
The use of plants for treatment in India dates back to prehistoric times. This indigenous knowledge about medicinal plants and therapies was composed verbally and passed orally from generation to generation. Much later, some of this information was systematized in treatise forms like Atharveda, Yajurveda, Charak Samhita, Sushrut Samhita, etc. These systematized systems of knowledge about medicinal plants and therapies are included under Ayurveda - the Indian Traditional Medicine System.