Are you well-grounded or simply “stuck”? Sparkling with lustre or drowning in sluggishness?
In Ayurveda the qualities of water and earth are usually combined because they share so common attributes.
They are both heavy, cold, smooth and dense in their natural state. Although both share many characteristics, they are still different elements and recognizing them within us, helps us to learn about who we are and how we work.
Do you sometimes have to really push yourself to feel motivated to get off the sofa and get on with things? Although once you do, you usually finish the task and enjoy doing it! Can you sometimes feel complacent about things, preferring familiarity and routine over spontaneity? Do you feel contented to the point where sometimes you can get “stuck in a rut”? Do you feel threatened by change, preferring things to remain constant in your life? Are you a bit of a horder, protective over tings you have acquired and attained over the years? Are you compassionate, but resolute in your beliefs?
These are the characteristics of someone who is earth dominant. Earth is steady, stable, strong, and not easily movable. Its reliable, and we know we can count on it to be there supporting us. When the earth dominant person is in balance they are the most loyal, trustworthy friends we can hope to find. They are methodical, diplomatic and are often the ones to keep the peace and make things run smoothly. They don’t worry too much, as long as they have the comforts of home and a loving family. If they don’t have these fundamental foundations, they can be prone to depression. An earth dominant person will be your friend for life. They are calm, sympathetic, patient, steady and usually kind. But when imbalanced they can become overbearing, withdrawn, unable to accept change, insecure and greedy.
Challenges for the earth element will often occur in the musculoskeletal system, as the bones, ligaments, muscles and fats can be the most effected physiologically. They can be prone to weight gain, heaviness, slow bowel movements or constipation. Another challenge for earth types that are imbalanced, is depression. Because they are disinclined to reach out, this can quickly become a deep pit of despair that feels impossible to “climb out of”. They have a tendency to withdraw from the world, bottling up their feelings and putting on a brave face. They can be the last to ask for help, as unlike those who are dominated by the water element, they don’t wear their heart on their sleeves!
Water being the more mobile of the two elements is very evident in a person who is water dominant. They are usually quite emotional, and quite opposite to our earthy friends who hide their feelings our watery types are like open books with their feelings. This does make them more sensitive and more prone to heartbreak and hurt. Although they are easily upset they often blame themselves for problems. The water dominant type is romantic, sentimental, and often fall in love easily. Water types can have sweet melodious voices, although the pitch tends to be on the deep side. Peaceful and calm, but with a tendency towards over sensitivity or stagnation (think stagnant pool) if imbalance occurs.
Challenges for water element will often also show up in the MS system but usually as water retention. Like for earth dominant types weight gain is also a weakness in the water dominant person. Swollen, stiff joints, with poor circulation, often feeling cool to the touch, can be an issue for imbalanced water types. Other issues include excess mucous production, in the lungs, throat or sinuses; lethargy, stagnation, and being overly sentimental.
Both earth and water dominant people are most vulnerable in cold, damp weather. Keeping warm and dry is important especially during the late winter and early spring, which is their most vulnerable time of year. Much like our air friends, warm spicy soups, stews and casseroles will help keep the body warm and gently stimulated. Heavy rich food should be avoided, along with cold food and drink. Any cold drinks should be taken away from food as they will greatly hinder the digestive process. Instead try a little apple cider vinegar in warm water with some black pepper and rock salt, taken before food. This can boost the digestive system, and help it to break down and metabolize food more efficiently. A warm ginger tea sipped through a meal can also help. They should choose heating stimulating foods and practices, to help avoid congestion, in the tissues. Sweet, dense food like heavy desserts, especially cold ones, should be avoided. Water and earth types need to take care of too many heavy grains, meats and cheeses, as all of these will congest the tissues of these elements. Kitchen spices like ginger, black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, rosemary and garlic will help to balance these elements.
Taking care of the lymphatic system although important for everyone, is especially significant for water/earth people. Activities like trampolining, dancing, running, will all help to move stagnant lymph. Also hot and cold alternating showers, dry skin brushing and being upside down ( headstands, handstands and shoulder stands for those who are experienced to do these or simply lying with the legs raised, are all examples)
Engaging in social activities is really good for these elements – they need exposure to stimulating activities on a regular basis. Parties and lively social scenes are great for these types. A good exercise regime is imperative – one that includes heart pumping, aerobic activity like jogging, hiking, marshal arts, team sports or ashtanga style yoga would all be great options.
When earth and water dominant types are in balance they are the strongest of the elements. They heal easily, sleep well, and are content, stable, loving, kind people. They make loyal friends and romantic lovers. They often have beautiful hair and a soft supple complexion.