The 5 Elements of Life – Madhuri P, 100th Monkey Facilitator, FSL India

The 5 Elements of Life – Madhuri P, 100th Monkey Facilitator, FSL India

Ayurveda believes that all living beings are the same – be it human beings, plants, animals, or any other living organism simply because we are all made up of the same 5 elements.

These 5 elements are – Earth (Prithvi), Water (Jal), Air (Vayu), Fire (Agni) and Space (Akash). Each of these elements has its own character, and together, they combine to form life.

Since our body is also made up of these 5 elements, we need to ensure that we give our body these, in order to be healthy. Thanks to Madhumathi, my co-facilitator, who came up with this interesting concept!

Using this concept, FSL India introduced our Bodily Awareness session to the 8th Standard students of St Teresa’s School, Begur, at Bangalore. The session included talks about Nutrition, the importance of a balanced diet, physical exercises, yoga asanas, pranayama, mindfulness meditation, brain gym!

The session was started with a Hula Hoop activity, which served as both energiser and also, a team building activity. The group held each others’ hands and passed the hula hoop without disconnecting hands from their partners.

After this activity, we moved on with our main activity for the day, by talking about the 5 elements:

Earth – Talking about the food pyramid and certain food types that should be included in the diet, it was linked to earth, as everything grows in the Earth.

The Food Pyramid shows the appropriate proportion of nutrients intake that we should follow on a daily basis. This was explained to the students and we conducted an activity drawing a food pyramid on the board, for better understanding. The students took turns and wrote food items in blocks according to the amounts they need to be consumed.

Water – The need to drink enough water every day, and not avoid the body’s need when we feel thirsty. The students were asked to set a reminder or, have a school bell ring at certain times, so they are reminded to drink water!

Fire – Getting enough exposure to the sun. Making sure we are out in the sun, during early mornings, before it could become very hot and harsh.

Space – Allowing the body, especially the digestive system to rest. This element talks about fasting and eating easily digestible food.

Air – Being aware of the breaths we take! Having said this, we spoke about the benefits of pranayama and led children through a demonstration and practice of pranayama.

A daily tracker was given to the group. This is to motivate and remind the students to start a routine of being involved in physical exercises and maintain a balanced diet.

It’s been 2 weeks since this activity was conducted. The children have slowly started to follow the practice of meditation, physical exercises and also, are aware and conscious of what they eat to maintain a balanced diet. This is what they tell us and we trust them! We hope this continues and serves the purpose of holistic wellness we are striving for!

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