What is Mahabhuta?

The meaning of Mahabhuta is “The Great Element.”

What are the 5 elements?
These 5 elements are responsible for the structure of the universe; they are the building blocks of the material world. Everything in the universe, animate and inanimate, is made up of the five mahabhutas.

The five elements are: Ether, Air, Fire, Water & Earth

The Mahabhuta Yoga Festival is honoring the element of Water.

Our intention is to honor the sacred waters of the Gulf of Mexico and bring healing to all the waters along the Emerald Coast.

Mahabhuta Yoga Festival will always honor one of the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and the ethers.

About each of the elements:


Ether is ever present; it is the space in which everything exists and acts. Ether is fine, subtle, soft, light, porous, and smooth in quality. In the body, ether is found where there is empty space such as in the tubes and channels of the body. Such empty spaces are found in blood and lymph vessels, openings, pores, and the intestinal tract. Ether also contributes the sounds of the heart, lungs, and swallowing.

Ether is space; all sound is transmitted through space and is related to the sense of hearing. The ear is the sense organ of hearing and since sound is produced through means of the vocal cords and mouth these are considered to be the organ of action related to the sense of hearing.

The Vishuddha chakra is located in the area of the throat and is directly related to the ether element and sound.


Air is the gaseous form of matter. It is mobile, dynamic, light, cold, rough, fine, subtle, dry and exists without form. All empty spaces are filled with air. Air flows freely throughout the body, controls breathing, feeds the cells with oxygen and helps to give movement to biological functions.

Air relates to the sense of touch, therefore skin is the related sense organ and the hand is the organ of action.

The air element corresponds to the Anahata chakra, also called the heart chakra. Air is related with the actions of giving, and receiving.


Fire is hot, sharp, subtle, fine, light, slightly sticky, and radiant in quality. Fire is found in the heat and energy of the body. Fire exists in all metabolic processes and chemical reactions. Fire is the transformational force; it promotes appetite, digestion and metabolism converting food to energy, creates thought processes and bodily impulses. Fire is also responsible for providing luster, radiance, and color for the body.

Fire relates to vision because of its qualities of heat, light, and color. The eye is the sense organ of sight. Fire’s ability to give direction and impulse relates it to the feet as it’s organ of action.

The Manipura chakra, the navel chakra corresponds with the fire element.


Water is liquid, sticky, cold, soft, compact, heavy, and moist in quality. Water constitutes the liquids of the body and represents the force of cohesion, as well as the abilities to attract and to change that are associated with water. This element provides the bodily fluids such as urine, plasma, lymph, and makes up most of our bodily weight. The bodily fluids move between the cells and through the vessels of the body carrying nutrients, wastes, antibodies and hormones.

Water is related to the perception of taste and the sense organ is the tongue. Without water neither the tongue nor genitals can function properly. The Svadhistana chakra is located in the area of the genitals and is attuned with the water energy.


Earth represents the solid state of matter. Earth is heavy, hard, stable, compact, rigid, unctuous, and dense in quality. Bones, teeth, muscles, fat, and the structure of the different organs are derived from the earth element. Earth is related to the sense of smell. The nose is the sense organ through which we perceive smell.

The Muladhara chakra, also called the root chakra is located outside the body in the area of the perineum. The root chakra is our connection to the earth, giving us stability in the body and the mind.

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