Yoga Psychology | 5 Elements and the Mind

Energy Is Mass. Energy is Thought. Energy is Breath. Energy is All. Universal Energy exists in 120 element types arising as combinations of the 5 basic energies or the 5 Elementals. These 5 Elementals of the Universe are termed in Yoga Pancha Mahabhuta, or the Pancha Tattva/ 5 Elementals, namely the Solid, Liquid, Pure Energy, Gaseous and Plasma. Out of Pure Energy, comes the four forms of matter in the Universe as we know it. This physical architecture of the Universe is mapped and reflected on Earth and in humans.


The Universe and the human mind-body complex, being formed as combinations of these 120 elements, it is but natural that the one who has control over the 5 Elements within the mind will be able to have reflexive control over the 5 Elements that comprise the body as well as projective control over the elements in the world outside the body.

Now, we had mentioned that the elements are also thought, elements being, like thought, energy patterns. So, that means through thought you can control the elements and through elements you can control thought. What it also means is that our anger, happiness, joy, anxieties, depression, etc. are all due to elemental combinations of different types. Similarly, our behaviour and perception of the world we live in, our intellectual and instinctive faculties, our body types are all manifestations of the unique elemental combinations of energies that we are composed of.


To gain a clearer understanding of how the 5 Elementals influence our mental processes, the main subject of this article, we need to relate the Elementals to their Cognitive, Affective-Conative and Behavioural  aspects, or Jnana, Iccha and Kriya, as they are termed in Yoga.

Modern psychology, a pseudo science at best, freely categorises humans into around 16 personality types[ Briggs Myers’ 16 personality types]. That is, to see things in perspective, every one of the 7 billion + complex human beings are supposed to all fall neatly into one of 16 personality boxes.

Not taking into consideration the immense complexity of the body-mind complex, according to modern psychology a human is what he does- a functional animal little different from a machine and in many circumstances less efficient than machines.

But according to Yoga psychology, a human is whatever he WANTS to become, he can do WHATEVER he wants to and he can FEEL and THINK unto infinite horizons. This free ranging potential in human is seen by Yoga and not by modern psychology because of the disconnection between the pseudo science of  modern psychology and the ‘hard science’ or true science of pure physics, chemistry and biology. If it were not so, modern psychology would start from the elemental combinations of the interstellar matter that go into the making of humans. The psychologist would understand that thought cannot be separated from its process and the process is dependent upon the interaction between the elementals that make up our brain, our body, this planet and the Universe, the 120 elements coming out of exploded stars.


Know the unique combination of the elementals that go into each unique human and by knowing the system of inter-elemental interactions, the Yogic psychologist is enabled to perceive the unique personality of the subject. Knowing the unique elemental combination of the subject, the Yogic psychologist is also able to perceive the unique process, cognitive, behavioural and emotional, by which the subject may achieve Elemental Compliment.

When the Elemental Complement is achieved, there will be an appreciable and patent transformation in the cognitive, behavioural and emotional persona of the subject-he/ she will be enable to do more, know more and feel more.

This then, self-willed evolution if you will, lies at the centre of living Yoga, vast as the Universe that is reflected in its ever growing sentience.

Part 2 of the Yogic Psychology 3 part series will look into the specific emotions, cognitive skills and types of behavior associated with the different elements
Part 3 will explain the 480 types of human personalities based on the Elements and how the reader can make his/ her own self assessment.

3 thoughts on “Yoga Psychology | 5 Elements and the Mind

  • FYI modern psychology places no credibility in the Briggs-Meyer personality tests at all. They’re more of a gimmick for executive motivational speakers and such.

  • I agree – why is this being used as an example of modern day psychology? This is condensing. I’m not sure how I feel about this program. I am looking into a yoga Psychology course. I myself am a therapist and am looking using yoga as a modality in the work I do with people.

    This does not sound right!

  • Dear Regan and Michelle,

    We appreciate your feedback and concern as regards the development in modern psychology, especially regarding the rigid and unthinking faith in MBTI system. As you correctly mentioned, MBTI personality assessment has been facing much criticism from psychologists for being unscientific, primarily because it assesses personality on only four dimensions, each consisting of two opposite preference and also because it fails the “test-retest reliability” criteria. We, at AMY, are also of the opinion that such categorized is biased and incongruous with yogic principles of psychology. However, we cannot ignore the fact that MBTI is the most popular personality test as of now, over 168 million individuals have taken the test and it is used by 89 out of the fortune 100 companies. Thousands of HR consultants and coaches have invested their time and money in MBTI certification, and have faith in the certification to the point of cognitive dissonance.

    At AryaMarga Yoga, we are devoted to developing a system of psychology that is derived from the ancient Laya-Chakra system, on that is theoretically and psycho-metrically valid, and obviates the issue of decision inconsistency within it. As per our system, we appreciate humans as a psycho-Somatic continuum fully capable of self-willed evolution across Conative, Affective and Behavioral domains. Hence, we do not believe in any fixed personality matrix or any psychological disorders as classified by APA under DSM 5.

    If you wish to know more about our psychological tools derived from Yogic texts, please feel free to write to us.

    warm regards and much metta
    Team AryaMarga Yoga

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.