What does Ojas mean?

 According to Ayurveda, healthy individuals have abundant ojas, the vital essence that promotes health, immunity, happiness, and spiritual power. If your ojas is depleted, you're left vulnerable to aging, illness, and even premature death. In Ayurveda, Ojas is our radiance, our energy. It affects everything from our digestion, bodily strength, resistance, and our skin's health to our sleep, mood, and even religious disposition. Ojas is the subtle essence of all critical fluids, responsible for health, harmony, and spiritual development. Ojas is the nature that provides tissue endurance and strength; it's the power that keeps the cells healthy. Ojas is composed primarily of water and ground. Its qualities are very similar to Kapha.

Consider the qualities of someone healthy. They are easy to smile, generous with their time and energy, resilient, and their glow. The Sanskrit term ojas describes that glow. It's our energy, which is frequently described as radiance like the light of the moon.

On the physical level, Ojas has many forms. All functions of the body which act to conserve the body are the manifestations of Ojas. Thus the immune system is a physical manifestation of Ojas. Ojas protects the health of each cell. It provides endurance to every function of each cell. It gives every cell function the ability to do its job without being changed by external stressors. Ojas is the container that holds together every part of the human body, however small.  Ojas is essentially the unique force of equilibrium.

The body is capable of resisting stress and anxiety once it is safe. The potency of Ojas is directly proportional to an individual's immunity to malfunction or disease. Ojas supplies the body with the ability to endure stress. Ojas is the energy reserve of every cell in the body. When Ojas is abundant, each cell is capable of doing its job. When deficient, a cell becomes exhausted and no more extended functions correctly. When enough cells in a region are exhausted, an organ or tissue starts to malfunction. If Ojas is powerful, no disease can affect the entire body.

Ojas plays a similar role in the brain. The part of Ojas is to stabilize the brain. It provides the container for thought and emotion. When Ojas becomes paralyzed, the brain starts to malfunction. An individual loses control of ideas and feelings. The result is a psychological disease.

Ojas is the stabilizing force of the human body and mind. It helps the body and mind to withstand stress. It protects the body against faulty beliefs taken in through the five senses.

Indications of depleted ojas are dry skin, cold hands and/or feet, constipation, anxiety, pain, mental fogginess, negativity, loneliness, and fatigue. Ancient wisdom in the Vedas tells us that through the self-loving practices of pranayama (breathing practices), religious discipline, and tantric methods, we can transform our ojas into spiritual power. 

Ojas is the elegant substance produced after digestion, once all seven dhatus--the cells responsible for the performance of the body's systems and organs--are fed and nourished. The classical Ayurvedic texts say that it takes 27--30 days to construct ojas. So while chewing and digesting a carrot might require less than 24 hours, it requires far more time on the body to benefit from the carrot's gifts.

Since it takes almost a month for the human-machine to make ojas in the food you consume, it's vital to nourish our ojas supply. How can you know whether you're protecting and encouraging your ojas levels? It's the most significant energy reserve of the body and mind. It's the purest essence of Kapha, and physically, it's associated with reproductive, hormonal, and cerebrospinal fluids.

See: Ayurvedic herbs for digestion & gut health

See: Ayurveda For Gut Health

Nourish your Ojas with lifestyle choices

Living a healthy, balanced lifestyle is a decisive action of self-love. Nourish your perceptions of nature and the arts. Surround yourself with color and texture. Spend some time with loved ones, and avoid harsh and harmful folks. 

- Yoga and Meditation Daily

Luckily, humanity was blessed with all the practices of meditation and yoga. You can boost your energy by practicing asana, pranayama, and meditation daily. It will help you improve your strength, balance, and resiliency. Ending your practice with a minimum of five minutes of Savasana will direct your inner compass to your celestial light.

Daily practice of deep diaphragmatic breathing raises your ojas by providing abundant life energy in the shape of prana. Additionally, it helps to detoxify the body as you exhale completely. With practice, this balanced and deep rhythm of breathing becomes your "norm."

When sober, balanced breathing becomes part of your routine, the effects of stress are significantly diminished. With each cycle of the breath, you infuse your body with life-giving electricity and detox the cells.

Practice daily meditation. Among the most effective meditation practices, particularly beneficial to novices, is Japa or a mantra's repetition. Japa can help to anchor the active mind into one focus. The"so hum" mantra is easy since it's just two words, but it holds great significance.

- Self Massage

In Sanskrit, the word for petroleum and the practice of applying oil to the body is named Snehana, meaning love. By giving yourself the gift of everyday self-massage with higher quality, hot, organic jojoba oil, you're giving yourself love.

Each night before going to bed, put a few drops of oil onto the very top of your head, in the ears, and at the middle of both feet and hands. Then bathe with warm water with organic soap. If you understand your Prakriti (constitution), you may go for an oil right for your dosha: Vata, Pitta Kapha.

Vata: use warm, thick oil like sesame, or almond

Pitta: utilize a cooling or neutral oil such as olive, sunflower, coconut, or ghee.

See: Dosha Quiz

See: Ayurvedic Doshas and Diet

Find Your Ojas Levels

Ojas is a Sanskrit term that may be interpreted as "energy" or"essence of energy." In brief, ojas is the crucial energy that rules our immunity, strength, and happiness. How can you tell if you have low or high ojas? There are some clues.

Signs of Low Ojas

- Physical:

Dry skin

Cold hands and feet

Impaired bodily functions

Frequent drowsiness

Weak sense organs 

Muscle pain and/or joint pain

The heaviness of mind and body

Fatigue

A tendency to get sick often.

- Mental and emotional:

Mental confusion or fuzziness

Lack of attention

A consistently negative attitude

Stress

Depression and/or loneliness

Signs  of Good Ojas

- Physical:

A luminous complexion

A glow in the mind

Physical strength

Ample energy

Sharp sense organs

No aches and pains

Robust health and resistance

- Mental and emotional:

Emotional clarity and focus

Wide energy

Creativity

A deep sense of well-being

Happiness and pleasure

See: Pranayama breathing exercises & health benefits

See: Ayurvedic remedies for diabetes & immunity

Boost your Ojas with Ayurvedic diet

Get a daily Ayurvedic jam-like formula called Chyawanprash. Chyawanprash is an immune-boosting herbal shake that includes ojas-building ingredients such as ashwagandha root, ghee, and honey, in addition to the vitamin C-abundant amla fruit. It is Ayurveda's standard cure-all since it reduces the stuff that reduces ojas. You can also try Ayurvedic tonic, like ojas milk.

Robust ojas acts as gentle protection, helping us ward off disease and stress caused by biological pathogens. The more ojas we have, the more resilient we are to the harm from the outside world. Ojas gives us a general sense of satisfaction with life. Our contemporary Western civilization is chronically low in ojas.

An individual who has excellent ojas is calm and content and contains both muscular endurance and immunity. This is the most crucial element for most of us to nurture. It's particularly true if we're attempting to conceive a child, cope with a stressful life event, or overcome the disease.

But raising our level of ojas isn't only a matter of building it up. It's also about not wasting or losing it. Avoid foods that can lower your Ojas:

Raw, and undercooked foods

Canned or frozen foods

Alcohol

Stimulants

Processed sugar

Refined flour

Heavily processed foods

When you're overstimulated drinking coffee or overworked, you eliminate energy through the five senses in ways you are not even conscious of. This leaves us feeling lethargic and can bring on depressive or nervous sensations.

Pratyahara from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali means the 'withdrawal of the senses' and is the fifth element among the Eight stages of Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga. You can control your perceptions by moderating your language and sexual energy and getting proper rest, sleep, and relaxation, helps us conserve our vital energy. When you are feeling depleted, consider drawing the mind inward rather than reaching outward for peace. Lie down and practice regarding the sensations in the body, turning your attention and letting any stagnant emotions rise to the surface.

See: Chyawanprash Health Benefits & Ingredients

See: Ayurveda herbs for digestion

Dosha Quiz

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