Why is it that some people never seem to get sick, not even a seasonal cold, and others are always sickly? The secret is Ojas. You may have heard of Ojas in Ayurveda or mentioned by a yogi. Ojas is essentially what keeps us healthy and in balance. We can say it’s a metaphysical aspect of our vital fluids. It is not only responsible for physical health, but also mental clarity, emotional harmony, and spiritual growth. From an elemental standpoint, it is primarily composed of water and earth, related to the binding force, or Kapha.
From a purely physical wellbeing standpoint, Ojas give tissues strength and endurance. They form a protective sheath around cells, and cells are able to function at peak. High Ojas means slower aging – it protects and preserves the body and plays a key role in immunity. It enables the body to run efficiently – bodily systems run smoothly and without friction, and more energy is drawn from less food. High Ojas means less susceptibility to stress factors and diseases.
From a mental perspective, Ojas enable a stable and balanced mind which is able to achieve a very high degree of focus. So this becomes important in all aspects of life but especially meditation. Spiritual endeavors are facilitated by a high Ojas body because the foundation is solid, and not a distraction.
From more esoteric arenas, a yogi with high Ojas can move the energies easily around the body. We can recognize this in everyday life – one whose energies are focused around the throat is well-spoken, one whose energies are focused in their hands has a healing touch that is tangible, and one whose energies are focused in their eyes are particularly perceptive and able to see things others would miss. We have heard of yogis and certain populations around the world living to a very old age – centenarians – this is possible because of an abundance of Ojas.
It takes a full mandala period, or about 40 days, to draw Ojas from the foods we eat. Because of this, it is important to nurture a high level of Ojas throughout our days.
To nurture an abundance of Ojas, the following practices are recommended:
- Neem and Turmeric taken together upon waking up, on an empty stomach
- Foods such as ghee, dates, almonds, cashews, pumpkin or sesame seeds, tahini, avocado, coconut, figs, mangos, blueberries, beets
- Many Indian herbs such as bala, triphala, ashwagandha, shatavari, punarnava, bhringaraj, brahmi, shilajit, shankapushpi, licorice, vidari, kapikacchu, gokshura, jatamansi, as well as ginger
- Yoga practices such as Mahat Kapalabhati Kriya
And the following practices should be avoided:
- Saying “no” to what is / resisting what life brings
- Negativity and emotional contractions
- Unhealthy lifestyle and diet
- Excessive sexual activity
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