OJAS -THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
Do you ever wonder why some people get sick all the time and others never get a cold and stay healthy and strong. It’s because of Ojas.
OJAS is the essence of all the bodily tissues and is related to our immunity and vitality. Just as bees gather molecules of pollen from thousands of flowers and return it to the honeycomb. Ojas is created by the body through the proper digestion of food, it is the concentrated essence of all the dhatus (bodily tissues). Similarly, ghee is the essence of milk; after milk is churned into butter and then heated it becomes ghee, the pure essence of milk.
Ojas is interlinked with tejas, and prana. Tejas is the subtle essence of fire, prana is the subtle essence of air and ojas is the subtle essence of water. Tejas creates ojas, and ojas protects prana which is the vital force of life. Ojas is the seat of prana.
There are two kinds of ojas in the body; para ojas, superior ojas. There are 8 drops of para ojas located in the heart. Apara ojas, inferior ojas circulates through the body to all the tissues. Para ojas is stable, apara ojas is mobile.
Ojas is purified by devotion. We must be aware of our subtle feelings, they are messengers that speak with us. If we say no, no, no…to anything in life we are denying our present moment experience. Denying what is happening. Saying yes, is love, it is life. Saying yes, yes, yes. to life and our unfolding experience transforms our life in harmony with nature.
Your ojas will diminish when you push your body beyond its normal range of function. This includes overwork, or over exercise, not getting enough sleep, poor diet, stressful living over a long period of time, and too much sexual activity (ojas is found in the reproductive organs and fluids). The results of depleted ojas is low energy, fatigue, disease, disappearance of the glowing radiance from the eyes and face.
Please take regular daily steps to maintain and build your ojas. This will result in better vitality will result in strong immunity, glowing skin and mental and physical strength. Here are some tips to build ojas:
1 Ojas Enhancing Foods
Eat freshly prepared food, nothing microwaved, frozen, or anything prepared days ago.
Heated raw whole milk with cardamom is good for creating ojas.
Soaked dates in ghee is one of the strongest ojas builders. Slice some fresh dates, removing the pits and pouring ghee over them. Soak for two weeks or more. This ojas treat will keep fresh in a dark cupboard. (use dry and clean utensils to remove dates).
▪ Cashew nuts
▪ Sesame seeds
▪ Pumpkin seeds
▪ Oils such as coconut, sesame, olive and almond
▪ Coconut milk, coconut water
▪ Cow’s milk, Ghee
▪ Juicy fruits like mangoes, grapes and peaches
▪ Tahini, avocados, sweet potatoes
▪ Whole milk (organic, warm and spiced)
▪ Bone marrow broth for those with neurological problems and depleted ojas
▪ Whole grains like whole wheat, rice, quinoa and oat meal.
▪ Mung dal, tofu and soy milk.
2 Ojas Enhancing Herbs
These Ayurvedic herbs are good for enhancing ojas. These herbs prevent the degeneration of cells and tissues and help in building up Ojas.
▪ Amalaki – Amalaki has a major contribution in maintaining, nourishing and preventing disease and helps increase ojas. Take 2 Triphala tablets or 1 teaspoon of powdered tripahala before bed with water. Triphala’s main ingredient is Amalaki.
▪ Ashwagandha (withania somnifera) – This herb is an adaptogen and helps the body deal with stress and fatigue. Its main role is to arrest the degeneration and deterioration of the cells. It works as a tonic by balancing vata, when taken for three to six months. See your Ayurvedic practitioner for correct dosage.
▪ Ginger – Is the Universal medicine. It is anti-inflammatory and assists with dhipam - igniting the digestive fire and pancham - destroying toxins in the digestive system. Ginger helps enhance digestion and metabolism thus enhancing ojas. Add Ginger to your cooked foods and make a tea simmering fresh cut ginger in water for 5-10 minutes, cool a bit and add some honey and lime.
▪ Guduchi – also called Amrta or eternal nectar of immortality. It has anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, immune boosting properties which makes it a wonder drug in enhancing ojas. It can be taken in the form of capsules or powder. See your Ayurvedic practitioner for correct dosage.
▪ Licorice – It is a natural immune boosting and a revitalising herb, good for adrenal support and high stress. Make a soothing tea or take the the powder mixed with honey 3 times a day. Contraindicated for people with hight blood pressure.
3 Ojas Enhancing Lifestyles
Following a sattvic lifestyle (mode of goodness) supports our cellular intelligence and keeps us healthy and happy.
▪ Early to bed and early to rise is the key for good health. I always advise my patients that are ill the importance of this simple remedy. Rest is sometimes the best medicine as the body’s cells rejuvenate during sleep. One of my teachers told me that the sleep you receive before midnight is twice as valuable as the sleep afterwards. Rest seven to nine hours nightly.
▪ Regular yoga and exercise balances the body mind connection and builds ojas. Yoga breathing called pranayama increases immunity, nourishes all the dhatus (elements) and keeps the tridoshas in balance.
▪ Calm your mind and senses with meditation, kirtan (devotional music). Spend quality time in nature outdoors. Please slow down the pace of your life and enjoy the simple pleasures.
▪ Have healthy relationship with all people in your life, good relationships are a healthy tonic, love rejuvenates ojas
▪ Keep good thoughts, avoid negative self talk.
4 Self Ayurvedic Oil Massage
Regular application of Ayurvedic medicated oil before bath is useful to maintain and enhance ojas. The skin is the largest organ on the body and by applying warm herbal oils to your body you will help to balance vata dosha and enhance ojas.
Different oils are used depending upon the doshas and prakriti of a person.
Vata: Maha Narayana, Ksira Bala Tailam, Dhanvantaram Tail
Pitta: Chandan Tailam
Kapha: dry powder massage, garshana powdered Triplala with rose powder and garbanzo bean flour.
Take time daily to build your Ojas and begin to see your health and happiness increase.