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Nourish Your Ojas

What in the world is Ojas? And why does it matter? Ojas is defined as the subtle force of energy in the body….. It is like a nectar that runs through us, that we get from the foods we eat. It is considered the purest byproduct of digestion. We can either deplete and diminish our Ojas, or nourish it. My teacher described it like that of a date, or honey. It is unctuous and has substance - it is supportive to our immune system and to our overall well being.

Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old science of wellness from India, and “sister” science to yoga has a full explanatory system for all the functions of the body and ways of being …I’m no expert at Ayurveda, from which this concept originates, however, when I learned about Ojas during a yoga therapy teacher training, I found it immediately interesting. The concept just makes sense and it is not overly complex…. Read on to learn the concept of Ojas and how you can apply it to your life for improved overall health and wellbeing.

In short, when we have a vital Ojas many things are going well:

  • In the body we are buoyant and resilient

  • Our immune system is robust

  • Our mind is calm and patient and not reactive

  • We have stable and sustained energy throughout the day

  • Our complexion is clear and our eyes are bright

  • We have an overall sense of wellbeing and stability

Sounds good right? I’m willing to guess that very few of us currently have a strong Ojas. The pandemic was depleting (and still is) in so many ways… the more divisive nature of our communities has taken a toll. I don’t think most of us eat whole nourishing foods as much as we should, or get adequate time in nature and physical movement. I don’t mean to be too negative here but I think we could all use a boost to our Ojas…..

Here is how:

  • Engage in heart centered practices, such as "Metta" meditation (see HERE for my blog post on the Bliss body which would cover this topic)

  • Involvement in positive community building activities and/or volunteer activity

  • Time in nature

  • Nonsexual physical contact like hugging, hand-holding, massage

  • Regular eating of fresh, unprocessed foods to ensure balanced blood sugar (foods that are fresh, sweet and full of juices are said to be good for Ojas)

  • Eating while calm and in a non-rushed state is helpful so food can be properly digested and assimilated

  • Get a full 8 hours of sleep each night

I recognize that the above advice is good for a lot of things… and if we get more sleep, time in nature, and eat a more nourishing diet, and so on, we'd be feeling better overall. However, what is great about the concept of Ojas, is the mental picture it gives us of our health and immunity - our vigor. If we can picture the Ojas in our mind's eye, it might seem less vague, and we might be willing to do things that nourish it. I also don’t think we have to incorporate all these things, everyday all the time (at least at first). Even just picking one area - such as committing to spend a few minutes every day outside - may be really beneficial. Once we see the impact of one thing, it is easier to build upon from that place. Positive habit begets more positive habits! I wrote a blog post in that too HERE. : )

Hope you take some time today to nourish your Ojas.



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