Ayurveda defines Ojas as clarity, dynamism, luminosity, and your glow.
Ojas is the body’s vital energy. Ayurveda says that we are born with a certain amount of ojas but that we must maintain it to stay healthy. Allowing it to dissolve would mean permitting our life to dissolve.
Ojas is known to develop in the heart. According to Ayurveda, the heart is the physical and figurative location of this essence. And, the prime reason is because the heart is the link between the body and the mind. It is our life blood.
The quality of Ojas is cool, heavy, soft and supple yet very stable. It is our protection against disease, and because of that ojas is best described as our immunity.
How do we get this Ojas?
Ojas is with us from inception. Known as the para ojas, approximately 8 drops are always located in the heart.
The apara ojas, which is the portion that is attained through food, thoughts and lifestyle is variable and is dependent on our state of health. It flows throughout the body.
The ojas that comes from food is developed after all of the tissues utilize the nutrients we take in. Traditionally, ojas takes 25-30 days to accumulate because this is the period of time it takes for all of the tissues to receive their nutrients. And what remains is that ojas which is passed on for us to store. Ojas, then, can be considered as the ultimate essence of all of the tissues.
But I also mentioned that our thoughts and lifestyle can improve ojas. And, creating space to nurture your mental health adds greatly to the ojas bank. This “savings account” is there to give us the reserves to handle stress and react pleasantly to our environment.
We receive our ojas when the conditions are just right. When there is a culmination of healthy tissues and outputs, a balanced digestive system, along with a balanced mind and a balanced constitution (innate composition).
When we choose the right inputs (food/water along with sleep and what we bring in with our senses) and these inputs are taken in the appropriate time, quantity and manner – only then can we create the ultimate energy reserve for ourselves.
On the other hand, when we fall into habits that are draining, there can be a denaturing, dislocation or even a reduction in the ojas. This corresponds to a decrease in immunity – which can be temporary, but if the condition is not remedied and ojas is not fortified, this denaturing and dislocation of ojas will result in a drop of our resilience that could lead to a more permanent disease state.
When we are well nourished, keep a good nature and feel strong both physically and in our ability to resist disease, we literally shine brighter with the essence of this substance coursing through our system. Ayurveda says that our ojas can be comparable to the glow of a diamond because we are radiant inside and out.
Recently, my husband and I have returned from an 18-day retreat. Initially, this vacation time was taken as a trial period… to see if we liked the idea of living in our RV for an extended period of time and to determine if we wanted to keep investing in this alternative lifestyle.
I would never have labelled it as a retreat because I thought that the conversion of living in an RV could be somewhat stressful …we were going to be on the road for 18 days, we’d have to give up on some luxuries, and maybe even have to deal with the possibility of some difficulties with the vehicle or have trouble reaching our various destinations.
But after just about a week or so, I could really lean into the experience as a journey of the present moment. We had a plan and a routine so there was no need to think of what we would be doing next. Arriving at each destination, we would set up camp, check out the surroundings, prepare a meal and pretty much follow the light of day by sleeping early and rising early. If the day was cold, we didn’t just stay inside, we dressed appropriately and hiked or enjoyed the sunrise or the sunset.
Although we were never isolated, the state parks we visited, were, for the most part, quiet and secluded so there was a lot of peacefulness in our days. Some of my favorite stops were the ones that didn’t have any wifi or distractions. The roads were fairly unoccupied because we rarely stayed on the main highways or went through major cities.
We lived simply and predictably but still enjoyed exploring and the adventure of discovery. We were flowing with the life and I was learning to let go of expectations and effort.
It was a great journey. When I returned, I could feel that my body felt stronger yet lighter and I was happier than I have felt in – well – a very long time. I can now say that my ojas was honed. After 18 days, my vitality was nearing its peak.
Certainly, it was partly the food that we enjoyed – having planned a menu that was nutritious without relying on restaurants along the way. But it was also the fresh air of our surroundings and the limited connection with our phones, internet, and other modes of media (and that meant that we were reducing our exposure to EMF). We received a great deal of rest (both mentally and physically) and developed a pretty set routine of eating, exercise and sleep. It was a combination of all of these factors that contributed to my feeling of strength and lightness, clarity and vividness.
One of the great teachers of Ayurveda, David Frawley, says that ojas gives us the support to sustain our practices of meditation, pranayama (and the other things we do to increase our energy). And, that, without ojas, our excess energy would float away or burn up – because the energy we accumulate needs to have a solid foundation or container.
So, in lieu of getting in an RV and escaping civilization, try to:
- Honor nature’s rhythms by retiring and rising with the sun.
- Nourish your heart with love, by doing things that bring more joy into your life.
- Cultivate beauty by really observing nature and the present moment.
- Follow a daily routine: rising, eating, exercising, getting outside and sleeping rhythmically.
- Eat organic, cooked, seasonal food in the right quantities, in the right time and with the right preparation and gratitude.
- Then, boost your energetic state with daily meditation or pranayama.
Once you can establish these important habits then you will yearn to keep them, because you’ll want to continue to experience their benefits. When you hone your true nature, you discover that you are stronger, and ultimately you feel more fulfilled and contented. So, polish your diamond and shine brightly!
I wish you good fortune on your journey my friends. Until next time…Kim.🌱💜
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