Updated: Jan 14, 2020
Ayurveda, India’s ancient healing art, considers ojas to be the essential entity that promotes health, immunity, strength, and happiness. It’s the “lamp at the door,” meaning the crossroads between consciousness and matter. An abundance of ojas is reflected physically, mentally, and emotionally--yet, it’s not profound consciousness nor tangible physical matter.
Ojas become depleted when we have a surplus of vata, or the energy sequence that stimulates our physical behaviors and relationships. This is the culmination of stress, overloading oneself, and lack of sleep. These problems can become apparent both mentally and physically. Signs of low ojas include cold hands and feet, lack of focus, pessimism, muscle or joint pain, and fatigue.
When your ojas are exhausted, you’re more susceptible to aging and falling ill. It’s important to fuel your ojas to sustain your physical and mental energy, along with your drive and passion. Learn four ways you can nurture your ojas for a longer, healthier life.
1. Embrace an Organic Diet
The Ayurvedic diet presents organic, ojas-rich foods to strengthen your energy and longevity. There are a multitude of healthy foods recognized for their natural healing powers. Some of these foods include:
Fruits: avocados, apples, bananas, apricots, oranges, dates, figs
Vegetables: greens, lettuce, parsley, sweet potatoes, zucchini, yams
Grains: basmati rice, oatmeal, quinoa, whole wheat
Legumes: soy beans, soy milk, tofu
Dairy: goat cheese, cottage cheese, fresh yogurt
Nuts: almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios
Healthy fats and oils: clarified butter, olive oil, coconut oil
When building your balanced diet, it’s important to avoid heavily processed, canned, and frozen foods. Many health care professionals, including dentists like Dr. Timothy Kosinski, can attest to the importance of a healthy, nutritious diet for your oral health, along with your overall well-being.
2. Invest in Your Health
The heart is viewed as the foundation of where your ojas prosper. That’s why it’s essential to support heart health as well as a strong immune system to elevate and maintain your ojas. Natural supplements and herbs are a great way to enhance your immunity.
Try out these ojas-boosting herbs:
Ginger--helps fight infections and restores immunity
Turmeric--enhances the health of all three doshas: Vata, Pitta, Kapha (eat, taste, heal)
Licorice--vitalizes immunity and nourishes systems in the body
Ashwagandha--extends longevity and restores natural energy levels
3. Implement Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Establishing healthy habits and living a balanced lifestyle is pivotal in aligning your mind, body, and spirit to nourish your ojas. Beneficial habits to adopt include regular exercise, going to bed early, and surrounding yourself with an uplifting community. These small acts of self-love can have a considerable impact on your overall well-being.
Whereas stress, poor diet, and lack of sleep can have detrimental effects on your health. This can appear through your skin tone and texture, along with the condition of your hair and nails. Dermatologists often recommend stress management to help treat common skin conditions like rosacea or psoriasis. Try to avoid multitasking, working late at night, emotional conflicts, and excessive technology use.
4. Practice Yoga, Meditation & Gratitude
One of the leading contributors to depreciated ojas is stress. Engaging in daily meditation can maximize your ojas by detoxifying the body through deep breathing techniques. This decreases and oftentimes can entirely eliminate the effects of stress.
Practicing yoga regularly can be a powerful tool in increasing your strength, balance, and resilience. It takes just 15 minutes a day to warm-up your joints and improve your flexibility. With the addition of savasana at the end of your practice, your internal compass will become more transparent.
In conjunction with the two, it’s important to appreciate your unique qualities and what this life has to offer. Practicing gratitude has the ability to lift our spirits, boost our ojas, and most importantly, remind us of all there is to be grateful for. Finding ways to nurture your ojas goes beyond making a few lifestyle changes--it’s a means of positively transforming your entire entity, from the inside out.