It has been said that the whole practice of Ayurveda is aimed at maximizing the production and maintenance of ojas.
In Sanskrit, ojas has two prominent meanings. When it comes to our physical health, it means “vigor, virility, and vitality.” In regards to our spiritual and emotional well-being, it is our “expression of consciousness.”
Ojas is the most refined byproduct of digestion. While it is thought to take around 24 hours to digest a meal, it takes a full 30 days for the body to refine the digested food into ojas. And as we all know, a lot can happen in 30 days…
What is Ojas?
The best way to illustrate ojas is to compare it to honey. Honey is essentially the ojas of flowers. Thousands of bees collect the nectar of flowers and concentrate it, refining it into it’s most pure form.
When we feed our bodies with fresh, unprocessed foods, microscopic traces of each meals essence accumulate over time, and through the process of healthy digestion, ojas is created.
Someone who is potent with ojas is radiant and lustrous - they appear full of health, and may possibly even be glowing. To have a high amount of ojas means everything we eat is transformed into toxin-free energy, creating vibrant features, along with an alert and blissful state of mind and emotions.
Someone with depleted ojas typically has a dull complexion, compromised immunity, low fertility, anxiety and a cloudy mind.
A major obstacle to the production and flow of ojas in the body is ama, or toxins. Ama is the product of weak digestion and metabolism, along with other contributing factors, like stress. Ama is the complete opposite of ojas. It clogs and creates blockages in the body's energetic and circulatory channels, obstruction communication and connectivity at a cellular level.
What depletes Ojas?
Lack of sleep
Extraneous exercise or activity
Excessive alcohol consumption
A weak digestive fire
Draining emotions: sadness, fear, anxiety, depression, irritability, anger
What builds Ojas?
Fresh, unprocessed seasonal foods
Being in nature
Keeping a regular daily routine
Abhyanga (self oil massage)
Foods packed with Ojas:
Almonds (most nuts really)
Ojas building herbs:
As you can see, building ojas takes some seriously conscious effort. A lot of people associate cleanses with depletion, but a true cleanse is meant to feed you, not leave you hungry. Everything you are doing on this Fall reset is designed to help you build ojas. That is literally the entire goal of the Ayurvedic lifestyle - to make you the most vibrant, radiant human you can possibly be!