In Ayurveda, there is a word, a concept that means vitality, strength, and immunity: Ojas. Think of ojas as the container that holds your abundant energy. It is the ultimate energy reserve of the body and mind.
It governs aging, immunity, radiant skin, vigor, mood, sleep, digestion, spirituality, and physical strength.
Ojas is considered the most refined by-product of digestion. While complete digestion of a meal is said to take around 24 hours, it takes a full 30 days for the body to digest food and refine it enough to manufacture this substance.
Unfortunately, during those 30 days, there are many factors that can undermine its production. Therefore, many people have depleted ojas and lack the vigor, immunity, and radiant glow they long for. If the digestive process is disturbed, the essence of the foods will not be extracted and no ojas will be made.
The more ojas we have, the more impervious we are to the negativity of others, as our own spirit has a good, strong container. Ojas gives us an overall sense of satisfaction with life.
Activities That Deplete Ojas:
– Stress, fear, anxiety, sorrow and grief
– Too many activities or too much physical exercise
– Excess use of screen (TV, Internet, computer, tablet, smartphone)
– Shock and trauma
– Lack of proper rest, late nights, and insomnia
– Excessive travel, multitasking
– Eating unwholesome foods, incompatible foods, processed and junk foods
– Excessive sexual release
– Smoking, excessive alcohol, addictions, recreational drugs
– Repressed emotions
Activities That Build Ojas:
– Being passionate about what you do
– Giving and serving others
– Spending time in Nature, with the elements
– Breathing deeply and through the nose
– Eating fresh wholesome foods in a relaxed manner
– Getting ample rest: 7-8 hours with the natural cycles (getting up early, going to bed early)
– Examples of ojas-producing foods are: milk, ghee, whole grains, organic vegetables and fresh, sweet, juicy fruits.
But increasing our level of ojas is not just a matter of building it up. It is also about not losing or wasting it.
When you are overstimulated, for example, if you spend hours on the Internet, drinking coffee, and texting friends, you lose energy through the five senses in ways you aren’t even aware of. This can leave you feeling tired, depressive or anxious.
The next time you feel depleted, think of turning your mind inward instead of reaching outward for comfort.
See also our blog post on how to take care of your 5 senses HERE.