As many of you may know, the three Ayurvedic doshas are Kapha, Pitta and Vata. With these doshas you will find their pure essence of what makes them up, Ojas – Water, Tejas – Fire, and Prana – Ether. Achieving balance within these elements is the goal, however disorder can be caused by too much of an increase or decrease in each.
The Kapha dosha is manifested as our physical body; bones, muscles tissue, plasma, etc. However, the pure essence of what these tissues are made up of is what we call Ojas. Ojas is related to our vitality and immunity.
What is Ojas?
As stated by Dr. Vasant Lad, “It is like honey. As the honeybee collects the minute molecules of the essence of hundreds of flowers and accumulates them in the honeycomb, ojas, the pure essence of all bodily tissues, circulates via the heart and throughout the body to maintain the natural resistance of the bodily tissues” (Textbook of Ayurveda).
Ojas is a biological substance that the strength of our tissue relies on. It is the very substance that contributes to what makes you, you, down to the last molecule. The food you eat is broken down by Tejas (fire) and separated into molecules that turn into Ojas. This strengthens our muscular system, skeletal system, and digestive system. Having healthy Ojas is critical in growing and maintaining a healthy physical body. Ojas provides natural resistance, which makes it key in boosting immunity.
Healthy digestion is required to have strong immunity. Keeping internal factors healthy is just as important as keeping external factors healthy. Dis-ease internally and externally lead to unhealthy ojas. Eating living food while maintaining a healthy lifestyle and relationships all keep Ojas healthy.
To understand Ojas more, it is broken down into two types; apara and para ojas, or “inferior and superior.”
- Apara ojas moves through the body while para ojas remains stable in the heart.
- Para ojas gives strength to the blood cells and then is carried through the body by apara ojas.
Keeping healthy ojas is key for life. Stagnation of ojas is deadly. However, the existence of apara and para ojas together provides abundance to you, your body, and your consciousness. The very existence of Ojas represents your being and capabilities. It is the existence of awareness, knowledge, strength, and love. The greater presence of love, the healthier ojas becomes.
How can you maintain healthy Ojas?
What are some ways you can stimulate and maintain a healthy Ojas? A great way is meditation. Vasant Lad put it wonderfully when he wrote, “Our consciousness has a definite border…and it has content. Container and content are the same. A pot is the container and clay is the content. In the same way, consciousness is the container, and thoughts, feelings, and emotions are the content. Because of the content, the container is limited. Meditation empties the content creating space” (Textbook of Ayurveda). When we meditate we create space, and this space allows for growth, allowing us to not be limited to the container of our consciousness. By giving our consciousness, or ojas, room for growth, this stimulates ojas in a very positive way.
Major Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is scientifically proven to:
– improve cellular health
– reduce blood pressure
– balance hormone levels
– protect against heart disease
– strengthen pain response
– maintain the structure of the hippocampus which allows for mental resilience
– dilates blood vessels improving blood flow
– enhances the cortexes of the brain that control perspective, empathy, self-reflection and aging
The list goes on too. This is proof of how meditation alone correspopnds to Ojas and strengthens it within the body. Connecting with your higher self affects your whole being, physically and spiritually.
Another way of keeping a healthy flow of Ojas is eating Ojas building foods as well as regenerative exercises. These can include:
– Avoiding nightshade foods
– Resting and Reading
– Gentle walks
These foods and practices all follow the same pattern, enhancing your glow. They build you and feed you and create more life within you. This is Ayurveda at its core. Digesting life as it is meant to be in order to enlighten the mind, body, and spirit.
“Ojas is considered to be the most refined by-product of digestion, said to reside in the heart. Ayurveda considers ojas to be an essence of nature and a cosmic substance that directly influences our existence.” – Dr. J. Douillard
“Ojas is the first thing to be created in the body of all living beings. It is ghee colored, it tastes like honey and smells like roasted puffed rice.” Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 17.74
Textbook of Ayurveda, Vasant Lad, M.A.Sc.