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Cultivating Juiciness With Ayurveda

Columnist: Shiva Rea


These days, as we are called into action, it is important to not get depleted, but to continue to ll our cup and replenish our ojas—deep reserves and mojo. I first heard about ojas while studying with an amazing Ayurveda teacher and author, Robert Svoboda. Ojas is built when we are spending time rejuvenating (the Ayurvedic term is “rasayana”), rather than pushing ourselves and going, going, going, as many yogis do. “Rasa” means juice or essence, and “ayana” means path. As Robert calls it, rasayana is the “the path of juicing up.”

Ojas is the essence, like honey created by the essence of flowers, and is related to vitality and immunity. The accumulation of the flower essences is stored in the honeycomb, which in our body is like ojas, the pure essence of our dhatus, or bodily tissues. Ojas is considered to be generated from the original essence of para ojas in the heart, which then circulates from the heart and throughout the body for support.

Ojas is the super-fine essence of kapha dosha associated with lunar cycles; it is therefore connected to regeneration. The qualities of ojas and kapha dosha are similar: liquid, sweet, and unctuous. Together they provide great support for the immune system and the reserves of life force.

Life imbalances that decrease ojas in the body:

  1. Stress that is from life or self-created; lack of heart-brain entrainment

  2. Dissonant thoughts and emotions; worry, anxiety, anger, jealousy, excessive pride

  3. Disconnection from the heart re and the energy of love and compassion

  4. Shock and trauma, overexerting oneself, overdoing, exposure to extremes

  5. Lack of proper rest, late nights, insomnia

  6. Excessive travel, multitasking, draining

technology rhythms

  1. Dieting, improper nutrition, malnutrition

  2. Eating unwholesome foods, incompatible foods, processed and junk foods

  3. Smoking, excessive alcohol, addictions

Ways to increase ojas:

1. Honoring solar-lunar rhythms in one’s practice

2. Lunar and Sringara Rasa yoga and daily mantra, pranayama, mudra, and meditation

3. Nourishing the Heart Fire with love, sukha (intrinsic happiness), and santosha (contentment) in your life

4. Cultivating aesthetics, beauty, the arts, peaceful rhythm, and enjoyment of the art of living

5. Steadily following nourishing rhythms of dinacharya and ritucharya

6. Nutrition with organic, cooked (for digestion), vegan food, not overly spiced

7. Nut milks, fresh nuts and dates

8. Fresh, sweet fruits and vegetables

9. Balancing sexual energy in accordance with the seasons and one’s constitution

10. Ayurvedic herbs and rasayanas—tonic drinks and jams

11. With the guidance of an Ayurvedic counselor, making rasayanas from herbs including ashwagandha, bala, brahmi, kumari, shankhpushpi, shatavari, shilajit, licorice

Learning how to cultivate ojas in daily rituals will help us to stay juicy and joyous on our path. Ayurveda is the yoga of life. May all beings be happy and juicy.


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