Shiva Rea, Columnist
Oh, what a year it has been. As our bodies restore energy throughout the winter months, it is the perfect time to rejuvenate through the art of rasayana. Rasayana is made up of two words: “rasa,” which means “juice,” “taste” or “essence” (in substances and in life), and “ayana,” meaning “source.” Rasayana is a special branch within Ayurveda that nourishes and sustains our body’s life energy and transmutes the natural stresses of life. Rasayanas in Ayurveda are any form of tonic herbs, foods (see list below) or ways of being, particularly the cultivation of love and relaxation, that are regenerative. In elixir form, rasayanas are warm, herbal Ayurvedic tonics that you can drink in the evening before bed or ingest in the form of ojas-building foods. Rasayana transforms the degenerative effects of stress and represents the longevity, love and juicy aspects of our being— the soma, or rejuvenating nectar of life. Soma, ojas and rasa are cultivated in both dravya (food, herbs and elixirs) and adravya rasayana (way of life) forms. It may sound so simple, but just savoring an elixir or my favorite recipe of marinated dates has a ripple effect of filling your love tank and bathing your nervous system through tonics and vata-pacifying foods—the same foods which build ojas.
Rasa Ojas Offering or Rasayana Elixir
DOSAGE: ONE DATE PER DAY
30 pitted dates
¹⁄8 tsp saffron
¹⁄8 tsp cinnamon
1 lb coconut oil
¹⁄8 tsp cardamom
¼ tsp ginger powder
Peel the top off the dates, cut in half. Mix the saffron and other spices with liquefied coconut oil. Pour into quart-sized jar of dates, which will marinate for a full moon cycle (30 days). You can even try placing the jar under the moonlight. Eat one a day during the winter months with the mantra “Om Somaya Namaha,” and enjoy the nourishing qualities. You can also blend a few dates and add to your favorite nut milk, along with Ayurvedic herbs such as shatavari for women and ashwagandha for men and women. This is a classic rasayana for cultivating ojas, including the generation and regeneration of shukra, or potency of sexual fluids. Saffron brings down access pitta in the blood while the spices stimulate agni. Dates also contain phytoestrogens that target reproductive organs and build juiciness in women before lovemaking and support ojas in men after. May we cultivate love and enjoy the simple ways to nourish our ojas in the lunar arts of rejuvenation in the midst of all the intensity of life. Savor the moment.
Food & Herbal Rasayanas
1. Organic nut milks (almond, cashew), coconut oils
2. Fresh nuts, dates
3. Fresh, sweet fruits and vegetables
4. Ayurvedic herbs and rasayanas—tonic drinks and jams like chayvanprash
Make rasayanas with the guidance of an Ayurvedic counselor, using herbs including ashwagandha, bala, brahmi, kumari, shankapushpi, shatavari, shilajit and licorice.
Shiva Rea is a global yogadventurer, movement alchemist, wave rider, energy activist and founder of the Lunar Arts School of Yoga Alchemy and the Samudra Global School for Living Yoga, which offer transformational living retreats/teacher immersions and activations for movers and shakers in all fields. #shivarea108