What is Ojas
Ojas is vitally important to your yoga practice and life. You NEED Ojas to practice! To practice yoga without proper Ojas is detrimental to your wellbeing, so understanding Ojas is one of the most important things you can do as a yoga practitioner. This concept is often completely overlooked or misunderstood in the yoga community – you will not hear about this in your typical yoga class, yet it is the most essential aspect of any persons yoga practice. This is why Yoga and Ayurveda are sister sciences. For any yogi, Ayurveda is vital in maintaining a body that is capable of practicing yoga in a healthy and safe way. The concept of Ojas is particularly important when practicing aspects of yoga that are specific to movement through the Pranic body. This includes: – Pranayama (specifically Kapalabhati and Bhastrika) – Practices involving the rising up of Kundalini energy – Hatha Yoga – Life and all things associated with this experience These practices should really not be done without some understanding of Ojas, or without the firm, underlying support of the Three Pillars of Life. To engage in these practices regardless has the potential of creating false indentity, or physical, emotional, and psychological harm to you and those around you. While there is an inherent amount of Ojas in any persons constitution, Yoga will always have a taxing effect on your Ojas. This is because the nature of Yoga is purification.
Ojas is a Sanskrit word which literally means “vigor.” Described as the Fluid of Life, Ojas is the most essential thing for maintaining a healthy body. It is your splendor, your inner light, your luster, vitality, energy and bodily strength. This vital sap is necessary for a complete and full life. Without Ojas, immune systems weaken, spirits sink and basic abilities falter in the face of adversity. A person with good Ojas is serene, healthy, creative, energetic, and youthful in appearance. These are the people we come across in our day to day lives that simply shine a light on our routine. A person with deficient Ojas is timid, weak, anxious, lacks vitality, has a poor complexion, gets sick easily and has a general deficient appearance.
HOW TO BUILD OJAS
Ojas can be built by following the Three Pillars of Life: Good digestion, good sleep, and proper self expression. This means eating for your particular constitution, getting regular sleep, and most importantly, enjoying regular communications and practices with your divine power (meditation, art, music, hiking, coloring, exploring). Walking barefoot in a natural setting and other life-style activities can also nourish Ojas.
Ojas can be visualized easily in this picture. Imagine your body as the candle – Ojas is the oil sustaining the flame, and the flame is representative of Téjas (or the light of consciousness).
The flame with healthy Ojas (or oil) is consistent, dependable, focused, useful and contained. The flame with improper Ojas is chaotic, unpredictable, depleting, holds an illusionary sense of strength, and is dangerous.