Ojas (OH-JUS) is one of the three subtle forces in our body. Think of ojas as the container that holds your abundant energy. It is the ultimate energy reserve of the body and mind. It is the purest essence of kapha, and physically, it is related to reproductive, hormonal, and cerebrospinal fluids.
I love the metaphor of ojas as the body’s natural honey: it is the delicate and refined essence we produce from the plants and other vital essences we take in. Ojas is the force that enables us to sustain change over time. Think of it as your psychophysical container or shield.
As a society, we don’t respect this energy enough. Robust ojas acts as a soft shielding, helping us ward off stress and disease brought on by physical pathogens as well as psychic pathogens (emotional vampires be gone!). 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. As you might suspect, our modern Western culture is chronically low in ojas.
This is the most important element for most of us to cultivate. It is especially true if we are trying to conceive a child, deal with a stressful life event, or overcome an illness.
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 leaves us feeling depleted and can bring on depressive or anxious sensations.
The practice of Pratyahara, that is, controlling our senses by moderating our speech and sexual energy and getting proper rest, relaxation and sleep, helps us preserve our vital energy. The next time you feel depleted, think of drawing the mind inward instead of reaching outward for comfort. I like to lie down and practice feeling the sensations in my body, turning my focus inward and letting any stagnant emotions rise to the surface.
START NOW: Feel a Connection to Your Ojas
This exercise will help you feel the strength of your energy reserve.
Find a comfortable position and close your eyes.
Take a few deep breaths. Relax for a minute, allowing your breath to deepen and smooth out.
Now slowly start to draw your attention away from your thoughts, emotions or aches, and drop it down into your belly, holding it there until you feel sensation. Then, slowly, bring your awareness into your heart.
Remember a moment in your life when you felt very deep love. Perhaps it was the birth of your child, a merging into the arms of your lover, being hugged by a parent, or the bliss you experience when you help someone in need. Maybe it was a time when you let yourself be totally vulnerable. When you add love to your point of focus, it builds your ojas.
Bring that moment fully to mind and notice where you feel the sensation of love in your body. Allow this sensation to move, to expand and permeate every cell of your being. When you grow the feeling of love inside your body, you boost the power that enables you to remain strong and wise in the face of heartache, disease and change.
Relax into this loving container, watching how, over and over again, you will gain and lose the feeling, and how you can refocus and experience your inherent enduring, sustaining power.