What is Ojas in Ayurveda?

Within our Fundamentals and Anatomy of Ayurveda course, we have learned about various deeply important yet subtle aspects of health within the human body. One area we have covered is the Ojas, or primary life force energy. Ojas is the essence of life force, the subtle form of Kapha dosha, which provide immunity, support and nourishment to all of the seven dhatus or tissues in the body. After the seven dhatus have been nourished, only then we are able to build and nourish our ojas.

Since the state of our ojas represents our immune system's capacity to function, when depleted, one is susceptible to illness. For the Vata prakruti type, who tends towards depletion, it can be very difficult to build ojas, which means these people are more susceptible to ailment, and it takes longer for them to recover. When ojas are high, we can easily fight off disease and infection, with the reserves to bring us back to balance quickly.

This subtle essence of our life force, provides contentment in life, and bring us a sense of patience and calm. Also, it provides mental strength and stability, as well as an overall sense of endurance.

During our course, I experienced the strength of ojas first hand. Many students, including myself, fell ill due to the depletion caused by our travels to India, new environment and foods. Those with the stronger constitutions of Kapha and Pitta, generally maintained their health, while those of us with more Vata in our constitution, struggled more with the cold and flu symptoms. Personally, my constitution is Vata, and due to low ojas and a tendency towards depletion, I was unable to kick the cold for over a week. This shows clearly the importance of learning and understanding the ojas, so that we can build them and create strength, endurance, immunity, and mental well-being within our lives.

Sean Moran, Ventura, CA - USA

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