Burnout: You can’t fill your tank if you don’t have one
Ojas: the key to your body's battery life
These days everyone has had periods in their lives where they just needed to stop. Or maybe it wasn’t even a choice, and your body just did it for you. Having been busy for too long, young kids, older kids, moving house, new job, illness or maybe even a combination of these. These periods of time where you need to recharge your battery, whether it’s your choice or not.
How do you do that, recharging those batteries? Is just resting enough or is there more to it?
As you might expect, from an Ayurvedic point of view there is more to it. It’s called ojas. Although rest does play a mayor roll. It is the 2nd of the 3 pillars of health as described by Ayurveda. The other 2 pillars are those of nourishment and energy management.
So what are ojas? What does that have to do with filling your tank and having one?
Ojas is your vital energy which acts as a container for the other vital energies. It actually enters into all the pillars of health. You get it from eating the right food that nourishes you and builds your body. The nourishment left at the end of building your body, which takes 40 days, will become ojas. It is also nourished as you rest well and your body has the time to do its recovery and maintenance. And ojas IS the energy that you need to manage. Don’t do too much of anything or you’ll deplete yourself of this vital life essence. So it is kind of a big and precious something.
It's all connected!
And as you can maybe guess if you’ve read my previous blogs, ojas is very connected to agni, the digestive fire. Because you can only nourish your body well if your agni is strong. And if you don’t rest well your agni suffers from that and you get stuck with more ama, the stuff that clogs your system, and depletes your ojas.
There is also prana, which you might know from the yogaworld. Your life force or life energy or however you want to call it. It’s the air you breathe that gives you energy that makes you feel lighter and is connected to the air element. You can get this energy directly from food. It’s easy to obtain. You need prana to live, it is essential, without prana there is no life. But if you only work on prana, you sort of overdose on the air element. And too much air element makes you floaty, ungrounded, unstable and lose focus (here we get into vata dosha).
Adding more prana can actually deplete you...
If you imagine prana as a liquid in a tank, if you keep adding prana, the bowl will overflow. That is not a good thing. The tank is the ojas, it’s the container that contains the prana. And this container isn’t fixed in its capacity, so that is why it is very important to build your ojas. The bigger your container is the more prana it can contain and the more batterylife you as a person have. This also explains why there is a limit to the amount of yoga and breathwork that is beneficial. If you create too much prana and it makes you unbalanced it can actually diminish your ojas and deplete you, isn’t that interesting?
Besides ojas and prana there is also tejas. The vital energy of fire which brings us wisdom and discernment. With this vital essence well nourished, our agni will be able to digest and transform our nourishment that keep you healthy. So you can maybe see how these 3 energies support your health and wellbeing.
Bottom line, your body needs quality nourishment and rest to be able to function well.
Quality nourishment doesn’t only translate to quality food, but also loving company and touch, inner tranquility, having a sense of purpose.