Originating from Yoga’s sister science of Ayurveda; Ojas is the subtle ‘essence’ or energy responsible for vitality, health, radiance, energy, strength, immunity, vigour, longevity of life and overall mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
Ojas is something the body both has within itself (i.e. babies are a fantastic example of having a high level of Ojas, with their soft and glowing skin and bright eyes), but it’s also something we obtain, extract and metabolise from the foods we eat. Ojas is said to make up our physical bodily tissue – the organs, muscle, bones, ligaments and fat cells, and it has a strong effect on how we feel within the mind.
Optimal digestion is key to the formation of Ojas, but it’s not just about the foods we digest; we are what we eat indeed, but we’re also effected by how we digest the world around us. While the mouth takes in food, our other sense organs also have a huge impact on how we obtain, extract and metabolise life, all creating who we are and how we feel.
Autumn and Winter are generally times when we may feel a little depleted in stores of Ojas, with fatigue and lethargy setting in as the days get darker and shorter, and conditions like dry skin, creaky joints and that general ‘bleugh’ feeling beginning to set in. These are all signs of depleted levels of Ojas – that nectar of life and vitality. You can read much more about Ojas and how to restore levels of it through a Yoga practice, and food and lifestyle choices, but for now, here’s a recipe which includes many of the well known Ojas building foods.
(Makes 10 breakfast bars or 20 snack-sized squares)
- 2 cups chopped dates
¼ cup of each:
- Shredded coconut
- Chopped almonds
- Sesame seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Raw buckwheat groats
- Barley flakes
- 1 tbsp flax seeds
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Place the dates in a pan and cover with boiling water
- Simmer on a low heat – stirring every so often – for 15-20 minutes, or until the dates become mushy and soft.
- While the dates are softening, add all other ingredients, other than the coconut oil, to a bowl and mix together
- When the dates are ready, pour the dry ingredients into the pan
- Add in your tsp of coconut oil and stir everything together well
- Line a baking tray with brown paper or non BPA cling film and squish the mixture firmly into the tray
- Cover and leave to cool
- When the mixture is cool, place in the fridge and leave over night to set completely
- Eat, share and enjoy. You could also make this and give as a gift to someone who needs to boost their vitality!
Remember: It’s not just what you eat, it’s how you eat it, where, why, who with, and the state of mind you’re in while consuming the food! The complete digestive process of Ojas takes around 30 days, so to notice a difference when looking at building up depleted Ojas levels, it’s important to maintain the practices and food choices suggested to truly nourish the body and bring it back into its natural healthy state.