School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion
Herbs that increase tejas improve metabolism & brightness by stimulating the fire element at a cellular level. Destroys toxicity, excess fluids, & improves digestion. Also helps with mental function such as poor memory, lack of inspiration & depression.
OjasOjas is the poetic term used in Ayurveda for heartiness. If a person has a healthy skin & flesh, is resilient to disease and injury, and has "juiciness" Ayurveda says they have good ojas. Ojas is associated with mental stability and an earthy strength to endure. It nurturing presence is calming and grounding. It brings quality and peace of mind. It satisfies the flesh, bringing with it the confidence needed to protect the body, mind and spirit from burning desires. Ojas may be compared to a cement or glue that binds and contains the body, mind, and spirit into a functional whole.
Strong fertility is a sign of ojas because the body nourishes reproductive organs only after other tissues have been nourished. In a sense, your body's ability to nourish reproductive organs is dependent upon the confidence that your survival needs are assured. Food that is high in ojas also feeds the genital organs.
Ojas is said to have the smell of burnt rice and the color of ghee. Some ojas building foods include ghee, rice, milk, sugar, almonds, and raisins. The body transforms food into ojas through digestion and metabolism.
Maintenance of ojas requires conservation of your vital energy (prana), as well as a healthy metabolism (tejas) to refine the quality of your fluids and tissues. Inability to nourish yourself, lack of self-care and self-nurture create internal insecurity and ojas deficiency. Over-exertion can further deplete Ojas. If you are underweight, you might be ojas deficient. Hyperactivity and erratic behavior indicate a lack of satisfaction also associated with deficient Ojas.
A person who is overweight with clammy skin might have lots of ojas, but poor quality because the tissues are toxic and overwhelmed with fluids. Poor quality ojas is similar to ama and mucous.
TejasYour body has a natural intelligence called Tejas in Ayurveda. This natural intelligence is needed for many functions, such as regulating all metabolic activity, i.e. managing your use of energy and blood. Intelligence directs digestion, and sensitivity of your immune system. Cells communicate with each other intelligently via hormones and other chemical messengers. All of these intelligent activities are included under Tejas. Becuase of Tejas, you body knows exactly how much oxygen and food to eat and waste products to eliminate.
When you body has the right amount of Tejas, the signs are refined beauty, perfect balance and a twinkle to the eye. Tejas gives the skin a rosy color. In the mind, tejas brings brilliance, grace, and intelligence in all situations. When this natural intelligence becomes occluded due to injury or toxicity then tejas can be blocked or deficient, causing problems in physical and mental acumen. If there is not enough Tejas, your metabolism will be sluggish, your blood thick and heavy, and digestion slow.
Having too much tejas is akin to being over-reactive and hyper-sensitive as in rashes, auto-immune disorders and allergies. In the mind excess tejas looks like irritability, analysis, and judgement. Excess tejas is similar to Pitta type ama and is yellow in color, such as when a person has jaundice or too much bilirubin in the blood. Too much tejas overheats your metabolism and can burn up calories, leading to excessive weight loss. Too much Tejas can create tension and stress in your nervous system, and cause nervous disorders like Parkinson's.
PranaPrana is the usable energy directed by tejas and provisioned by ojas. Oxygen is also form of prana because oxygen helps us convert food into energy. Prana is kinetic energy while ojas is potential energy. Using too much prana causes a deficiency of ojas.
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.