A Sanskrit term meaning “vigor,” ojas is the pure and subtle substance that’s extracted from food that has been completely digested.
Ojas circulates throughout the bodily tissues and heart, sustaining the physical self, bringing clarity to the mind and balancing the emotions.
In short, when the body produces ojas, the vital nectar of life, we feel blissful. The cells sing with happiness because both the mind and the body are receiving the nourishment they need.
To promote the creation and flow of ojas, we need a good diet focused on pure foods, referred to as “sattvic” in Ayurveda.
The body can easily digest sattvic food and extract its ojas or prime energy.
The most sattvic foods include those found on this diet, notably seasonal fruits and vegetables, sprouted mung beans, and nuts and seeds.
Some foods are difficult, if not impossible, for the body to convert into ojas, including fatty meats, fried and processed foods, leftovers, and items with an excess of sour or salty tastes.
Food that has been canned or reheated won’t produce as much ojas as freshly prepared meals.
In addition, as you can imagine, consuming alcohol and smoking cigarettes destroys ojas.
The following chart will help you determine whether you have healthy ojas or an accumulation of ama in your body.
If you’ve been storing toxicity, you can choose now to begin to nourish yourself and enjoy increasing levels of joy and well- being in yourlife.
|Signs of Ojas||Signs of Ama|
|You feel rested upon awakening||It’s hard to get out of bed|
|Your skin has a healthy glow||Tired, sallow skin|
|Clean breath and pink tongue||Bad breath and coated
|Your body feels light, regardless of
|Body feels heavy|
|Strong appetite||Dull appetite|
|You feel centered throughout the
|Your digestion is strong without
|Sensitive digestion, sluggish
|You feel strong and pain
|You feel energized & enthusiastic||your|
|Your mind is clear||Depression|
|You rarely get sick||Susceptibility to infections|
Since compromised digestion is a sign of heavy ama accumulation, you must know for sure if your digestive fire (agni) is weak. 1
Quick test: The hallmark sign of weak digestion is postprandial narcosis.
If you feel sleepy after eating a meal, it means you have very weak digestion.
You have thrown a log on a very weak fire and blocked your essential system of energy extraction, so you feel like dozing off for an hour or two.
The best way to gauge your levels is to answer a few basic questions, which reflect the symptoms that emerge when the levels of ama increase beyond the body’s ability to deal with it.
For each question below, rate your matching characteristics on a scale from 0 to 5: 0-1 doesn’t apply, 2-3 sometimes applies, 4-5 strongly applies.
1. I often feel a sense of blockage in my body (such as constipation or congestion).
2. I often have difficulty digesting food (I often feel gassy and bloated or get heartburn).
3. I feel dull and foggy when I wake up in the morning (I sometimes wake up with a headache).
4. I tend to feel weak for no apparent reason (I have low energy).
5. I often heavy, lethargic and unmotivated (I don’t have a passion for life like I used to).
6. I feel the need to cough regularly (I often have to clear my throat because I feel mucousy).
7. I become easily exhausted, both mentally and physically (It’s hard for me to get through my day).
8. I frequently feel dull and depressed (I am unhappy).
9. I often have no taste for food (It’s hard for me to taste food without adding salt).
10. I catch a cold several times a year (I deal with health issues chronically).
Add up your total. A score between 1-19 indicates a low level of ama, 20-34 indicates a moderate amount of ama, 35 + indicates a high amount of ama. Another way you can easily diagnose ama is to simply look for it.
Tomorrow morning, when you wake up, open your mouth in front of a mirror before doing anything else such as brushing teeth, rinsing with mouthwash, or drinking water.
If you notice a white coating on your tongue, that’s it. That’s ama, and if it’s present on your tongue, then it’s present throughout your physiology!
Finally, if you’d like to learn more about digestion and weight loss, check out the course below.
Please consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner if you think you might be suffering from low ojas or high amaaccumulation.
This article is sourced with excerpts from Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar’s course on The Ayurveda Experience. Content reproduced with permission.
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