Ways to Increase Ojas/Immunity during COVID 19 Pandemic

Ojas is the biological energy that represents the subtlest form of Kapha dosha and the water element of the body. This vital essence plays a direct role in our energy, strength, immunity, libido, and vitality. Therefore, if we are lacking in any of these areas, it is likely that the ojas in the body may be depleted or disturbed. Healthy ojas is needed in the body to reduce signs of aging and protect against disease.

A person with “good” ojas tends to have a healthy, luminous glow.

They are patient, compassionate, and rarely become sick.

Wealthy (vital) immunity and strong immunity create ojas.

Ojas is one of the three vital essences that together promote and sustain our physical vitality, mental clarity, and overall health. The three vital essences—prana, tejas, and ojas—are the positive forms of vata, pitta, and kapha doshas, respectively. Whereas an increase in the doshas has the potential to create disease, an increase in the vital essences tends to support wellness. A lot of focus is put on negating the over-accumulation of any one Dosha, but not a lot of focus lies here, in increasing the vital essences.

I like this analogy from John Douillard:

“Perhaps the best way to describe ojas is to understand how honey is made. Ten to twenty thousand bees per hive collect the nectar or essence of thousands of flowers and concentrate them into honey – the ojas of the flowers. In the same way, when we eat fresh, unprocessed foods, microscopic amounts of their essence accumulate over time through the process of healthy digestion and become ojas. If the digestive process is disturbed, the essence of the foods will not be extracted and no ojas will be made.”

Here are some basics to understanding this vital essence and how to increase your own Ojas.

Signs of Healthy Ojas:

  • You feel relaxed upon awakening

  • You feel centered throughout the day

  • You have strong digestion, without bloating

  • Your skin has a healthy glow

  • Your tongue is free of coatings, is pink and clear

  • You feel enthusiastic and energized

  • You have a healthy immune system

  • You have little body odor

  • Your mind is clear and focused

Signs of Depleted Ojas:

  • Bad breath

  • Coating on the tongue (this is called Ama)

  • You have a dull appetite

  • Your digestion is delicate or weak

  • You have sluggish or irritable elimination

  • Generalized pain in the body

  • You have weak immunity

  • Depression, anxiety, fatigue

  • Emotionally drained

  • Lack of vigor in personal pursuits of happiness

As COVID crept toward the States, people panicked, made a run on the stores, and stockpiled toilet paper. Hand sanitizers, household cleaners, and facemasks flew off shelves. These items do a stellar job cleaning homes and protecting hands and faces; however, they don’t support the most important protector of viral invaders - the immune system. Nor do they strengthen the respiratory system.

The two most effective ways to support health during a pandemic are: Boosting immunity and Strengthening lungs.

THREE AYURVEDIC TIPS :-

Increase ojas wealth & immunity health with three easy, effective, and enjoyable self-care rituals.

1. Invest in an evening bedtime routine. Going to sleep between 10-11pm is an immunity asset. According to the Ayurvedic organ clock, the liver is in detox mode between 10pm-2am, purifying ALL your blood. Scrolling socials before bed is a liability. Blue light from phones, TVs and tablets cause a melatonin deficit, making it harder to fall and stay asleep.

2. Invest in digestive health: The COVID virus creates a thick, sticky, toxic layer over lung tissue. In Ayurvedic healing, opposite qualities decrease or pacify an imbalance. So, sip warm water (add lemon or cardamom seed) to thin mucus and keep the throat clear. Eat light, warm meals to keep sinuses clear. Favor stews, kitchari, soups, and sambars.

Avoid cheese, ice cream, processed meats, and pastries. Their heavy and sweet qualities increase kapha (mucus) in the nose, throat, and lungs. Eat the largest meal around noon when digestive fire is strongest.

3. Invest in daily breathing practice. COVID attacks the respiratory system. When immunity is low or there’s excess phlegm in the respiratory system, lungs are at risk for developing pneumonia. Practices like kapalbhati (breath of fire) and nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) strengthens the lungs, cleanses the sinuses and respiratory system; which can help to prevent illness and allergies.

The best Ayurvedic herbs I know for a healthy respiratory system are from Dr. Vasant Lad: talisadi, sitopaladi, mahasudarshan and abhrak. They are great for boosting overall respiratory health, as is pranayama.