The first round of seasonal colds has hit the Pacific Northwest and I hear folks talking about getting their flu shots. Even if you eat well, exercise regularly and get proper rest you can benefit from Ayurveda‘s wisdom on how to maintain a strong immune system. Just as I am finishing writing this blog, my November issue of Yoga Journal arrived and they have an article on Ojas.
In Ayurveda the subtle essence of the body is called Ojas. Ojas is a Sanskrit word meaning immunity, radiance, inner vitality, vigor, or life force. It protects and sustains us and determines our emotional, physical and mental health and happiness. Excellent Ojas comes from a consistent seasonal practice that honors the Ayurvedic principles of sustainable health and longevity. When Ojas is depleted we experience a whole host of imbalances including an increased susceptibility to flues and colds.
Ojas is depleted through poor digestion, chronic stress, irregular sleep, excessive indulgence and lack of self care. By learning to build your Ojas you are not only boosting your immune system but building your radiance, vitality and longevity.
Immune Boosting Tips
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, choices that you make regarding your daily routine either build up resistance to disease or tear it down. In addition to eating well, getting proper rest and maintaining a daily yoga practice or other exercise routine these immune boosting tips are part of my daily routine.
Drink Warm Lemon Water: Start your day with warm lemon water. This is not a strictly Ayurveda recommendation but drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning has a number of amazing health benefits in addition to a great source of vitamin C, lemon water boosts digestion, stimulates the lymphatic system and is a gentle way to clear out toxins.
Tongue Scraping: Do you ever check out your tongue first thing in the morning. If not, try it. Tongue scraping is an important Ayurvedic daily self-care ritual that removes bacteria, food debris, toxins, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. Ayurveda also teaches that people who practice tongue scraping are better at public speaking, express themselves more thoughtfully, and speak more sincerely and authoritatively. For more, check out my blog on reading your tongue. To buy a tongue scrapper click here.
Oil Pulling: You have probably heard of the Ayurvedic tradition of oil pulling. It is another daily self-care ritual that dissolves plaque and removes bacteria from your mouth. If you are new to oil pulling try starting with a small amount of oil (1 teaspoon of sesame oil) for 10 – 15 minutes. I oil pull while in the shower— efficient and effective. For more on oil pulling click here.
Ojas Building Tips
- Serving others
- Yoga, breathing and meditation
- Being in nature
- Having a gratitude practice
- Eating dates, ghee, almonds and saffron
- Avoiding over indulgence
- Reducing stress
Wishing You Vibrant Living