Guest post graciously contributed by Ginny Mazzei.
The crisp, clear, dry days of autumn are perfect for ramping up our ojas-enhancing routines. The best way to nourish ojas year-round is to honor seasonal changes to help keep the doshas in balance during times of transition. Ojas, the vital essence of kapha dosha, is the end-result of optimal digestion. It gives us vitality, stamina, and a sturdy immune system— especially helpful for the cold months that lie ahead. Enhancing good digestion is an obvious way to build ojas. Other powerful ways include restorative, rejuvenative practices, and observances that deepen a sense of devotion and gratitude.
Here are a few tips for building ojas in the autumn.
1. Oil Massage
Ojas is boosted with nurturing self-care. Now is the time for daily self-massage (abhyanga) with a warming oil such as sesame. If you already have a daily abhyanga practice, consider some extra oiling of the pelvis, the hallowed seat of vata dosha. I like to add an extra 20 circular strokes to the back of the pelvis/small of the back, the lower abdomen, and the hips. This nurturing action provides great seasonal support to the main seat of Vata, and in turn supports the vital essences.
2. Turmeric Milk
That chill in the air can make you crave something warm and yummy. Enjoy a mug of warm turmeric milk an hour or so before bedtime.
In a small saucepan, add:
¼ cup of water
1 cup of milk from a happy cow
½ to 1 teaspoon of turmeric
a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon (if you’d like)
Bring to a soft boil.
Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool to a temperature that is easy to sip.
Once the mixture has cooled down, you can add a bit of raw honey for extra sweetness.
The ingredients of milk, honey, and turmeric are known for their ojas-enhancing qualities. Plus, a warm milk drink close to bedtime helps induce a nice, deep sleep – another way to fortify ojas.
3. Give Thanks
It’s interesting to note that even in our fast-paced, high-tech culture, we reserve a day in November to give thanks and recognize the blessings of abundance from the harvest. Creating a small ritual around mealtimes that includes pausing and giving your full attention, awareness, and thanks for what you are about to ingest is a wonderful way to insure a daily dose of gratitude. And gratitude ups ojas.
4. Re-set Your Digestion with an Autumn Rejuvenative Cleanse
This final suggestion is not classically considered an ojas-builder. If you look at the qualities of ojas and the qualities of those things that build ojas, the common theme is one of fortifying or adding substance: milk, honey, warming oil, and sweet and positive thoughts. Cleansing comes in the camp of purification. Yet, a rejuvenative Autumn cleanse is just the ticket to reduce ama, strengthen agni, reset your digestive capacity, and set the stage for the kind of superior tissue-building that will result in superfine ojas.
How to do a Fall Rejuvenation? Check out Kathryn’s upcoming e-book!