Ojas for LongevityTo understand Ayurveda for longevity of life, ojas is key. Ojas, defined as “vigor,” is the essential energy of the immune system. Ojas is a subtle substance that can only be built after all the other dhatus (bodily tissues) are nourished. When ojas is strong, there is health. When ojas is deficient, disease will develop. Ojas is built by maintaining good digestion and mindful eating habits, having good quality sleep, and managing energy output. In addition, there are special rejuvenating foods and herbs that build ojas, including almonds, dates, and ghee.
Rasayanas for LongevityRasayana is a specific branch of Ayurvedic medicine that is focused on restoring vital essence, nourishing the dhatas and slowing the aging process to ultimately promote longevity. One of the most popular herbal rasayanas is Chyawanprash. Chyawanprash is a nutrient rich jam made up of many rasayana substances, including ashwagandha, shatavari, holy basil, bacopa, saffron, and ghee. Chyawanprash helps respiratory, digestive, and circulatory function to support ojas formation and a vibrant body and mind.
Prana for LongevityOjas is the essence of the immune system, whereas prana is the “life force.” When a person’s prana is strong, they experience energy, health, and vitality. When prana is low, the individual may lack energy, and feel uninspired and disconnected. A chronic low-prana state will likely lead to illness, thus negatively impacting longevity. Good quality, fresh, organic food that is prepared with love builds prana. In addition, we receive prana through the breath and connection to others. According to Ayurvedic scholar and practitioner, David Frawley (2000):
“Love itself is the highest and most nourishing form of prana. Love can keep people alive who would otherwise die. It can raise our prana from its deepest depths” (p. 357).