Ayurveda Series 2 – The Antidote to Ageing

‘Anti-ageing’ certainly is soooo hot right now. We all want to look our best, but so often turn to external devices to give as that healthy glow. But what if there was a secret ‘essence’ in your body that held the key to your optimal vitality, immunity, calm and radiance? In Ayurveda it’s called Ojas, and today we are going to find out what robs us of our Ojas, and how to build it back up using simple lifestyle strategies and learning about the three categories of foods, and which types are best for cultivating our Ojas.
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Welcome back to the show. I’m your host Nick Broadhurst, and that song you were listening to is a brand new remix of my single Thank You. And if you head into iTunes now, you can actually get this track when you pre-order my debut album which comes out in one week on June 29th! Again, I have to thank the incredible artist Brad Morgan, also known as Etherglow, for another stunning remix. He just totally gets my vibe and is a joy to work with. I seriously can’t stop listening to this. It gives me goosebumps.

Ok, on with the show. Today we are going to talk about the antidote to Ama, which is called Ojas. But before we go there, please make sure you have first listened to my Ayurveda Series 1, which you can listen to in your podcast app by going back to episode 21 through to 24, or head to iamnickbroadhurst.com/21. And please also listen to this series 2 in order, starting with episode 77, Your Digestive Fire, 78, Rekindling Your Agni/Digestive Fire, and 79, The Root Of All Disease.

I did an Instagram post this week talking about all the things I have on my plate right now. This is what I wrote:

Ok seriously… the next time I say I am building something new, please kick me in the balls. That damn Vata side of me which writes songs, also has a tendency to dream up too many ideas, and then my Pitta comes in and says “yeh, sure Nick, you can totally handle putting something else on your already full plate right now!” I need to kick my Pitta in the balls, come to think of it. Somehow I thought that filming four music videos in one month (one which has FULL choreography I still need to learn), launching a new membership program called My Wellness Essentials, plus releasing two singles, nailing a new remix for ‘Thank You’, launching my debut album (oh, and changing my name and having to launch a totally new website and online identity) overseeing our My Wellness Essentials team which is now 2,600 peeps, doing 12 podcast episodes before we head overseas on the 29th, being the CEO of @melissaambrosini’s biz, learning ballroom dancing, renovating a new home, trying to stay fit and keep some sort of self love routine, and of course being a Dad and a husband (sucked at those). Thank goodness for Mother Nature. It’s been those brief moments of sun, water, grass, cutting up fallen trees, picking up kindling, looking at the stars and setting a fire each night, that has kept me in some sort of balance.

That, my friend is the opposite of Ojas. It’s one thing to cultivate Ojas with lifestyle choices like spending time in nature, but it’s another to stop it from being wasted and leaking out. Stress is most definitely the biggest thing that robs us of our inner glow and vitality. So once again, I am teaching what I most need to learn!

Ojas is essentially the prime energy, or pure substance that is released from completely digested food. It’s basically the opposite of Ama, which is undigested food or toxins.

Here are some signs of ojas…

  • Your skin has a healthy glow
  • You feel calm and balanced
  • You are naturally happy, peaceful and optimistic
  • You don’t get sick very often
  • You bounce out of bed in the morning feeling light and clear
  • Your breath is fresh and your tongue a healthy pink
  • You have a balanced and strong appetite
  • Your body is strong and doesn’t have pain, crackles or creaks

When you look at signs of ama in the body, it’s just the opposite of all these things. Everything we have discussed so far in this series will help you cultivate and maintain healthy levels of ojas. It’s about living a balanced life where we don’t get stuck in our emotions like worry, anger, jealousy or guilt. Staying connected to the feeling your heart space (totally sucked at that as well the past couple of weeks).

Try and view ojas like this… whenever you do something that leaves you feeling depleted, you are draining your body of ojas. Late nights and lack of proper rest, inconsistent daily routines, travel, stressful deadlines, trying to do something too hard and not letting things flow, over training or exercising in a way that is not suitable for your body type, excessive ejaculation for males, overeating and of course eating foods that are not nourishing and wholesome.

Actually, let’s touch on foods for a minute. There are three categories of foods according to Ayurveda; sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. Understanding this actually brings new meaning to the saying, “we are what we eat.”

Sattvic foods are fresh, natural, lightly cooked or raw and lightly seasoned. Think of vegetables like Celery, Sweet potatoes, Sprouts, Cauliflower, Zucchini, Lettuce, Green beans, Spinach, Broccoli and Asparagus. Fruits such as Apples, Peaches, Oranges, Bananas, Guava, Berries, Papayas, Pomegranate. And grains or legumes like Rice, Millet, Corn, Lentils, Oats, Beans.

Sattvic foods support you in cultivating positivity, compassion, wisdom, joy, balanced emotions and a pure mind and body.

Rajasic foods are bitter, dry, salty or hot. They can irritate our system and overstimulate or aggravate our doshas. Canned fruits, veggies and beans are rajasic, as are fermented foods. Fish and meat such as Salmon, Sole, Trout, Lamb, Chicken, Turkey, Tuna, Eggs are rajasic, as is using salt or spices in excess. And anything that is a stimulant like coffee, tea or chocolate is also rajasic. If you are dominated by rajasic qualities you can become aggressive, overly ambitious, controlling and competitive. Perfectionism is also a rajasic quality… yep… that’s me when I am imbalanced for sure! The amount of sleep you get is super important as well because the quality of sleep is not so great.

Tamasic foods are not fresh, overly processed and hard to break down in our digestive tracts. Have you ever eaten food cooked by someone who was angry? You can literally taste their tamasic qualities in the food. Anything deep fried, pickled or preserved in salt is tamasic. And tamasic proteins include beef, veal, sausages and bacon. Alcohol is also very tamasic.

Depression, laziness, excessive eating, sex addiction, materialism, greed and irritability are all tamasic qualities.

So you can probably guess that healthy ojas is cultivated when we focus on sattvic foods. Now, of course, we are always going to have elements of rajas or tamas in our lives, but when we become aware of these three qualities, it allows us to make more informed decisions about our lifestyle and diet. That’s why the only recommendation I have made around diet is to focus primarily on plants. 90% if you eat animal products. But there is always yin and yang in all things, so remember that at times the rajasic foods and tamasic foods can be beneficial. For a vata pitta body type like me, I do better with some rajasic foods such as bone broth from pastured chickens, or steamed fish. I can now see that whenever I eat something tamasic, it absolutely changes how I feel.

One drink I have been experimenting with at night, which I have to say I am really enjoying, is an Ojas boosting blend. I take 5-10 soaked and peeled almonds, blend them in hot water with 6 capsules of Evac psyllium husks emptied from their capsules, a teaspoon of ghee and teaspoon of Chyawanprash, which is a type of Indian jam good for nourishing all 7 layers of the bodies tissues and balancing for all body types, as long as it’s not take in excess of course. It makes a slightly sweet and slippery drink that really just makes my vata feel damn good. The traditional version of this would replace the Chyawanprash with rose petals, saffron, raisins, cardamom and black pepper. But I find that too heating for my pitta.

Foods are low hanging fruit when it comes to ojas, but it will be better cultivated by our lifestyle. Meditation is crucial, as always. Spending time in nature or forest bathing, not resisting any natural urges, breath practices daily (which I am going to do a whole series on), maintaining a daily routine and yin yoga. Anything that brings energy into your body, not out of your body. Think of it as staying juicy.

And on that note, keeping your doshas balanced is a huge part of ojas, which is why the next three episodes of this Ayurveda Series 2 will be focused on the diets and lifestyle strategies that help balance vata, pitta and kapha. So stay tuned for that! Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss the future episodes.

I would love to hear from you, so please tag me @iamnickbroadhurst on social media. Please also leave me a comment below (I read every single one!). And if you could take a minute to leave me a review on iTunes I would be very grateful. Tell me what you want more of! I am at your service.

P.S. Always listen to your intuition (and your doctor or practitioner) before trying any new health practice.

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