Ojas & Shakti

This is the perfect time to settle into self care rituals (It doesn’t matter what time it is actually, it’s always a good time for self care rituals!).

How are you nurturing yourself on a regular basis?

Why is nurturing ourselves vital to our experience as women? Well, two reasons:  ojas and shakti. If you are going to drop Sanskrit works in casual conversation,  these are two of my favorite because there really aren’t good words in the English language for them (and because it’s cool in yoga circles). Each of these can take several years of personal inquiry to really understand, or get to know; but here is my attempt to give you an introductory description:

When I think about ojas, I think about Austin Powers describing his ‘mojo, baby.’ This is your creative life juice, your glow, your overflow of life energy. So it’s as though you consider all the energy coming into your being, use what you need to make tissues and perform bodily functions, and whatever is left over (this means you are not in the red on your energy tank) gets pooled and store as ojas. We draw directly from this pool when we orgasm, or engage in any life-creating activities. This extra store of resources is also a  safety net when we dip into periods of not getting enough energy in vs. out, and thus helps us to avoid states of depletion (low immunity, slow healing, fear based decision making). When you have good ojas, you emanate it and people tell you you look great and you genuinely feel great.

Shakti is often translated as force or power, which to me are associated with a more masculine energy in the West. How I’ve connected to the concept of shakti in my own life is understanding the power of unlimited possibility. When I reside in my masculine energy, I find that I try to direct how I want to achieve something (e.g. I want this particular job). When I reside more in my feminine energy, I go to the heart of the feeling I am looking to cultivate and then allow, or focus on just receiving that feeling in any one of the infinite ways that feeling can come into my life (e.g. I want the feeling of being rich and professionally respected, but how that comes I’m open to receive). Because I am not wasting my time on trying to determine how these feelings are going to manifest, I am more likely to spend that energy cultivating the desired feeling, and more focused in my manifestation. I don’t have to play the role of the middleman, and I don’t limit myself, as the universe can always come up with more ways to bring us an experience or feeling than we can.  This ability to allow the manifestation of that desired experience in any number of ways is an incredible talent, strength, or power. It’s the power to draw your desired experience in.

So what does nurturing yourself have to do with ojas and shakti. Well, self-care increases ojas (energy in and repletion), and ojas increases shakti. Simple, but brilliant–like all ancient concepts.


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