Stoking The Inner Fire – Tejas
Tejas is the burning flame of pure intelligence. Keep that flame alive and bright. That light is your true nature.~Dr. Vasant Lad
The new year is a time to rekindle our inner fire of inspiration, vitality and health, vision – all aspects of what is called “tejas” in the yogic-ayurvedic understanding of embodiment. Tejas is seen as a inner light that is connected to the fire, our blazing Sun, heat, and all forms of digestion including the transformation of all that we take in and express in different forms from food to our emotions, thoughts and wisdom.
Tejas is our natural cellular intelligence and is connected to pitta dosha, including biological processes such as digestion, assimilation, metabolism, sensory processing, and regulation of body temperature. In the human body, tejas creates our ability to see and is found in the light that we see in each other’s eyes; the light of insight, knowledge, and imagination; and the clarifying light of awareness that brings consciousness into the flow of life.
Cultivating tejas harnesses radiant energy and replenishes the “fire” giving us clarity, insight, courage, and our natural joy and radiance. When you tend your inner fire in all these different aspects, tejas is part of the regulation of optimal energy flow (prana) and balances our reserve fuel of that energy flow (ojas).
If the tejas is dim, there is less ability to regenerate our ojas—our natural luster, immunity, and happiness. When the tejas is too high, it will dry and burn ojas—the Ayurvedic understanding of “burning out,” leading to the condition of excess fire or tikshna agni.
So here are some simple ways to “tend the fire of tejas” in the winter months and as a way of honing your vision in the new year.
Some Ways of Tending the Fire of Tejas –
1. Synchronize your rhythm with sunrise-sunset and absorbing the morning sunlight
2. Engage in activities that illuminate the mind (reading uplifting works, writing, study)
3. Protect from extrasensory stimulation, excess technology
4. Follow the seasonal rhythms and the path of the sun to stay in rhythm with cosmic tejas
5. Everyday stoke the fire of what inspires you.
6. Listen to your body’s intelligence as living guide in your everyday movements.
7. Enjoy a balanced solar yoga practice, surya namaskar, core-strengthening that is heating and invigorating (fire-based practices) but not depleting.
8. Gazing upon the fire, or solar meditations increase your connection to your inner fire.
9. Stimulating pranayama—bhastrika, agni sara, kapalabhati
10. Eat a nourishing diet to support digestive fire, including warm foods with spices like ginger, black pepper, cumin for digestion
11. See the spark of life – tejas in your own eyes and in everyone.
~Shiva Rea, prAna Ambassador M.A., E-RYT 500
Shiva Rea is pioneer in Prana Vinyasa, the founder of Samudra Global School for Living Yoga, retreats, teacher trainings and online programs and ambassador for prAna. She will be part of Yoga Alliances summer conference and you can learn more about her at shivarea.com
Adapted from “Tending the Heart Fire – Living in Rhythm with the Pulse of Life (Sounds True, 2014).