Intro to Tejas
Updated: Aug 20, 2021
Hi, love! This is the second blog post in a three part series on the subtle doshas.
Vata, pitta, and kapha are the gross doshas that affect the body’s immune system, digestion, and overall physical functions. Prana, tejas, and ojas are the subtle aspects of the physical doshas. Today we’re looking at tejas.
Tejas is the subtle aspect of pitta dosha. Remember, pitta is fire— it’s hot, sharp, and clear. Fire can burn away impurities and cut through illusions, bringing clarity, passion, and drive. It’s responsible for our discernment, discrimination, self discipline, higher intelligence, and passion. Someone who has healthy pitta and tejas will be able to see clearly, without judgement or attachments or aversions to what’s in front of them, and they’ll have a desire to move toward spiritual intelligence and evolution.
Healthy tejas individuals will look for truth and then live it and share it with the world, in whatever way makes sense for them. If another person doesn’t agree with the truth they’ve found, they simply move on, feeling indifferent about the disagreement. They have the ability to discern between what’s healthy and productive for them and what’s not, and they’re driven to choose their wellbeing over some other unhealthy, short-term pleasure. Healthy tejas manifests as confidence, inner radiance, a healthy glow, and courage. There’s a healthy fire underneath them that keeps them motivated in their day-to-day life, while also knowing when to rest and take it easy.
A person with excessive tejas will experience heated emotions, their self-discipline practices might become more self-sabotaging— too intense or harsh to sustain and serve. They become hyper critical and judgmental. Excessive tejas will burn up Ojas, which we talked about last week (check it out if you haven’t yet), and will manifest in the long term as burn-out, exhaustion, stress, frustration, and irritability. They might also become overly obsessed with finding truth, or even pushing their perspective on another person or group of people with the belief that they are right and everyone else is wrong. (Excessive tejas isn’t generally seeing the real universal truth, either, by the way.)
Deficient tejas manifests as lack of clarity or discernment. A person who has low tejas tends to be very gullible and has difficulty deciphering between what is real and what is illusion. They generally don’t have a strong self-confidence about them and can be pushed around or persuaded easily. They may lose sight of their own desires and passions and lack self-discipline when it comes to bettering oneself, either through yoga or spiritual practices, work, school, etc.
In order to balance tejas, we need to stoke our inner fire while also being mindful of containing it. Just like pitta dosha, the fire needs to be alive and well, it just can’t take over the entire system.
Practices that increase tejas:
-Connect with the fire element. Especially concentrating, contemplating, and/or meditating on a fire’s flame (either a candle or campfire will do). This really allows you to connect to and focus on that fire element within you.
-Watch the sunrise and sunset every day, and spend time in the sunshine on a regular basis. This is one of the best things you can do for increasing tejas!
-Practice sun salutations. Build the fire from within, while honoring the sun for it’s warmth and life giving energy.
-Study. Get some books and start to read up on topics you’re curious about. Register for a class that interests you and learn something new. Continue to push yourself as a student every single day.
Practices that regulate or decrease tejas:
-Take regular breaks. Schedule time to be by yourself and allow the mind-body to unwind. You can take a nap or a bath or go get a massage or just chill on the couch reading a cozy novel or catching up on your favorite Netflix series. Do something easy, restful, and indulgent on a regular basis to counteract all that harsh self-criticism!
-Selfless service. Let go of your own agenda, whether its work or activism, school, or your asana practice, and instead just go give to others for the simple sake of giving. Turn the tables away from yourself and focus on providing for people, animals, or plants in need for a bit.
-Silence. Don’t take in any more information. Sit with what you have without trying to expand upon it or spread it into the world. Turn your awareness inward and let your mind settle on what it’s learned. Take time to reflect and integrate.
-Slow down. Minimize your schedule, but also literally move slower throughout your day. Eat slower, shower slower, drive slower, walk slower, breathe slower.
That’s it for today! Reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns. That’s what I’m here for. Thanks or being here. <3