Definition - What does Soma mean?
Soma refers to Lunar energy, otherwise known as cosmic plasma. It is the subtlest form of matter and makes up the essence of Ojas, an essential energy responsible for vitality, health and wellness.
In the body, Soma can be found in the pineal gland and the neurotransmitter serotonin, and it is associated with feelings of bliss, content and nourishment.
In Vedic tradition, Soma also refers to a drink made from the extract of a mysterious and sacred plant. As mentioned in The Rig Veda, this drink is believed to be a life-giving elixir that bestows immortality on those who consume it.
Yogapedia explains Soma
Soma is connected to the water element, and has cooling, nurturing and nourishing qualities. It is thought to feed not only the cells and DNA of the body, but also the mind and consciousness. Soma is vital to the creation of Ojas, without which, it is not possible to maintain Prana (life force energy).
In Ayurveda, cooling foods, such as ghee, coconut or aloe vera, are used to increase Soma and accumulate Ojas. It is also recommended to consume an alkaline diet, have a balanced lifestyle and maintain a proper sleep routine in order to produce Soma.
Moon-bathing, Sitali and Sitkari Pranayama are examples of cooling practices which invoke Soma energy. A slow and meditative Asana practice will have the same benefit, particularly if holding poses that focus on the hips, since this part of the body is symbolic of the water element.