Friday, October 30, 2009

Healthy Agni 101

The yogis have a saying that a person is as old as their agni. A person’s relationship to the fire element is essential for efficient digestion, visual perception, body temperature regulation, clear complexion, courage, happiness, mental lucidity, affection, assimilation, absorption of food, processing of thought, and life experience’s.

As you can see, there are many ways in which agni functions within the body, mind, and spirit. During the fall and winter, be extra mindful of how you feed your agni to ward off the typical imbalances such as achy joints, insomnia, anxiety, mental instability, and the common cold.

Indicators associated with healthy agni:
• No discomfort (bloating, belching, indigestion, constipation) in the body after eating
• Normal skin color for your constitution
• The stomach fluctuates between the sensations “full” and “empty”
• Fecal matter is excreted at the habitual time of day forthe individual and is of the proper consistency (like a ripe banana)
• After eating there is no desire for food
• Plenty of laughter as laughter reflects good agni
• Fearlessness and confidence in personal relationships
• A person feels whole and content

If you are NOT dealing with healthy agni, considering looking for any of these culprits in your daily routine:

• Too much water before or after meals
• Poor food combining
• Ignoring the natural urges of the body to eliminate
• Lack of sleep
• Excessive sexual activity
• Mental disturbances
• Not enough attention to eating when eating

Asana Sequence to promote Agni (not limited to these poses, just some ideas to get you started):
• Virasana (hero)
• Mayurasana (peacock) Prep (elbows pressurize lower belly, relax lower back)
• Cat/Cow into Downward Dog - apply Uddiyana bandha
• Uttanasana (forward bend) - Utkatasana (chair) Flow
• Tadasana (mountain) - Tippie Toe Twist
• Straddle/Horse Pose - Kapala Bhati (kriya: bright skull)
• Prasaritta Padottanasana (wide leg forward bend) – basic + twist
• Utthita Trikonasana (triangle)
• Parsvottansana (pyramid) - Parivrtta Trikonasana (revolved triangle)
• Surya Namaskar A & B
• Pasasana (noose)
• Malasana (garland)
• Bharadvajasana (twist) – Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (revolved knee twist)
• Upavista Konasana
• Navasana
• Supta Padangusthasana – Lift head to knee – Supine Twist
• Apanasana (knees to chest)
• Savasana

You can also find an Agni Stoking practice on my DVD, Yoga for the Seasons - Fall Vinyasa. To order your copy visit:

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