Did you know that according to Ayurveda, your state of health and even longevity are inextricably linked to your agni?
This Sanskrit term agni is one of the most vital principles influencing well-being and the aging process. In fact, understanding this concept is really important if we want to avoid disease and look and feel healthy and vibrant.
Agni translates as "digestive fire," and it's related to the strength of our digestion in all aspects of our life—including our overall ability to eliminate what is not needed. On a physical level, we need to digest food to absorb nutrients for energy and release waste products; on a mental level, we digest experiences in order to assimilate them and release what is not needed.
According to Ayurveda, strong agni helps us with all processes of digestion and is essential for our overall health. If our digestive fire is strong, we are able to create healthy tissues and eliminate waste products effectively. We can then produce ojas, which is like our "vital essence," so that we can build strength, immunity, and clarity of mind. If agni is weak in the body, we are left with toxic residue or ama, which leads to the slow deterioration of the body and is seen as the root cause of disease.
Agni may be weakened by poor eating habits and food choices, lack of exercise, and negative thoughts and emotions. These all slow down our digestion, building ama and causing disease. Unresolved emotions such as pent-up anger and unreleased grief are just as likely to cause ill health as physical digestive issues in the gut.
The good news is that we can strengthen the digestive fire in our body using various techniques and yoga exercises. If you have digestive issues, or you'd like to lose weight or have more energy and lustrous-looking skin, then try this short, agni-building practice.