Digestive fire that is…
A fire needs substance to burn and air and space to dance. In ayurveda, agni is often translated as digestive fire. We use this metaphor of fire to understand how to increase our energy and vitality.
A strong agni allows our body to easily digest our food so that it will nourish our body leading to health and vitality.
When agni is weak, food is not assimilated correctly and this can lead to a build up of toxins ‘ama’ in the body and ultimately to disease.
When agni is too strong food is literally burnt and this also causes a build up of toxins.
How do we create the goldilocks of agni? Not too strong, not too weak. We can ignite our agni by following some tips from Ayurveda:
- Eating diet that uses spices and churnas. Spices are wonderful in assisting the digestive system in breaking down food.
- Eating for our body type (dosha) see previous post.
- Following a seasonal eating routine as our internal state reflects nature. Our agni is the strongest in Winter and can therefore handle the heavy meals we eat at this time.
- Eating our main meal at lunchtime when agni is the strongest.
- Allow time in between meals for our digestive system to work.
- Many yoga poses including twists that are beneficial to digestion. See ‘yoga for digestion post‘.
- If appetite is poor, the following ayurvedic recipe for digestion helps to stimulate it.
ayurvedic recipe for digestion
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- pinch celtic salts
15 min before eating mix and take!
Agni can also refer to our ability to digest emotions and experiences as this can also have an effect on accumulation of toxins ‘ama’ in the body. For this reason yoga and meditation are of great benefit.