Understanding your Internal Fire – Agni

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We all have that fire burning- Agni within us.  But did you know there’s a name for it? And that it’s critically important to our overall health?

Think of when you last cooked a delicious meal. You needed the heat in your pan to be hot enough and continuous for the food to cook effectively. Too much heat, and the food will burn. Too little heat, the food won’t cook at all. Our bodies function the same way! Known in Ayurveda as agni, this essential force, this heat, this fire is essentially the key to our health! 

agni fire

We aren’t specifically talking temperature here, but rather an energetic fire that allows our body and mind to function at it’s highest capacity; from a cellular level, to the tissues, to our bodily systems, and even our emotions. For example, when this fire burns brightly, we’re able to digest our food fully, reaping the most benefit from the nutrients it provides. But if this light is dim, toxins accumulate, malabsorption occurs, and our body isn’t able to function at it’s best.

When our agni is balanced, our bodies and our emotions balance as well!

This is WHY it is so important to keep this internal flame burning brightly.

Living an unsupportive lifestyle with a poor diet and unresolved emotions can easily dampen our agni, preventing us from thriving the way we are designed. On the flip side, when we nurture these qualities, we are able to benefit from our strong agni that radiates throughout the body.

WHAT ARE THE FUNCTIONS OF AGNI?

When our agni is BALANCED and healthy, myriad of amazing results naturally occur. We become physically and mentally sound.  We are able to fully digest our food in the most nourishing way so our bodies can heal and thrive. Extra bonus, we naturally feel excitement and joy for life!

PHYSICAL FUNCTIONS

  • Healthy, strong digestion, absorption, assimilation of nutrients
  • Formation of digestive enzymes
  • Regular, comfortable elimination
  • Balanced metabolism
  • Strong immunity
  • Longevity
  • Cellular transformation
  • Overall homeostasis of all systems
  • Physical strength and vitality
  • Regulation of body temperature
  • Flow of cellular communication
  • Deep, rejuvenating sleep
  • Skin luster, glow

EMOTIONAL FUNCTIONS

  • Joy, laughter, and contentment
  • Mental clarity, alertness, intelligence
  • Sensory perception (especially visual perception)
  • Affection, laughter, happiness, and enthusiasm for life
  • High energy and feelings of vitality
  • Discrimination, reason, and logic
  • Patience, emotional stability
  • True love of life

WARNING SIGNS OF IMPAIRED AGNI

Just as it’s important to tend to a campfire, it’s important to recognize when our agni is too weak or too strong. When we learn and recognize these signs of impaired agni, we can then then prevent these symptoms from becoming long lasting! If left impaired however, impaired agni can lead to further ill health and dis-ease.

So here are important warning signs that your agni is not operating at full strength:

  • Feeling sluggish, fatigued, or weak 
  • Experience unstable emotions, such as fear, depression, anxiety, anger, brain-fog
  • Poor or overactive appetite
  • Impaired digestion, such as gas, bloating, constipation, nausea, heartburn, or loose stools
  • Congestion in the sinuses and lymph

These imbalances can be temporary or long-term, but the key is our digestion. Many times we have accumulated too much “waste” or toxins within the body, which leads to stagnation, physically and emotionally. 

SO HOW DO WE REBALANCE?

There are several simple and easy ways to keep your agni at it’s prime. Here are some wise places to start:

  • Enjoying 3 healthy meals a day, the largest, most diverse meal between 10am-2pm when your digestive fire is strongest!
  • Avoiding consuming foods and beverages that put strain on your system (i.e. processed foods, refined sugar, highly processed oils, alcohol)
  • Sipping on room-temperature or warm water throughout the day. Avoiding large amounts of water during meals. (Cold beverages can extinguish the fire of our agni)
  • Not overeating – end a meal before the “full” feeling (roughly 80% full)
  • Getting plenty of sleep (6-8 hours), so your system can rest and replenish!
  • Using a tongue scraper daily
  • Supporting your digestion with herbs and supplements to allow for healthy detoxification and elimination such as YouVeda’s My Healthy Digestion Packs.

All in all, agni is a central part of our lives and plays a significant role in maintaining your overall health. From your physical body, digestion, mental clarity, emotional wellbeing, to your zest for life, you can now hold a greater appreciation for this energetic fire that shines within you. 

When we understand and respect our agni, recognize with it’s imbalance, and care for it wisely, we allow ourselves to function and live at our greatest capacities!

Keep on shining bright!

carolyn

Author: Carolyn Crews (YouVeda Wellness Contributor)

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