What is Agnisara Kriya
Agni Sara (Sanskrit: अग्निसार agni-sāra n.) Essence of Fire (Agni); Kriya (cleansing exercise) in which the abdominal organs are massaged by moving the abdominal muscles. Agni Sara is one of the abdominal mudras with which the Manipura Chakra is activated. The abdominal mudras massage the abdominal organs and activate or harmonize Agni, the digestive fire. They also help to find the inner center, which is the source of self-confidence, courage and enthusiasm.
This exercise can be practiced while standing or sitting. You just bend forward a little, support yourself on your thighs or knees, pull in your stomach with empty lungs and let it snap forward again. The more advanced you are, the faster you can do this exercise in a controlled manner. It is always good to watch closely what an exercise does for you so that you know how to "dose" it correctly for you to get the desired effect.
You can use Agni Sara in the morning to wake up properly and to anchor yourself in your midst. The exercise stimulates digestion and helps with digestive problems. You can also use Agni Sara during the day to activate the solar plexus. So you recharge yourself with new energy and can approach your tasks with a lot of enthusiasm, you have more strength and stamina. Agni Sara is very suitable for releasing blockages and tension. The exercise is also called "fire purification" because the fire of the Manipura Chakra is used to cleanse - be it on a physical level in the digestion or on an energetic level, on which emotions come up and can be cleared.
Sukadev on Agni Sara
Transcription of a lecture video (2014) by Sukadev about Agni Sara
Agni Sara belongs to the Kriyas, i.e. the purification techniques. Agni Sara is a modification of Uddiyana Bandha. In Uddiyana Bandha, the abdomen is drawn in with empty lungs; in Agni Sara, the abdomen is pushed back and forth with empty lungs. By giving the belly back and forth, Agni, or fire, arises. You increase your internal digestive power, you increase your inner courage and warmth. If you practice Agni Sara you will become warmer inside. Agni Sara, a good exercise to wake up in the morning. Agni Sara means fire exercise, fire strengthening, fire purification.
Practice video - Light your inner fire with Agni Sara
From a lecture by Sukadev Volker Bretz on the topic of burnout prevention with yoga exercises
Burnout comes from being burned out. Burning out means that your inner fire is no longer blazing. But you always have fire in you - you can make it blaze again. A simple exercise for this is Agni Sara. Agni Sara means fire purification or fire activation. Practice Agni Sara every morning after getting up - it gets your digestion going, it awakens your energy and gives you joy and inspiration.
Agnis Sara for more serenity
Agni Sara is very good to strengthen the digestive power, the digestive fire and also to counteract an excess of Kapha. "Agni" means fire. You kindle your inner fire. It gives you warmth, it gives you strength, and there is good energy. How is Agni Sara doing now? Stand up straight, legs about hip-width apart. Agni Sara works best with an empty stomach. So if you have eaten a little earlier now, it might be appropriate to wait a little longer.
Agni Sara is most effective in the morning directly to wake up or when you have not eaten for a few hours to reactivate yourself. Agni Sara is even a good practice before eating because it kindles Agni, the digestive fire, and then you can digest much better. So stand up straight, legs about hip width apart, breathe in, straighten up and then breathe out completely through your mouth, bend your knees slightly and support your hands on your knees. Shoulders remain slightly higher than the pelvis. Without breathing, with empty lungs, pull in your stomach and let it snap forward again. Pull in your stomach, move forward, pull in your stomach, move in, move in, move in, move in, move in, move forward. Then put your stomach forward and breathe in deeply, completely again, straighten up again and breathe out, that was the first round.
Inhale again, belly out, and exhale through your nose again, bend down on your knees, support yourself on your knees or thighs, pull your stomach in, and give your stomach forward again. Pull in your stomach, move forward, move in, move forward, move in, out, in, out, in, out, without breathing, in, out. And put your stomach forward, inhale, stomach out, exhale, stomach in, feel the warmth in your stomach. Inhale, stomach goes out and now again, breathe out completely through the mouth, and support yourself on your knees or thighs, with empty lungs, give stomach back and forth, again and again, so empty lungs without breathing, stomach forward and back.
Feel how you activate Agni, the inner fire, how you get warm. And then put your stomach forward again and inhale and breathe in and out normally a few times. Continue to feel the warmth in your stomach, feel this solar energy in your stomach and feel how this energy of the stomach radiates on to your chest, arms and hands, to your thighs and feet, to your neck and head. This exercise is great for waking up in the morning. The exercise is very good for activating your digestive fire, is also very good for relieving constipation and all kinds of digestive problems. You can also practice Agni Sara if you feel blocked somewhere during the day and want to become free again. For example, if you have had a difficult situation and notice that your stomach has cramped or is contracting or someone has told you something bad, then you can solve your stomach again with Agni Sara. And when your stomach is so relaxed, then you can do very different things.
Activation of Agni
Agni is fire, digestive fire, conversion fire, life energy. Agni also stands for the immune system. Agni stands for conversion of food, also conversion of external stimuli into energy. Agni helps digest food and life. A strong Agni is a great and bright flame of life. A disturbed Agni leads to irritability, anxiety, depression. Disturbed Agni can also be recognized by the digestion. Flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, susceptibility to gastrointestinal infections, duodenal ulcers, gastric mucosal inflammation. These are all signs of a disturbed Agni.
You can also find out a little for yourself, how do you feel after a meal? How does your stomach feel overall? Do you feel like you're full of strength in your stomach? Do you feel like you can rest in your midst? And do you have the feeling that there is a pleasant warmth and strength in your stomach that radiates everywhere? Or do you feel rather weak in your stomach? Or do you feel tense in your stomach? Abdominal weakness can be a sign of weak Agni, and weak Agni can make you irritable, anxious, and depressed again.
Sometimes you don't even need to be so psychological when you get out of your serenity. Sometimes you just have to look, is something wrong with your agni? If you find that your Agni is not good, the first thing to do is to strengthen your Agni again. Then you will find out whether you can possibly be relaxed again on your own.
A few tips to strengthen Agni:
- Don't eat too often.
- Eat maybe three times a day or less, and leave at least three to four hours between meals.
- Don't eat too much. Eating too much can overload your digestive system, even wiping out or at least weakening Agni. A rule of thumb is to fill half your stomach with solid food, a quarter with liquid, and a quarter empty. How much is half now? As much as you can put into your cupped hands. So if you put your two hands together, as much as you can put in the hands, and not in a pile, but flat. That would be what solid food is allowed to make up. Liquid food does not mean that you should drink that much, there are vegetables and lentils and there can be a lot of liquid in them. Also, don't drink too much while you're eating, especially not too much cold. That too can weaken Agni, which is a fire, because it cools Agni, maybe even extinguishes it.
- Sit down to eat, eat in peace, and don't do too many things at the same time. Ayurveda even recommends that you eat the food in silence. Or when you eat with other people, talk about pleasant and friendly things. Don't do the arguments and the basic conversations over dinner.
- In particular, don't eat too late in the evening. Eat a lot more light foods in the evening. Don't drink too much cold at once.
Aids to improve Agni are:
- Eat fresh ginger. For example, you can get a ginger root, which is now available in most health food stores and also in most supermarkets and vegetable stores, and you can rub a small piece of ginger the size of a finger and sprinkle it over the food, drizzle it or even before you eat take with a little lemon. That activates Agni.
- Drink warm or even hot water.
- Drink digestive herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint, and fennel.
- Also consume bitter substances such as wormwood, sage or even bitter herbs. All of these help strengthen Agni.
- Make abdominal breathing your normal breathing. Deep abdominal breathing activates the solar energy and also the inner fire.
- Practice Agni Sara every day and do Kapalabhati daily. Agni Sara and Kapalabhati activate Agni, the digestive fire.
- Practice yoga asanas, especially forward bend, paschimottanasana and rotating seat, ardha matsyendrasana, activate the digestive fire, especially if you can hold them for at least a minute or maybe even three minutes.
- Practice deep relaxation daily. Deep relaxation regenerates, deep relaxation also helps you so that Agni can harmonize again.
Do you always have to adhere to all recommendations? No, not necessarily. Assuming you have a harmonious Agni, and you feel relaxed and in your strength, then you can see some things a little less closely. Especially when it comes to not eating too often and not drinking too much, sit down in peace, do not eat too late in the evening, and do not drink too much cold at once. This is advice that is important when your agni is weakened.
If you have a good Agni and feel in balance overall, you may not need to adhere to it so strictly. But whenever you notice that you are out of your equilibrium and you cannot easily regain your equilibrium, you feel overwhelmed, overwhelmed, have the feeling that you are not getting on with things, then see if you can do something can to reactivate your agni?
Of course you can also do some things with spiritual agni. That said, also make sure that you maybe reduce the number of sensory impressions a bit. Make sure that you reduce the number of requirements a little. When Agni is overwhelmed, it can weaken and everything becomes difficult. So a certain awareness of good Agni can help you with serenity. Strong and calm Agni helps you to be calm and to have energy, to be creative and to stay calm.
Agni Sara अग्निसार agni-sāra pronunciation
Here you can hear how the Sanskrit word Agni Sara, अग्निसार, agni-sāra is pronounced:
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Sukadev on Agni Sara
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