The Subtle Energy of Your Inner Fire
As we move into the summer season we start to shift our focus to the subtle element of fire or agni. Summer is the warmest time of year in which fire becomes the dominant energy. Even though fire prevails in summer it is actually directed by air. Too much air and fire can rage out of control, too little and it smolders. During this fiery time of year it is important to understand our own sense of internal fire so we can utilize it to help us meet challenges and have the courage to face it. Without a balanced sense of agni we will either lack the verve and energy to face life or will get over stimulated by life and feel overwhelmed, angry or fearful.
If we view agni from the yogic and ayurvedic points of view, agni is the subtle energy of the element fire. And the fire element governs digestion on all levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Within the body agni is located in the abdomen and pelvis and is concentrated in the Manipura Chakra (third chakra) at the solar plexus.
Physically agni aids in digestion, assimilation and utilizing the nourishment of the food we eat. Mentally, agni shows up in how we digest life experiences. It helps us to process and break down the mental and emotional components and transform them into knowledge, wisdom and maturity. If agni is out of balance we may experience physical imbalances such as bloating, gas, indigestion or burning sensations in the digestive track. Mentally we’ll experience problems processing life experiences, nagging fear, anger or thoughts that keep repeating themselves as if they are looped together. In balance, agin helps us to move more powerfully through life.
The body and the mind are like containers for agni. As conscious beings, it is our job to seal any leaks, unblock any energy that has been stuck, and awaken dormant agni (potential energy). We can do this in a number of simple ways.
- Daily yoga practice.
- Include twists, core strengtheners and prone postures (laying on your belly).
- Pranayama practice. Mindful, deep breathing for 5-10 minutes each day.
- If you need to stimulate your internal fire, practice Kapalabhati Pranayama.
- If you need to cool it down, Sitali Pranayama.
- Meditate daily. Start small with 5-10 minutes.
- Get a consistent amount of sleep each night by going to bed by 10:00 pm and ideally waking up by 6:00 am.
- Partake in some kind of daily movement for at least 15 minutes.
These simple techniques can help each of us connect with our deepest self and this is where agni is. When we are connected inwardly we feel more centered and have the power to overcome any obstacle that comes our way and we become the best version of ourselves.
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