Agni, or digestive fire, processes more than just food in your body—it helps you assimilate all aspects of your daily life including your experiences. If your Agni is strong, your body is better able to absorb nutrients and process events. If Agni is weak, however, toxins, or Ama, can start to build.
As such Agni plays a crucial role in your health and well-being and it’s important to keep your inner fire burning brightly. The most essential step is to live life more consciously, and make choices that nurture the flow of life’s energy, while minimizing those things that deplete it. Give your inner fire a boost with these small acts of consciousness.
Give Yourself Unconditional Encouragement
A simple way to make more healing choices is to ask yourself whether you would encourage someone you love unconditionally to have whatever experience you’re considering. Follow the example of a conscious, loving mother who wants her child to eat nourishing food, engage in loving relationships, and avoid situations that create unnecessary distress.
Unclutter Your Life
Your inner fire is weakened when you have too much “stuff” in your life. This includes too much debt, too many financial commitments, too many complicated, demanding relationships, and too much clutter. Consciously survey your life and target those things that you’re carrying with you from the past that are no longer serving you in the present. This is also a good way to make room for those things that you would like to bring into you life that you have previously neglected.
Rest, Exercise, and Meditate
Balance your activity with rest. Create a regular meditation practice and be sure to get replenishing sleep each night.
Practice Conscious Eating
Your digestion is affected by the conversations at the table, your environment, and your mood when you eat. If you’re having an argument or watching a violent TV show, your stomach will knot and your digestion will be disturbed. To extract the most nourishment from your food, never eat when you feel upset. Create a settled, peaceful atmosphere for your meals, eat only when you’re hungry, and choose fresh, organic food whenever possible.
Get Regular Detoxification Treatments
No matter how consciously you live, modern life exposes you to a variety of toxins that deplete your digestive power—from the pollutants in food, water, and air, to the more subtle toxicity of negative media and the hyper-stimulus of cell phones and the Internet. To keep Agni’s metabolic power strong, it’s important to get regular detoxification treatments. Consider giving yourself the gift of Panchakarma, a powerful Ayurvedic therapy that releases toxins from deep within the body’s tissues, clearing away physical and emotional residue and leaving you feeling renewed and rejuvenated.
You can find additional information on specific ways to foster a strong Agni in Dr. David Simon’s book Vital Energy, as well as in Perfect Health, by Deepak Chopra, M.D.