What is Agni?

Agni stands for Fire. Fire is a basic necessity for life and is needed for the life process to keep going. In simple words, Agni means metabolism. The ignition required to process the food we eat and  transform the nutrients from the food we eat into energy. This energy then percolates through the individual energy of the seven dhatus to finally nourish the entire body.

When you think of Agni, think of a bright, strong fire in your belly that fuels your body with nourishment when it’s properly kindled. When impaired, it floods the body with undigested toxic waste called Ama.

There are several signs to understanding if the Agni is functioning properly or not. A normal appetite with good digestion, clear burps, regular bowel movement, clean tongue, stable weight, restful sleep, good energy, and a sense of lightness and cheerfulness means the Agni is igniting well and you can enjoy a good immunity, and healthy life.

Just as we humans have a circadian rhythm to follow, so has the Agni. Deviation from this rhythm leads to health issues in the long run. Agni rises and sleeps with the sun. As the day progresses and the Sun gets stronger, the Agni also works in tandem. When the Sun is just rising, our Agni is also wakes up and is still in its weak state. This is why Ayurveda recommends not having a big breakfast, as the Agni is not strong enough to digest it. Instead have a moderate, warm, and well-balanced breakfast to kindle the Agni.

By noon, the Sun is roaring and Agni correspondingly is at its peak. That’s why its recommended to have a hearty lunch with all six tastes.

When it’s time for dinner, the sun has already set, and Agni has become weak again. No wonder Ayurveda  advises having an early dinner, as close as possible to the sunset, and also keep it the lightest and simplest meal of the day. What we mostly do, instead is, have a hearty breakfast, either skip lunch or have a salad and then have a good and heavy dinner. What happens, in this case, is the Agni does not have the strength to digest this heavy meal and therefore, it is left partly digested in the morning. Now we give it a nice big breakfast to work on, which taxes the Agni and then keep piling on food, processed, junk, fried, raw, cold, and whatnot. This leads to the food going undigested and eventually turning into a toxic waste called Ama.

Some of the causes of agni imbalance are incompatible food combinations, ignoring the dietetic rules, going against the Dinacharya and Ritucharya dietary principles, incorrect method of drinking water, mental and emotional stress.

Take this quiz to discover your unique mind-body type (also known as your dosha type)
and start on your personalised path to wellness.