Agni is another word for fire and is an important word in Ayurveda and Yoga. Your primary agni is your digestive system, which according to Ayurveda, is unlike anyone else's. Saying that, there are three main categories that can help us recognise our agni type and, perhaps, tell us how best to look after it.
Agni is how we take in the world around us. It's function is to ingest, assimilate that which is useful and eliminate/throw out that which is not useful. Everyone does this at a different pace, with different power and heat. Looking at this subject is a good way to learn more about how OUR bodies work (Remember Ayurveda's rule number one - everyone is different!). Learning about our Agni can be a good way to determine which dosha(s) are dominant within us (our prakrti/nature) and/or which dosha is aggravated at this time. As I said, our agni have three general variations or types. Each relate to a dosha. Agni includes our appetite for food and life and our ability to take in, digest, absorb, use and eliminate both our food and our experiences.
Visamagni - Visamagni means changeable agni and is reminiscent of Vata Dosha. Some days we can eat a lot and other days we completely forget about re-fueling! Some days we digest easily and smoothly and other days we become bloated and constipated for what seems like no reason at all. This type of agni is sometimes left uncared for as we think 'Well, I'm not always like this, so there's not really a problem'. The best care for a changeable agni is routine. Pick times for all your main meals and stick to them no matter what. If this is your agni type, you'll not only get great benefit from this one suggestion, you'll find it a great challenge to implement! Keep at it. This is a game changer in terms of energy levels for you. Stress affects agni - for you anxiety can absolutely put you off your food. Use Yin and restorative yoga to get you back to regular mealtimes.
Tiksnagni -Tiksnagni means sharp agni and is reminiscent of Pitta Dosha. It can cause a very strong appetite and we may feel very irritated or panicky if we miss a meal. Not only that, but even when we have eaten, we can become absolutely ravenous again very quickly! This digestive power burns very hot and fast! it can show as symptoms of acid reflux, acid indigestion, heart burn and loose stools or diarrhoea. For this agni type, we not only need to soothe and cool, but also feed properly! Make sure you never miss a meal for starters. Don't think you can just ride it through like others around you. Make sure you have adequate sized meals that are both nourishing and that are 'slow burners'. For you slow releasing foods are in and high sugar and quick release energy foods are out! You certainly don't need caffeine, which antagonises the gut wall and speeds up motility. Soothe the gut with foods such as porridge oats, aloe vera juices, coconut milk/water and oil and avoid the hot spiced foods....Sorry. One more thing, learn to slow down as you eat. Stress affects agni - for you anger and irritation will increase your symptoms. Use slow flow yoga sessions to cool and soothe and blow off some steam - a little sweating during practice is okay, but take a long savasana to cool back down before finishing your practice for the day.
Mandagni -Mandagni means slow agni and is reminiscent of Kapha Dosha. It can cause us to feel very heavy after eating and we may take a while to digest, assimilate and eliminate. But we have a very agreeable relationship with food and really don't have too many symptoms of distress within our guts. Saying that, we can gain weight easily, tend to excess mucous and colds and be stubborn about changing the way we eat. Try to eat lighter meals throughout the day. Leave out the heavy dairy/cream sauces and gravies opting for tons delicious vegetables. You can add in the hot spices without cause for concern and miss the occasional meal on purpose. Fasting probably suits you better than any other agni type, but check with your health care provider to see when, how and if it is for you particularly. Stress affects agni - for you a period of stress may find you sitting on the couch with a large assortment of 'feel goods' in front of you. Mindless eating to soothe the nervous system will put too much pressure on an already slow working system. Try some kapalabhati (skull shining breath) instead next time you're stressed and use that inherent strong will to throw yourself into some hot, fast moving sun salutations. Have a snack of fresh cut carrots and garlicky houmous waiting for you when you finish so that you don't dive into fridge to find that reward instead!
Which agni seems to be the agni dominant within you?