By Angela Glaz
500 Hour E-RYT and Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor
Agni is the sanskrit word for fire. In Ayurveda agni is referred to as the fire that promotes digestion and transformation Ultimately, it is the discernment of agni that determines which substances enter our cells and tissues and which substances should be removed as waste. In this way, agni is the gatekeeper, the maintainer, the regulator of our life. Ayurveda identifies a vast range of functions for which agni is directly responsible, but it also teaches us that impaired agni is at the root of all imbalances and diseases.
Ayurveda classifies four types of agni or digestive fires:
Vishama agni is associated with excess vata, and is commonly defined as irregular digestion. Looking at the vata dosha and the qualities that it holds; light, dry, cold, and mobile, it is easy to see how these qualities can cause our digestion to waiver between having too many bowel movements or having none at all. The cold quality of vata tends to cool agni’s heat while the mobile quality can either intensify the fire of our agni or blow it out completely.
When we are experiencing, Vishama agni or irregular digestion, we are not properly digesting the foods we are placing into our body. This undigested material then leads to the build up of ama (toxins).
How to know if you’re experiencing Vishama agni?
Constipation, bloating, gurgling in abdomen.
Dry mouth, hair, and skin. Pain in lower abdomen, back and sides.Pricking pain in the body.
Feelings of anxiousness
Cravings for hot, spicy, or fried foods.
How to fix Vishama agni?
Generally speaking, it is helpful to start incorporating foods that are warm, grounding, spiced, and cooked in oil into your diet, and avoid cold and raw foods. In addition, ensure that you are eating at the same time every day. However, there are often other lifestyle choices that we make, in addition to our diet, that can affect our agni, so if a change in your diet doesn’t seem to solve the issue, it is best to book a consultation with an Ayurvedic counselor or practitioner.
Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and how you can incorporate it into your life?
Check out our online course, Foundations of Ayurveda!