agni: the fire of transformation
If you worship agni, you will be blessed with perfect health. ~ Dr. Vasant Lad
Agni is the fire of transformation. It is responsible for the digestion, absorption, assimilation, and transformation of what we take in (food and experiences) into energy. The well-known ayurved Dr. Lad, defines agni as: Awareness Governing Nutritional Intelligence. Your agni can be balanced, too low, too high, or irregular.
What we feed the agni, and as David Frawley says, "Everything in the universe is food", determines how our agni burns. Imbalanced agni can mean weakness, poor digestion, poor elimination, internal coldness, compromised immunity, fatigue, or generally a lack of bright, shiny, vitality. Balanced agni looks like strength, vitality, immunity, clarity of perception and mind, proper digestion and elimination, normal body temperature, and a healthy glow that permeates all parts of your being.
So, what are the things that imbalance and balance agni?
What imbalances agni:
over or undereating
eating at the wrong time of day
inappropriate food for your dosha
incompatible food combining
toxins, intentional or unintentional (drink, smoke, other)
sleep not aligned with the ayurvedic clock
What balances agni:
meal times according to the ayurvedic clock
dosha appropriate foods
warm, well cooked, well seasoned foods
fresh, whole, seasonal foods
warm beverages, digestive teas
healthy energetic/emotional expression
spinal twist asana
Ayurveda is clear, if you're experiencing the symptoms of imbalanced agni, there are many practices available to you to rekindle and balance your fire. Someone versed in ayurveda can help you determine how to best bring your agni back into balance. Make your choices an offering to your fire, swaha!