Have you recently noticed your trousers are fitting a little more snugly or a favourite skirt or dress looks a little tighter around the middle?
But yes, those Christmas sweets were worth it!
Now 2019 has truly started it’s time to take stock and set yourself up for a great year. So read on to see what you can do to ensure 2019 starts well for you.
Do you know what Agni is?
Agni translates to digestive fires and Ayurveda considers Agni to be the source of life! Ayurveda says that a man is as old as his agni and that when agni is extinguished, we die. Agni is at the root of our wellbeing and our dis-ease. So when considering an Ayurvedic reset, we first must begin with resetting Agni.
Agni is hot, sharp, light, penetrating spreading, subtle, luminous and clear by nature.
The main Agni or mother of all is called Jathara Agni situated in the small intestine, giving us our primary digestive fires. There are about 40 distinct subtypes of Agni with specific locations and functions, all helping to form and transform our cells, tissues, organs and sensory perception. Keeping Agni strong is effectively keeping our cells, tissues, organs, and senses healthy and well. Our digestive tendency leans towards one of four types of agni, with one being an expression of balanced Agni and the others being various states of imbalanced Agni.
Which kind of Agni do you experience most often?
Sama Agni – Balanced Agni
If you experience balanced digestion, absorption, and elimination and radiate good health which comes from a good amount of Ojas, with strong immunity, feelings of contentment and happiness in your life then your Agni is well balanced. If this is you, then you are truly blessed.
Vishama Agni – Irregular or erratic
If you experience an irregular appetite with variable digestion or indigestion and feel heavy after eating with cravings for hot, spicy or fried foods, then Vishama Agni is being expressed within you. Vishama Agni or irregular agni is due to an excess of the cold quality of Vata and the mobile or windy qualities of Vata which dampen the fire, sometimes intensifying the fire briefly with a gust of wind and other times slowing it. If Agni is very weak then sometimes the gust of wind can completely blow Agni out, especially during Winter time. Vishama Agni can also cause fear, anxiety, and feeling insecure.
Tikshna Agni – Too hot or sharp
If you experience an intense insatiable appetite, need to eat a lot to be comfortable and cannot skip a meal then Tikshna Agni is being expressed within you. The light, hot, sharp qualities of Pitta cause food to pass through the digestive system very quickly, often leaving the tissues undernourished. You may also have bouts of hyperacidity or acid indigestion, hot flushes or heartburn, loose stools, low blood sugar, and rashes or skin conditions. When Agni is too hot, it often triggers anger, irritability, being judgemental of yourself and others with a strong desire to control. You may find you crave sweets.
Manda Agni – Slow or dull
If you don’t feel hunger much, or experience heaviness in the stomach, mind, and body after eating and at other times, with a tendency for frequent colds mucus, coughs, fluid retention and lymph congestion and cravings for sharp, dry and very hot, spicy foods, then Manda Agni is being expressed within you. The heavy, slow, cool, smooth, stable, oily qualities of Kapha is suppressing the digestive fire causing it to be dull, sluggish and underactive. When Agni is slow or dull, it often triggers feelings of lethargy, boredom, possessiveness, attachment, greed and the desire to sleep more than is usual.
Ayurvedic Reset Programme
To help reset your Agni do the Digestive Reset Programme soon.
It will allow your body to reset digestion after the Christmas excess and protect your energy and wellbeing for the rest of the year. You may also like to continue to do this reset at regular intervals.
Day 1: The day before you start your Agni reset program have a healthy breakfast and lunch meal and eat a light dinner by 6-7pm. Avoid spicy food, fried foods, dairy, animal products, and cheese in your evening meal. Before bed take Organic Triphala Rose (MA505) tablets. Go to bed by 9-9.30 pm. Your bowels may clear during the night or the next morning.
- Sama Agni – Balanced Agni – take 2 tablets of Organic Triphala Rose (MA505) prior bed.
- Vishama Agni – Irregular or erratic – take 2-3 tablets of Organic Triphala Rose (MA505) prior bed.
- Tikshna Agni – Too hot or sharp – take 1-2 tablet of Organic Triphala Rose (MA505) prior bed.
- Manda Agni – Slow or dull – take 4 tablets of Organic Triphala Rose (MA505) before bed.
Day 2 – option One: Drink warm water or herbal teas you enjoy through the day and have (only?) a broth soup at lunch and evening meal during winter. Favour this option if you are Vata nature, have a strong Vata imbalance or are elderly.
Day 2 – option Two: Drink warm water or herbal teas you enjoy through the day. Drink one glass of apple or grape juice at breakfast, lunch and dinner time. Also, drink three or four more glasses of juice between meals.
- Spend the day resting, reading, performing some light activity. Take a short walk in the morning and afternoon.
- Do not travel or complete heavy physical activity and skip heavy exercise for the day and relax.
- If you feel faint with hunger take 1 heaped teaspoon of honey with a glass of lukewarm water and lie down for 5 minutes.
- If the feeling persists, eat a small warm meal as the feeling may be due to unusually high stress that has thrown you off balance.
Day 3: The last step is to reset digestion and allow it to adjust to a normal cycle again. Here’s how:
For breakfast eat a light warm cereal (oatmeal, cream of rice, or cream of wheat) with 1 flat tsp of clarified butter (ghee), milk and sugar. If you still feel hungry take more cereal. Caffeine drinks will throw off your agni again so avoid coffee at this time.
At exactly noon have a good lunch that satisfies without being heavy or overeating.
Avoid extreme salty or spicy meals and alcohol. Avoid salad or cold drinks. Enjoy a ginger tea to aid digestion after the meal.
- How to make Ginger Tea: Take 2-3 slices of fresh ginger root and pour boiling water over and let steep for 3-5 minutes.
For your evening meal ensure you have a light warm evening meal by 6 pm. Allow three hours before going to bed for complete digestion. Make your evening meal smaller than your lunch. A chunky vegetable soup, or rice and lentils or steamed vegetables over a grain you enjoy are a good option. Some people like to repeat their breakfast cereal.
Keeping Agni Strong During Winter
To keep your Agni strong during winter favour Vata pacifying foods and have your heavier foods at lunch and a light evening meal by 6.30pm. Drink Vata tea and Rajas’ Cup through the day. A 30-minute walk most days will help to keep your Agni strong.
As Winter is governed by the cold and windy qualities of Vata your digestion is at risk of imbalance during winter, so consider taking the following digestive herbs to protect your Agni.
Manda Agni – Slow or dull – Use Agni Plus or Kapha Spicy Seasoning spice mixture in your cooking. Prior to breakfast and evening meals take 1-2 tablets of MA3697 Guggul/Mountain Ebony complex. After meals take Digest Plus (MA154) 1 tablet. Take 2 tablets of Organic Triphala Rose (MA505) at bedtime.
Note: If you are feeling unwell wait until you are feeling better before doing the Digestive Reset. Agni is decreased when we are ill, and it is better not to do this reset at this time. If you have an ulcer, colitis or any other serious digestive complaint, only reset agni under the care of an Ayurvedic Health professional or Doctor.
Wishing you the bliss of balance
Linda Sinden, Maharishi AyurVeda Consultant
Linda Sinden has been a practising Maharishi AyurVeda Consultant since 1990 and is a regular contributor to our health articles. She has a practice in Auckland, New Zealand and also provides phone or Skype sessions for those who need assistance, but don’t have a consultant in their vicinity.
Mobile: +64 212237525