This basic breathing exercise stokes the digestive fire inside us! Agni means fire and Sara means wash so it literally means to wash the fire chakra (Manipur Chakra) located at the navel centre. If done properly, it should both stimulate the appetite as well as increasing your metabolism – I know, sounds too good to be true! It is also effective at boosting the immune system and increasing the heat in the body to evacuate toxins. It is ideal to do at the start of the day before breakfast, as it should be done on an empty stomach.
- To perform Agnisar Kriya you should stand with your legs slightly apart with your knees bent and your head kept slightly forward. You must keep your back straight at all times.
- Inhale deeply from y
our nose and then exhale only from your mouth with your abdominal muscles relaxed.
- Draw your navel upwards and inwards towards the spine. Many people tend to pull the navel in from below the sternum or allow their chest to sink, which is the incorrect way to practice this pranayama.
- On the exhale, hold your breath while you snap your abdomen backwards and
forwards 10-12 times. This is typically considered one whole round of Agnisar Kriya, and for best results it is best to complete at least 3 rounds.
For those who have a weak agni (fire), one round will usually tire the stomach muscles. If you practice every day while gradually increasing your repetitions, you will strengthen your agni and you shall find the exercise relaxing and stimulating.
As well as building your appetite and metabolism, the benefits include strengthening of the spleen, kidneys, liver, and intestines. Please remember to avoid if you are pregnant, or menstruating, and consult your doctor if you have any abdominal, intestine, or pancreas disorders.