Agnisar Kriya is one type of Dhauti Kriya, a yogic cleansing process for the purification of the digestive tract. Some people call it Agnisara Kriya or Vahnisara Dhauti. It is one of the rare and secret yogic processes directly obtained from a Guru. The practice belongs to Antar Dhauti or the Internal cleansing process of the digestive tract.
It is a traditional yoga cleansing process since medieval yoga texts like Gheranda Samhita and Hatha Tattwa Kaumudi described it.
Agnisar Kriya Meaning
Agni and Vahni mean fire. The Sanskrit word Sar(a) means essence. Kriya is a Practice. Hence it is a practice that involves fire. The navel is the fire center. The practice involves conscious and continuous movement of muscles around the navel that stimulates the essence of fire. Therefore, the practice is called Agnisar Kriya. Alternatively, it is known as Agnisara Dhauti, Agnisara Kriya, and Vahnisara Kriya or Dhauti.
Agnisar Kriya Procedure
Agnisar Kriya Precautions and contraindications
One should avoid this practice during summer. If one wants to practice even during summer, he should take necessary precautions by practicing Sitkari Pranayama or Sitali Pranayama.
Also, pregnant ladies and people suffering from hernias, heart disease, hypertension, peptic ulcer, diarrhea, and thyroid issues should avoid this practice.
Agnisar Kriya Sequence
According to the Bihar School of Yoga, Swana Pranayama is a preparatory practice for this technique.
It is always practiced on an empty stomach, most preferably in the morning before breakfast and after emptying the stomach.
Practicing Bhastrika Pranayama or Kapalabhati Pranayama after this practice will give more benefits.
Agnisar Kriya Steps
Sit in Bhadrasana (Bound Angle Pose) or in Lotus Pose. Alternatively, you can start this posture in a standing position. Ensure that the big toes are touching if you are in Bound Angle Pose. Take a slow deep breath.
Then, lean forward and straighten the elbows. Place the palms on the knees. exhale and empty the stomach and perform Jalandhara Bandha or Throat Lock.
Then, extend the exhalation as long as possible. While doing so, contract and expand the muscle of the abdomen rapidly. Ten contractions and expansions are enough. Yet, choose the number according to your capacity. With due practice, it will be easy to practice more than fifty abdominal rapid movements. One should learn this very slowly without feeling any strain.
Now, relax the muscles of the abdomen, release the Throat lock, and inhale slowly. This is one round.
Agnisar Kriya Benefits
Agnisar Kriya for Acidity and GERD
As it improves digestive power, it destroys acidity. In the Yogic concept, the essence of fire improves digestion. Also, it is the fire element that is responsible for digestion. Besides, this practice stimulates digestive power. Hence, it helps the process of digestion. Moreover, it improves appetite. A study published in the International Journal of Yoga suggests that Agnisara Kriya can be helpful in conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease and hiatal hernia. Another study finds that the practice can be helpful in Gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Agnisar Kriya and Weight Loss
A 6-week practice of yoga and diet change which included 45 minutes of daily yoga practice (including Kunjal, Agnisar, Sheetali, Bhastrika, and Nadi-Sodhan Pranayama) and a high fiber vegetarian diet showed a decrease in body weight, BMI, skinfold thickness and, total cholesterol, in the practice group of obese women in comparisons to the control group.Influence of Yoga and Diet control in managing the state of Obesity
Preparatory Pose for Bhastrika and Kapalabhati
This practice prepares the practitioner for breathing techniques Bhastrika and Kapalabhati. Moreover, it cleanses the impurities of the digestive tract which will be helpful for the progress of advanced breath control techniques.
Activates Manipura Chakra
Furthermore, it activates the Navel center and helps the progress of Kundalini Yoga.
Besides, regular practice alleviates lethargy, dullness, and depression. Also, it increases the energy level of the practitioner.