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Agni sara (translated “fire essence”) is a yogic practice that strengthens the core of the body, mind, and spirit. Sandra Anderson of the Himalayan Institute calls Agni Sara “quintessential hatha yoga.”

“With its deep contractions of the abdomen and pelvic floor,” she says, “agni sara targets the abdominal organs and the centers of consciousness (chakras) responsible for regulating and carrying out the instinctive life of the body.”

Agni sara strengthens the core muscles, activates and balances the digestive organs and tracts, stimulates the lymphatic system, massages the bladder, and can aid in hormone balance by encouraging circulation to all the abdominal organs, including the reproductive organs.

In addition to physical benefits, agni sara profits our prana, or life energy. Anderson calls the navel center “a pivotal point of pranic energy—energy that links body and mind.” The consistent activation of this area of the body by agni sara motivates an energetic strength and steadiness in our emotional being. Agni sara activates the “power center prana” to foster vigor and vitality in the face of emotional distress and challenges.

Check out Sandra’s video demonstration and her corresponding article.

Following Sandra’s instructions, I’ve been practicing agni sara for the past 3 months. It took an efforted and consistent practice to “get it down,” but now it is a routine part of my morning pranayama and meditation. My digestive system has benefitted in strength, efficiency, and healing. Doing the practice pre-meditation and pranayama brings an added awareness to the lower chakras that aid in focus and fire in the more subtle koshas.