So Agni Sara is a Tantric, energetic, physiological methodology for accessing fire. And what does that mean? What is this fire that we're attempting to ignite and access and utilize? The fire that we can think of as the physiological fire, the fire that can boost our metabolism, help us digest, help us transform, so on a physiological level, this technique helps us transform and break down toxicity in the body. The ancient Asi-teks talk about it as the yogi who does Agni Sara has the capacity to digest rocks, so it boosts digestive power on a real physical level, which is really wonderful and super necessary during these times.
Another way that we speak to the fire here is on a mental, emotional, psychological level. So you may be aware of the fact that the brain actually is not only up here in the head but you have these wires that run down and the second place in our body where we have the most nerve endings is the belly, so on a more mental or emotional level, you can think of this part of your body as your second brain and we have this in our language. We say, "Oh, I really just feel in my gut "that this is the right thing for me," so many other examples of where this shows up in our language, that this part of our body is a key area in terms of our intuition and our mental, emotional well-being. A third realm we can think of is the spiritual realm and in the Tantric cosmology of your body universe, this part of my body is where I'm holding the most karma or where I have the most sense of misknowing, right? And so if I wanna move out of that, I need to have a good, strong, robust spiritual fire so as to digest these karmic ghosts, if you will, of my past, right, so on a spiritual level, in every mystical tradition, you'll find this place is where physically we keep coming back to the belly place.
I wanna help you ignite this fire so that you can see clearly, hear clearly, know clearly from the heart. One other thing that I wanna talk about in terms of Agni Sara that's really cool is that when we engage these internal locks, which I'll show you in a moment, you're working on the physical realm, as well as you have to bring in your focus and your intention, so you're working on the more mental and emotional realm, but on the physical realm, you're actually engaging the very constricted parts of your body that go into tightening when you enter into a fight-or-flight response. So what the Tantric says is, "Great, I want to cause "that to happen intentionally so that I can bring "my loving awareness to it and not be taken over by it." Another Tantric way of thinking about this practice is that it's your ability to be with the front door of death itself and hold yourself stable, loving, and firm. Okay, so when you go into the practice, there will be a moment as you out your exhale where you feel, "Oh my gosh, I'm gonna die," and that's what we want to have happen. We want you to get right up to that edge where you confront that part of you that says (gasps) "Breathe, you're gonna die." In that moment, the yogi says, "I'm not gonna die.
"There's a part of me that never dies "but now I'm gonna consciously come out of it," so I'll show you what it looks like. Typically you do this down low a lot more but I'm gonna show you up high and then I'll show you down low, so I'm gonna inhale in, (inhales deeply) relax here, fill up, and then as I exhale out (exhales loudly), I'm gonna do it through my mouth. I'm gonna (whooshing) scoop the belly up and back, like I'm hollowing a punch bowl. I'm draw all the internal organs up and back and what see with a lot of people is that they tense up. This is about relaxing so I'm gonna get as relaxed as I possibly can (whooshing) and that way I can suck it up and hollow it out, it's really easy if you just get the belly really loose, then you're holding it all up.
The pelvic floor is gonna lift, right? You can even engage the (speaks in foreign language) so your anal muscles lift up and in. You squeeze the pelvic floor muscle up and back, those internal organs are gonna draw up and back, Uddiyana Bandha, Mula Bandha we call these two are engaged, and this is, perhaps, the important part of doing Agni Sara and any Mula Bandha work is that I engage Jalandhara Bandha down. So how do I do that? Right here in your throat, you have a bone called the highway and it's like a horseshoe-shaped bone that draws backwards, the bones pointing that way.
So I want you to think, it's like the reins of a horse. I want you to draw the reins of the horse, the throat back, the collarbone lifts. The chin drops down. Another way of thinking about it that I like is the ears are smiling backwards. So all those three Bhandas are engaged and I'm simply lifting the belly up and in.
That's really a preliminary place to start. Then, if that feels comfortable for you, with time, then you can start to, with the breath held out, release the belly, engage the belly, release the belly, engage the belly, so it's literally like you have those bellows and you're pressing them over and over to pour air onto this bonfire that we're building in the belly. You can go quickly, you can go slowly. If you go quickly with the belllows and I'll show you this in a moment, it will build your capacity to transform quickly, quickly, quickly so choose wisely. Do you want to change very fast?
Do this practice quickly every day. Then if you do it slowly, slowly, slowly, it will build the fire in a stable way where you can have kind of a nice slow burn and this builds stability in the consciousness, not only in the body but also in the mind, which is the most important part. Okay, so what it looks like physically. (inhales deeply) Breath in, breath out. (exhales sharply) Hold in hollow. (inhales deeply) I'm gonna show you that again and this time I'm gonna add the pump, so that's stage one, you can stay with that for months and months and years but if you have that, then you can begin the pump. (inhales deeply) (exhales sharply) (inhales deeply) (exhales sharply) Then you're kind of just aware of what you woke up.
Okay, so normally you wouldn't do it that high up necessarily, so now I'm gonna show you what it looks like just in my own body in my normal practice. I'm gonna turn to the side so you can see me and pull the pants down a little bit so you can get a little bit view. Okay, so my hands are here. My legs are walking, just whatever feels comfortable, little more than hip's width for me. I'm gonna take a full breath in. (inhales deeply) Exhale out through the mouth. (exhales sharply) (inhales deeply) And as I breathe in, I'm really dropping in, really feeling, whoa, what was down there?
Breathe in, be with it. (inhales deeply) I'll show you one more time. Take a full breath inhale. (inhales deeply) (exhales sharply) (inhales deeply) When I feel like, "Oh, I need to breathe," I just stop, I consciously release the belly and then I breathe in. And then at the end, now this is really when the practice begins, now, after I've done it two or three rounds, now I'm in that which has lit up as a result of that fire ceremony.
I feel, in my body, tingling and more light and I feel the way that there's a little bit of stagnation in the spleen and the liver so it gives me these amazing cues as to what's going on physiologically but it also liberates my connection to my energetic center. I hope you enjoyed practicing Agni Sara and really make it a part of your daily Hatha yoga practice. Thank you.
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