Ayurvedic Digestion & Eating Habits
Fueling The Digestive Fire: Agni
One of the major concepts of Ayurveda is called “agni” which is our digestive fire. This is our ability to digest all aspects of life; not just food, but emotions as well. Agni aids in our absorption, emotional and psychological assimilation, and our capacity to receive love. In many cases, we have weakened digestive fire which causes a myriad of digestive issues that are common and even at times considered “normal” because of their frequency and commonality in our everyday lives. One of the first concepts we work with during wellness coaching focuses on improving agni through simple changes over time that improve your ability to digest life.
“If you worship agni, you will have perfect health” - Katie Silcox
“Agni is increased by awareness, the body wants us to pay attention to it”
- Katie Silcox
Ayurvedic Eating Habits:
Did you know that sometimes it’s more about how you eat than what you are eating? It can be more important what’s on your mind than what is on your plate! This was a very difficult concept for me at first, but it is one of the best pearls of ayurvedic knowledge that I have learned so far.
Ayurveda teaches eating habits that are closely associated with mindful eating techniques. It requires being present with your food, establishing regular meal times and even enjoying the process of cooking your own meals. Another aspect would also be reflecting on appetite and hunger patterns.
Bringing awareness to appetite patterns and how we have reacted to hunger in the past, for example by suppressing it or overfeeding it, which both decrease your ability to digest, absorb and assimilate. Being able to enjoy your food without distractions such as in front of screens or while working helps your body to digest your food, even at times eliminating indigestion symptoms.
Fun fact: our energy does in fact affect our food! so stay away from angry cooks. We don’t need that energy in our food! This is why it’s important to cook your own food or eat food thoughtfully cooked by others.
In addition to eating habits, Ayurveda also recommends seasonal eating. Ayurveda also uses different foods and spices as medicine to help minimize imbalance in the body and improve the functioning of the digestive system.
There are food lists for every season that are considered what you should be eating, but since the keywords associated with Ayurveda is “it depends” you can always take the information and do what is best for your body.
One of the best parts of Ayurveda is the non-restrictive nature and is personalized by body type. Being able to use food According to Ayurveda, by working with the digestive system first, we are able to take the first steps to help heal other conditions that are going on in the body.