Definition - What does Agnisar Kriya mean?
Agnisar kriya is a yoga cleansing technique that is believed to clear the manipura (navel) chakra as well as strengthen the abdominal muscles and improve digestion. The name comes from the Sanskrit, agni, meaning “fire”; sar, meaning “essence”; and kriya, which means “action.”
Kriyas are specific exercises — often involving breathing techniques and mantras — designed to purify the mind and body, and to open the body's subtle energy channels and chakras. Agnisar kriya is a preparatory practice for nauli kriya, which is an exercise involving the rolling of the abdominal muscles.
Yogapedia explains Agnisar Kriya
To practice agnisar kriya, stand with legs wide and palms resting on the thighs. Exhale completely, then hold the breath while rhythmically pushing the abdominal muscles out and pulling them back in. Repeat as many times as is comfortable and then end the round with a slow, deep inhalation. With regular practice, gradually increase the number of rounds.
In addition to improving digestion and strengthening the abs, agnisar kriya is thought to improve the function of both the adrenal and pancreatic glands.
Yogis with high blood pressure, heart disease, diarrhea, ulcers or hyperthyroidism should skip agnisar kriya. Pregnant or menstruating women should also avoid this kriya.