meditation practice

A great meditation practice for the winter

We are in the last days of winter. On Salt Spring Island we live with wood stove heat, and practice yoga daily near the fireside to keep warm. Furthermore, this is my favorite winter meditation practice. Finally, it focuses on Agni within and outside of the body.

Meditation on Agni

Agni, is the Sanskrit word for fire, and is the Vedic God of fire.  Within the body, the agni is the internal heat, or the pranic fire. Importantly, in Ayurveda the concept of agni is critical to our overall health. Agni is a force of prana within the body that determines which substances enter our cells and tissues, and which substances should be removed as waste. As such, agni is the gate keeper of life, it governs transformation, heat, metabolism, digestion, strength, vitality, mental clarity, joy, contentment, courage, confidence, zest for life, reason, stability, and longevity. Yoga practices to build heat in the body aid with strengthening immunity, finding joy for living, and enable a sense of vitality. Finally, this meditation focuses on heat outside of and inside of the body.

Meditation Practice

This is a great meditation to refocus the mind and appreciate the warmth in simple things. Notably, it is excellent for the start or end of your day.

  • Sit near a fireside in a safe spot and take 10 deep breaths. If you don’t have a fireside, light a bright beautiful candle.
  • Pay attention to the glow of the warmth from the fire or flame, sense where you feel the heat on your skin
  • Where do you feel points of heat in the body?
  • Where do you feel points of coolness in the body?
  • Watch the flicker of the flames and allow the mind to rest
  • If thoughts arise, imagine them dissolving in the flame, let them go
  • Sit for 10 minutes

Mala for this Meditation

Finally, I recommend holding contrasting mala beads for this practice. Aquamarine mala beads stay cool, even when near a heat source. If you hold an aquamarine mala in the palms of your hands during this practice, it can help in observing the contrast between coolness and heat.