Agnisar kriya: Yoga for reducing Tamas guna and intertia

By Atul Vyas 

Tamas is the quality of psyche which is dominated by inertia and dullness both of body and mind. Manas or psyche consists of micro particles that developing to the next phase, have five coarse structured elements : ether, air, fire, water and earth.

Every human body has  one psyche and this psyche is inseparable from the body for life. The psyche receives impulses from the cognitive organs (janendriyas) and pass them to tactile senses. Functions of the psyche independent from senses include fulfillment of dreams, cognition, consideration, reasoning, imagination, feelings and the will.

The psyche can be viewed as threefold (trividham) – pure (sattvic) ,hyperactive (Rajasik), and sluggish (tamsik). It is related to  three omni substances – sattva, rajas and tamas. For this reason omni substances are also called bio-energies (manas dosha) in yoga.

Psyche and body are closely connected to each other. Mental activities are manifest through the body. The way we live always have an effect on psyche. This concept is very valuable in psychiatry.

Depression is dominated by tamas state of psyche. Prolonged tamas state of mind leads to depression.
Tamsik individuals have dominant element of vata in their constitution. Such people are unconventional and rebellious.

To eliminate tamas one needs strong physical activity like vigorous exercises to get  the energies moving. Tamas can be only physical, only mental or both. Yoga treats tamas at both physical and mental level.

One yogic kriya called ‘Agnisar‘ helps to reduce or eliminate tamas guna by increasing Rajas guna.


  • Stand with feet hip width apart
  • Bend knees and lean forward placing hands on the thighs
  • Settle the weight of the torso on the arms, relaxing the abdomen
  • Now exhale and firmly contract abdominal muscles, pressing the naval towards spine
  • Then inhale and relax by letting the abdomen return to normal position
  • Repeat for ten times


  • Moves energy in the body and thereby increases Rajas reducing Tamas in turn
  • Tones abdomen
  • Massages all abdominal organs
  • Cures dyspepsia
  • Very effective for weak prostrate
  • Good for colitis

Note of Caution 

Those suffering from peptic ulcers should avoid this exercise.

Atul Vyas likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist”. He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.

Images courtesy of Custom Pilates and Yoga and Provided

Share this post