Yoga is a wonderful gift to the world. Yogic lifestyle and their practice has always amazed the people. It contains extensive knowledge of mind, body and soul. As per the definition of Yoga योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोधः means yoga is to control the mind and mind stuff (whirlpool of thoughts) means to have a healthy mind. to have a Healthy mind, one must have a healthy body. Hatha yoga is one type of yoga. The literal translation of Hatha is “with force”. To bring balance into the process and functions of the organs of the body is the principle of the Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga has described to perform physical cleansing processes that helps to remove toxins and maintains to establish harmony in the body and helps to maintain physical health. That is described as shatkarma.
Today we will learn about Shankha prakshalana, one of the easy and efficient technique of cleansing.
As per Ayurveda, strong digestion is the key to good health. if the elimination process is optimum the health is fine. because of our unhealthy lifestyle and diet, there may be some stored toxins in the digestive system. It is very important to remove this stored toxins periodically from the gastro intestinal track. Ayurveda has suggested shodhana therapy to perform the cleansing process while yoga has described Shata karma.
Shankha means conch and prakshalana means to wash, the literal translation is to wash the conch. To wash the conch, one has to pour water at the one end of the conch and it will come out cleaning thoroughly from the other end of the conch. In yogic text our digestive system is named as a conch. Shankha prakshalana is the process of cleansing the digestive system. It is a technique to wash out all the accumulated toxins from the Intestinal track. This techniques is very effective as it cleanse the entire digestive system from the mouth to the rectum. If it is performed properly can help to release all the stored toxins. Let us try to understand the process of Shankha Prakshalana.
Even though Shankha Prakshalana is very easy to perform, it must be preformed under the guidance of qualified practitioner only. you should allocate a day for this process. If you have any illnesses you should tell it to the practitioner before starting the process, as it is contraindicated in some illnesses. Light supper should be taken the previous evening avoiding alcohol, fried and frozen food and meat. This process should be performed early morning with empty stomach (not tea also) after proper bowel elimination. warm salt water is used in this process. 1 tea spoon of salt (pink Himalayan salt is ideal) is added in a liter of water.
This intestinal cleansing process includes drinking of salt water and practicing five sets of exercises that helps the water to pass thoroughly from the digestive track. Therefore water should be kept ready before the starting of the process.
First start with drinking two glasses of water in sitting position. after consuming two glasses of water practice five Asanas as per described order.
- TADASANA – Standing pose with raised arms.
- TIRYAK TADASANA- Raised arms with side tilting. (fig-2).
- KATI CHAKRASANA- Turning right and left by giving a rotational movement to the spine.
- TIRYAK BHUJANGASANA- Cobra pose , looking at the heels alternatively from right and left side.
- UDARAKARASANA- Giving a twisting pressure on the abdomen from both sides.
All the above mentioned asanas should be performed six times each, that completes one round. after completion of one round another two glasses of water should be taken and all the five asanas should be repeated in the same order. After the completion of the third round one should go to washroom weather if the performer feels urge or not. Again drink two glasses of water and repeat all the Asanas. each time during bowel movement the toxins will be removed. This process can be continued till the clean water is evacuated. Generally 10- to 12 glasses of water is required to get the clear water evacuated from bowel though it can varies from person to person.
After an hour of completion the process, one should take Khichadi diet with Ghee. That helps to nourish and lubricate the track. Dairy, meat, hot and sour food should be avoided till two days. enough water should be taken to hydrate the body.
Shankha Prakshalan is very easy and efficient process of cleansing, though it has to be performed under the guidance of qualified practitioners only. The information provided in this article is for knowledge purpose only and do not perform without expert advise.
Thank you for taking time to read this article, see you next month with new interesting subjects.