Shatkarma- The six Procedures of Yogic purification.

Cleansing is the main important aspect of traditional systems of medicines, weather it be Ayurveda, Naturopathy or Yoga or any other traditional system of medicine.. The concept behind cleansing is to remove the stored toxins from the body. These toxins ae the root cause for the eruption of some unwanted illnesses. when we say toxins then we should know what these toxins are and how it enters to the body. These toxins can be in physical or material or in energy form and they enter in the system by our invitation only. depends upon the type of invitation. so if we invite them by physical activities , life style or by emotions, based on that type the toxins will be. The principle of Alternative system of medicines is to heal the issues from root, if the root cause of most issues is accumulated toxins then healing process can start from removing the root cause.
Recently the world celebrated the international Yoga day. Yoga is worldly accepted because of it’s easy adaptions for various health conditions. Yoga word is made of Sanskrit word “Yuj” which latterly means to unite. Yoga emphasizes the balance between physical and mental well being. to maintain physical and mental wellbeing the ancient Yogis have suggested some precious techniques. Shatkarma is one of them.
Shatkarma is a Yogic cleansing method, which is practiced to clean the system from the accumulated toxins. This technique is quiet similar to Panchakarma in Ayurveda. it helps to flow Prana properly by removing the blockades. Though this technique is easy to practice it should be practiced under the supervision of qualified teacher. Shatkarmas are six cleansing procedures. These six techniques are 1: Dhauti
2: Basti
3: Neti
4:Nauli
5: Tratakam
6: Kapalbhati
Dhauti: Cleansing of digestive tract.

Vastra Dhauti


Vamana Dhauti.


Dhauti translates to wash. This is the first procedure of the six Yogic cleansing procedures. This technique is performed to clean the digestive tract by yogis. There are many types of Dhauti processes but two types are most common.
1: Vastra Dhauti
2: Vamana Dhauti
Vastra Dhauti: Vastra translates to cloth, The literal translation is cleansing the digestive system using a cotton cloth. In this technique, A white, clean 3 meters of length and 3 cm of width cotton cloth strip soaked in clean water and it is swallowed and held in stomach for few minutes. This process helps to remove the accumulated toxins from the esophagus and stomach. It is useful in hyper acidity, asthma and in issues related to upper digestive tract.
Vamana Dhauti: Vamana meaning therapeutic emesis. In this technique, excessive amount of lukewarm water is taken orally and that induces vomiting. some time salt is added to the water. with the material of vomit undigested food particles and mucus comes out, that helps in digestion and stomach related issues.

Basti : cleansing of large intestine.
Yogic Basti is a cleansing method for large intestine. There are two types of Yogic Basti. Stahala (dry) Basti and Jala (Water) Basti.
Jala Basti: In this procedure Yogi uses their anal muscles to suck the water and retain it in large intestine for few minutes and then the water is released. This requires strong contractions of anal muscles which is very hard to performed by anyone without proper training. This process helps to remove stored toxins from the large intestine and all vata related issues.
Stahala Basti: In this procedure air is sucked through anus by the special movement of abdominal muscles. This process helps in bloating and improves digestion.
Neti: Nasal passage cleansing.
Neti : This process is very well known to everyone and most of us are using it. in western world it is popular, it’s not a new invention. It has been in use since centuries in south Asia.

Neti is described in Hatha yoga pradapika to cleanse the nasal passage and for a natural flow of Prana. There are four types of Neti described in the ancient text. Jala Neti, Sutra Neti, Dugdha Neti and Ghrita Neti. Among all these Jala neti and sutra neti is most poppular.
Jala Neti: Cleansing of nasal passage using salt water. In this practice, water is instilled into one nostril while tilting the head in one direction and adjusting the face in a way that the water comes out from the other nostril. Same procedure is applied for the other nostril After this procedure it is advised to dry the nostrils performing deep breathing from each nostril. This practice helps to remove stuck mucus from the nasal passage and clens the passage for the smooth flow of Prana. This practice can help in Rhinitis, Asthma and upper respiratory issues.
Sutra Neti: Sutra translates to thread. So the literal translation is Nasal cleansing using thread. In this process a soft medicated string ( now a days, surgical tube is also used) is inserted through the one nostril keeping some part hanging out of the nostril , then the other part of the string is pulled out from the mouth. After that the thread should be gently pulled out and in for two times. same process can be applied for the other nostril. This procedure can help in sinus, cough, cold, to remove mucus and for issues related to upper respiratory tract.
Nauli : Abdominal massage to cleanse an abdomen and small intestine.
Nauli kriya is a cleansing technique for abdominal organs.

In this practice abdominal muscles (Rectus abdominus) are moved laterally and vertically in a wave like motions. Nauli is an advance level of technique and is very hard to perform without proper training. This kriya must be performed after proper elimination of urine and stool and must performed with empty stomach.


Nauli kriya massages the entire abdominal organs. It can be performed in standing or sitting. in standing position keep at least two feet distance between two legs. Then both hands are placed on both knees, slightly leaning forward. after complete exhalation, abdominal muscles are rotated from right to left and from left to right in Uddiyana Bandha. There are three types of nauli.
Madhya Nauli: Both the right and left abdominal muscles are concentrated at the center.
Vama Nauli: Both the abdominal muscles are aligned left from the center wall.
Dakshina Nauli: Both the abdominal muscles are aligned right from the center.
KapalBhati ( Forehead shing Pranayama)

KapalBhati


Kapalbhati is a breathing technique to cleans mor CO2. In this technique exhalation is performed forcefully. Inhalation is dome with less focus. This practice can help to remove more Carbon dioxide or impurities from the lungs. As name suggests this breathing technique can helps for skin issues by glowing the forehead skin.
Tratakam ( Cleansing of eyes)

Tratakam


Tratakam: Tratakam translates to staring at one point. This is the easiest cleansing technique of all the six purification methods. In this practice continues gazing is performed on a particular point. Based on the reference point there are two types of Tratakam. Internal Tratakam (if the point of focus is internal object) and External Tratakam(if the point of focus is external object). This practice can help to improve eye sight, concentration, memory and can help to purify mind.

All these shatkarmas can help to detoxify the body and mind. each kriya should be performed under qualified teacher’s supervision only. Though some of these techniques are very easy to perform, precautions should be taken before performing it. The information provided here is for knowledge purpose only and can not be practiced without proper guidance from a qualified teacher.
Thanks for taking a time to read this article. See you next with a new interesting subject. till then keep. Have a healthy and spiritual life.

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