What is the Shatkarma?

Shatkarma

One’s internal organs can be cleansed by yogic techniques called shatkarma. The hatha yoga pradipika states six cleansing techniques. “Shat” means six, and “kriya” means action. The kriyas help to remove waste materials from our internal organs that are not easy to expel. The main aim of shatkarmas is to cleanse the internal organs, help in the harmonious flow of pranas through the major nadis, the ida and pingala. Practising shat kriyas internally purifies the body, which makes pranayama and meditation practice easier.

The 6 kriyas are

There are 6 kriyas mention in the hatha yoga pradipika . The six kinds of shat kriyas are :

  1. Dhauti.
  2. Basti.
  3. Neti.
  4. Trâtaka.
  5. Nauli.
  6. kapâlabhâti.

Dhauti

A cleansing process for the elimentary canal, including the oesophagus, the mouth, the stomach, intestines and rectum. there many types of dhauti to cleanse different parts of gut. The most common practices are vaman dhauti which is done with water, Danda dhauti which is done with rubber tube and vastra dhauti which is done with cloth.

Basti

A method for purifying the large intestine either with or without water. In this method, the yogi sits in a tub of water and draws up water into the rectum by practicing uddiyana bandha and using the nauli kriya. then the water is expelled.

Neti

Neti is a cleansing process intended to clean the nasal passages. The two most common practice of neti kriya are

  1. Jala Neti – done with salt water.
  2. Sutra Neti – done with sutra or rubber tube.

Trataka

Trataka means to gaze or to look. the two most common type of trataka practices are

  1. Bahya trataka
  2. Antara trataka

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Nauli

A cleansing practice for the abdomen which means uses the abdomen musles to massage and stimulate the digestive organs.

The practice of nauli removes dyspepsia, increases appetite and digestion, It dries up all disorders. nauli practices can be considered to be of four types;

  1. Vama nauli [Left]
  2. Madhya nauli [Middle]
  3. Dakshina nauli [Right]
  4. Nauli chalana [rotation]

Kapalbhati

kapalbhati is a sanskrit word that means forehead shining breathing technique. It is as the regular practice of kapalbhati gives you the shining forehead and bright intellect. There are 3 types of kapalbhati.

  1. Vatakrama kapalbhati.
  2. vyutkrama kapalbhati.
  3. sheetkrama kapalbhati.

General benefits of shatkarma

  • Shatkarma is very good to overcome a lot of diseases completely.
  • The practice of shatkarma create hormony in body and mind.
  • The different systems of the body are purified by this shatkarma practice, so the energy can flow through the body freely.
  • Its very good for general health; this increases one’s capacity to work, think, digest, taste, feel, experience, concentrate, etc.
  • Practicing shatkarmas internally purifies the body, which makes pranayama and meditation practice easier by preparing the body to perform these practices without any distraction.
  • Shatkarma techniques regulate the production of the doshas. There are 3 doshas in the body they are called tridosha. A balanced portion these three facilitates body functions, but if there is an access of ones and a shortage of another can cause overheating or not enough heat in the body.
  • In hatha yoga, shatkarmas specifically designed for balancing the tridosha in the body and remove the excess mucus blocking, gas in the stomach and intestine, wastes and impurities etc.

NOTE – Practice shatkarma under supervision of your teacher/guru/instructor.

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