Hatha Yoga describes Shatkarmas (six processes) in details for Body purification
and mind purification. Various asanas (Yoga Positions), six shatkarmas, mudras & bandhas (psychic knots
or psycho-physiological energy release techniques) and
Pranayama are described in old ancient sanskrit texts of Hatha Yoga (Hatha
Yoga Pradipika and Gherandasamhita).
Yoga has considered internal purification of the human body in depth. The shuddhikriyas
(Cleansing Process) have been planned with a view to have total purification of
the body before various samskaras are made thereon for baking the body in the fire
named Yoga so as to turn the body into a ripe vehicle. The organs where there can
be a lot of impurities require these shuddhikriyas. The internal organs, which come
into contact with the external matters regularly, need to be purified. The trachea
regularly comes into contact with the external air, the food pipe comes into contact
with the external food products, and the mind comes into contact with the thoughts
of the external world; these and such other organs need to be purified internally.
Hence the shuddhikriyas. Certain elements are cured with these kriyas. Ayurveda
has described these shuddhikriyas by the name of Panchkarmas. However, these panchkarmas
take help of certain medicines and herbs. In the shuddhikriyas stated in Yoga, the
emphasis is on the natural method. Many shuddhikriyas have been described in the
Yoga texts. We will consider some of them in this syllabus. Direct study of these
shuddhikriyas is expected over here.
While studying shuddhikriyas, one should consider the important difference in other
yogic processes and the shuddhikriyas. Other yogic processes invariably form part
of the daily activity of the human life, but these shuddhikriyas are not to be practiced
daily. In fact they are not meant as part of the daily routine. When it is necessary
to purify the body, these kriyas may be practiced daily, but when the need is over,
the practice is stopped. It cannot generally be stated over here, when the need
arises. It depends on each and every individual hence, the processes will be taught
over here, but they are not to be practiced daily, but according to the duration
which each individual may need. The duration may be different for each shuddhikriya.
The detailed description of each shuddhikriya is given but it is enough to remember
that shuddhikriyas are not to be practised like asanas and pranayam in day-to-day