Cleansing

Physiology of Cleansing Techniques from Hatha Yoga - 1

By Dr.Prafulla S.Dorle

Shatkarma or Cleansing techniques are the important part of Hatha Yoga tradition, they are mentioned in various books of Hatha Yoga. Cleansing processes are six in number which help to clean the body internally. It cleans our body and removes the toxins, excess of metabolic by-products and prepares the body for higher attainments in yoga. As it is a cleansing process it is not necessary to practice daily like we practice yogasana and pranayama. It is to be practiced only when the toxins in the body increase, so as to wash them out. Typically excess of Tridoshas as per Ayurveda i.e. Kafa (Mucus), Pitta (Bile) & Vata (wind) are removed and body is balanced, which makes the mind calm and peaceful.

Toxins start accumulating in the body from the first breath of the child after its birth in this polluted world. These toxins, metabolic waste products go on accumulating in the body as we grow. We only clean the body externally, but do not pay attention for internal cleaning of body. Some time we need to clean it internally.

Nature tries to keep our body internally clean. We sneeze when dust enters our nose, we vomit when we swallow some irritating or poisonous substance. But in this polluted world, nature herself becomes helpless, we need to assist her, we need to support her in cleaning the body.

Cleansing processes help us in that direction.

  1. Some of the cleansing process are directed towards the body systems which are directly exposed to environmental pollution. (Digestive and respiratory system) These systems receive from external environment.
  2. Some cleansing process are helpful in cleaning those organs where there is accumulation of waste products. E.g. Rectum and nose.
  3. Some of them are directed towards special sense organs of our body eyes (tratak – Concentrated gazing), ear (karnarandhra – Ear cleansing), nose(neti – nasal cleansing), tongue(jivhamula – tongue cleansing ).
  4. Some of them help in improving the normal function of body.
    e.g. Jalabasti (Water enema) relives constipation.
    Agnisar (Fire stimulating technique) improves digestion

So by practice of cleansing process

  1. We clean the body from toxins and metabolic waste products accumulated in the body.
  2. We improve the functions of our special senses.
  3. We help nature to improve our normal body function.

So help nature to keep the body internally clean as the lion eats grass and vomits when his stomach is upset.

Note - Cleansing techniques are to be practiced only under the guidance of Yoga Expert.


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