Yoga has several parts- asana, pranayama and shatkarma. Asanas
(postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) are quite
popular and widely practiced but today only a few people
practice Shatkarmas (Yoga cleansing practices).
Shatkarmas according to hatha yoga are the
six yogic cleansing processes of the body- Neti, Basti, Tratak,
Kapalabhati, and Nauli. These kriyas (processes) clean the eyes,
respiratory system, food pipes, and tone up abdominal viscera
and the small intestine.
The body works like a machine and has to be continuously cleaned
and maintained. The body releases toxins in the form of mucus,
gas, acid, sweat, urine and stool. It is these toxins that have
to be removed and cleaned for the proper functioning of the
Earlier, these practices were undertaken by yogis to prepare
their bodies for advanced practices of yoga. They were not
designed for therapy alone, but to create harmony of body and
mind. As shatkarmas detoxify the body, resulting in many
benefits, they are very relevant to us today and make a lot of
sense if we learn and follow them.
- Helps to build resistance to diseases by eliminating the toxins.
- Sharpens the mind
- Washes the colon, sinus tracts, the stomach etc.
- Provides massaging effects to the areas applied
- Increases vital capacity
- One's capacity to think, digest, taste , feel express etc. increases and greater awareness develops