Shatkarmas & it’s Types
Shatkarmas are various practices for the purification of the body to keep it strong and clean. There are six kinds of Shatkarma practices that are used to remove toxins from our body which might be blocking the flow of ‘Prana’. Practicing Shatkarmas helps in preparing our body for meditation and Pranayamas so we can perform them without any discomfort or distractions. These techniques should only be learned from a teacher and practiced under their guidance. Doing the Shatkarmas regularly will not allow toxins to get deposited in our body. There are six Shatkarmas and we will discuss each one in detail below:
1 Neti – It is a cleansing process of nasal passages as well as the sinuses. There are two types of this Shatkarma: Jala Neti and Sutra Neti. In Jala Neti a saline solution is passed through nostrils using Neti pot while in Sutra Neti a thread is passed through the nostrils and taken out from the mouth.
2 Dhauti – It is a cleansing process of our alimentary canal which consists of mouth, oesophagus, stomach, intestines and rectum. This is for cleansing our digestive system. There are 11 types of Dhauti to cleanse the digestive tract. In one of the technique, a cloth is ingested to cleanse the digestive system while in the other water is used for cleansing the stomach and air is used to cleanse the intestines. Other technique also involves stoking the digestive fire in order to make the digestive system cleansed and stronger.
3 Nauli – It is a cleansing practice for the abdomen area where massage is used to purify the stomach. This practice can only be performed if your waistline does not have any fat. In this technique the muscles are projected forward and then contracted backwards to create a wave like motion, this motion increases the bodily fire. This requires a lot of practice and has to be done properly so the guidance of a teacher is very important.
4 Basti – In this Shatkarma the large intestine is purified. There are two ways to do this: with or without water. In Jala Basti, the person sits in a tub of water and then draws in water from the rectum using Nauli kriya and then the water is expelled.
5 Kapalbhati – In English it means “Shining Skull”. It is a breathing technique in which the exhalations are done strongly and forcefully and the abdomen is drawn in at the same time. The inhalation happens naturally as you exhale forcefully. This is done 20 times in quick rhythmic pattern.
6 Trataka – In this technique you have to stare with eyes wide open without blinking. This technique cleanses the eyes and improves mental focus. In another method you can focus your gaze on a candle flame, this improves blood circulation to the eyes and makes vision clear and strong.
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