Cleansing yoga techniques

At times, after yoga class I experienced unpleasant conditions, seemingly incompatible with yoga. Instead of calm, peacefulness, I felt irritability, headache, nervousness. Not always, not after every practice, but, however, this pattern was especially pronounced at the beginning of the path. I refused to accept the fact that such moments could be caused by the practice, because for me yoga was “medicine,” but not the cause of discomfort.

Understanding the cause of the problem came only recently, at the breakdown of the lectures on shatkarmas – purification techniques of yoga, which are aimed at getting rid of toxins, excess mucus and fat, as a consequence, getting rid of muscle clamps and emotional blocks, which live in the muscles.

It turned out to be simple, the toxins and impurities accumulated in the body during the practice of asanas, twisting, bending, flexing were absorbed into the blood more intensely and poisoned the nervous system. Taking into account the fact that I did not cleanse my body, did not always follow the regimen of my work and studies, did not eat a hundred percent balanced diet, it became clear that a lot of garbage had accumulated. Garbage, which the body could not cope with on its own, and which caused discomfort after the practice.

Our body is capable of self-cleaning, but in the emerging external circumstances it cannot cope with an overabundance, crossing a certain limit of pollution. Exhaust fumes, factory emissions, fruits and vegetables grown on pesticides and chemicals, animals on antibiotics – how difficult it has become to find natural products in ordinary supermarkets. Much has changed and the body requires our help and our intervention.

Yoga offers 6 (six) cleansing techniques aimed at physical wellness, and as a consequence, mental and energetic, which are closely linked to each other. The effectiveness of asana practice increases and the body is prepared for breathing exercises, which is why it is so important to start yoga classes with cleansing.
Shatkarmas in Sanskrit mean 6 actions that affect different areas of our body.

They can be divided into three types:
1) water cleansing techniques, where we most often use a saline solution;
2) Fire cleansing techniques, where we use exercises to increase the energy of fire, usually abdominal manipulations;
3) air cleansing techniques, where air is used for cleansing.

Cleansing techniques in yoga:

1. Dhauti – internal cleansing, purification of the stomach. A distinction is made between cleansing with water through vomiting, by swallowing a bandage, and by manipulation of the abdominal muscles.

Dhauti improves the functioning of all abdominal organs, prevents autointoxication by getting rid of undigested food remnants, which decompose and get absorbed into the walls of blood vessels and poison the body, removes excess mucus accumulated on the walls of the digestive and respiratory organs and has other beneficial effects.

2. basti – cleansing of the large intestine. Basti differs from the usual enema in a more gentle approach, here the liquid is not forced, stretching the walls of the intestine, but in a more natural way. This is done by creating a vacuum and performing a “median tourniquet” with the abdominal muscles.

This technique is aimed at cleansing the lower digestive tract and the entire large intestine. It stimulates the bowel activity, eliminates constipation and stagnation, and has a calming effect.

3. neti – nasal cleansing. Neti is a nose cleaning using a salty water solution with a special kettle, or with the help of a soft thread or a rubber catheter.

Neti cleans the air passages, improves gas exchange in the lungs, stimulates brain activity, alleviates the symptoms of tension and has several other beneficial effects.

4. trataka – eye cleansing. Working at the computer, using the phone, our eyes are very tired and strained during the day, trataka helps to strengthen the eye muscles and helps to improve vision. Since there is also meditation during trataka, the bonus is to relieve nervous tension, combat insomnia, and calm the mind.

5. Nauli – abdominal massage. Nauli strengthens abdominal muscles, massages abdominal organs, improves venous outflow, stimulates peripheral circulation.

6. Kapalabhati – cleansing and revitalization of the frontal lobes of both hemispheres of the brain. Kapalabhati in Sanskrit means radiance of the skull. There is improvement of blood circulation and metabolism, stimulation of CNS, toning of cerebral vascular system, improvement of cerebral activity. There is also a massage of the abdominal organs and improvement of respiratory functions.
This technique is recommended to be performed before meditation or instead of a cup of coffee for vivacity.

It is important to remember that each technique has its own contraindications! By taking care of and cleansing our bodies, we improve the quality of our lives; the choice is up to us.

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