What is Shatkarma and why it is necessary for Yoga practitioners?


Shat means six and Karma mean action, so Shatkarma means 6 actions for cleansing the body. It is also
known as Shatkriya and in Sanskrit, Satkarman. The purpose of these cleansing techniques is to keep the
body clean, healthy and strong. Through the regular practice of Shatkarma, we can remove stress,
blockages and all kinds of toxins from the internal body. Shatkarma prepares the practitioners for
Pranayama and Meditation. It makes the advanced Pranayama techniques easy.
The main goal of the shatkarma is to create harmony between the two major pranic flows, Ida and
Pingla, thereby attaining mental and physical purification.
Shatkarma is best natural techniques to balance the three doshas:shatkarma
a. Kapha (mucus),
b. Pitta (bile),
c. Vata (air)
According to “Hatha Yoga Pradipika”, the six purification techniques are:
1. Neti (Cleansing and purifying the nasal passages):- Neti is the very simple technique to purify the
nostrils. In Spirituality, it is best for Ajana (Third eye) awakening. The Neti techniques are- Jal
Neti, Rubber Neti, Sutra Neti, Dugdha Neti.
2. Dhauti (Internal Cleansing Techniques):- It is the technique to purify the stomach, lungs, throat
and whole internal body. The techniques of Dhauti are-
a. Kunjal (Vaman dhauti):- Cleansing the stomach with saline water through vomiting,
b. Danda Dhauti: – Cleansing the stomach with the aid of a rubber pipe,
c. Vastra Dhauti:- Cleansing the stomach with cotton cloth,
d. Agnisar (Vahnisara Dhauti):- Activating the digestive fire,
e. Shankhprakshalana: – Cleansing of the digestive tract.
3. Nauli: – A method of massaging and strengthening the abdominal organs.
4. Basti: – Techniques for washing and toning the large intestines. Techniques are- Jal basti, Pawan
5. Kapalbhati (Skull Cleansing technique):- It is a breathing technique for cleansing the skull,
stomach, and nostrils.
6. Trataka: – The technique of gazing on one point or one object (Yantra) or Candle flame to
develops the power of concentration. This technique is widely used by Meditation practitioners.
Note: – Please, never try practice any of the Shatkarma techniques through the reading of books, always
try to practice under an experienced teacher.
Without the cleansing of the body, we cannot get the maximum benefits of Yoga. After the practice
Shatkamra, we can feel the refreshment, peace, inner relaxation and sound breath. Keep practicing….

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