Shatkarmas are a type of cleansing technique in Yoga where the body is cleaned through various methods. Shatkarma techniques include things like Kapalabhati, Bastrika, and Nauli. There are many benefits to performing these types of exercises including balancing prana (life force), cleaning the body’s channels, purifying the mind and soul, strengthening digestion and elimination, increasing mental clarity, reducing blood pressure among other things!
In this blog post we will discuss all 11 Shatkarmas individually as well as their benefits so you can make an informed decision about whether or not they’re right for you!
- Kapalabhati: When you perform this technique, the abdominal area is contracted and subsequently released rapidly. This can be performed continuously for up to five minutes, with a break of 15 seconds in between rounds. It increases your lung capacity by strengthening your diaphragm muscle and has been said to clear out toxins from the lungs that have settled due to smoking or other pollutants. In addition it promotes flexibility in muscles surrounding the abdomen because they’re constantly being stretched which also helps digestion because when these muscles are loosened there’s more space for food to move through without obstruction! One unfortunate side effect however is that some people may experience dryness in their nasal passages after performing Kapalabhati but there are ways around this. If you are practicing Kapalabhati under the guidance of an experienced teacher it may be best to take a few sips of water as you go.
Kapalabhati is an excellent breath exercise because it helps oxygenate the brain and purifies the blood by increasing its circulation which in turn removes toxins from all over your body. The more air that circulates throughout your system, the less likely you are to get sick! If there’s one Shatkarma posture we recommend practicing this would have to be Kapalabhati…
This is excellent practice if you want to strengthen your concentration and self-discipline. Trataka can be done with various objects such as candles, crystals or even a dot drawn on paper – but whichever method you choose make sure it’s something that won’t move so that your eyes don’t have anything to focus on!
- Jalneti: Jalneti is also known as Nasya which means “ointment”. It involves placing medicated fluids in different areas of the nasal passages and sinuses through one nostril by using small amounts of water or oil while breathing. Jal neti can be practiced every day for a few minutes in the morning and evening to help remove asthma, sinusitis, nasal congestion or other upper respiratory problems.
- Neti: Neti is also known as Nasikagra karma which means “cleaning of nose with water”. It involves pouring clean saltwater through one nostril while making sure not to touch sensitive areas such as eyes or teeth. This technique can be practiced every day for a few minutes in the morning and evening to relieve colds, reduce allergies and prevent future infections by washing out irritants like dust particles from your body’s airways.
- Trataka: Trataka is also called Dhyana which means “meditation” The practice of this technique helps clear the mind so that you are able to cleanse the malign in your mind.
- Nauli: Nauli is also known as Agnya karman which means “coughing up stomach contents”. The technique involves rubbing the abdominal muscles in a circular motion and sucking air into your abdomen with some force, then exhaling it out while contracting your abdominal muscles alternately to cleanse the intestines. This process can be performed quickly or slowly depending on how much time you have available for cleansing yourself.
- Kaya Kalpa: Kaya Kalpa is also called Vaman karma which means “purification by evacuating feces” In order to perform this Shatkarma properly, one must eat a light meal before going to bed then drink water in the morning and eat a light lunch. One should then drink water just before the Shatkarma is performed, but not immediately beforehand. You can either do this by taking a bath or using an enema to clean out your intestines of any feces in order to start anew with fresh fecal matter that needs purifying.
- Laghu-karma: Laghu means “light” This type of cleanse is very light (hence its name) There are two ways to perform laghu-karma. One is through the process of elimination. Another is through fasting and purification of the body
When performing “Laghu” by elimination, one can try to eat less food at every meal (or eliminate certain foods) for a period of time in order to allow your stomach time to shrink back down again
Eating too much or overindulging will cause bloating which slows digestion considerably This means that you’ll feel bloated for hours after eating meals like Thanksgiving dinner with all pumpkin pie Even if it was just two slices, as soon as those digestive juices hit your system they’re going to want more than what’s available This slow digestion also causes gas. After overeating, our bodies are not able to process the remaining food quickly enough and instead store it.
Shatkarmas are important for the body’s internal health and well being. They are a means of purifying the body and soul. Shatkarmas help to get rid of toxins in our system by eliminating waste through sweat, urine, bowel movements or vomiting They also reduce stress levels
Shatkarma can be done on its own as an individual practice or integrated into your yoga routine for added benefits The most popular shatkarma is cleansing fasts which can last for anywhere from one day up to three days during intense springtime seasons These vary depending upon who you ask but typically involve abstaining from solid foods such as fruits and vegetables
The best way to use shatkarmas is not only as a preventative measure but when symptoms arise like feeling fatigued after fasting then keep in mind that not all Shatkarmas are meant to be practiced everyday as intensely
It’s also important to understand that each Shatkarma has its own benefits and some should be done more frequently than others for example it is best not only to do a fast if you’re feeling sluggish but most of these are recommended in the morning after waking up
The key to understanding shatkarmas lies with an individual’s constitution since different people have different needs-shukra dosha, kapha dosha or vata dosha so make sure you find out what type of body cleansing practice will work best for your constitution before beginning any routine.
Additional Reading: Wikipedia