Shatkarma kriyas are the six cleansing techniques as outlined in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and should be practiced before pranayama. “Shat” meaning six and “karma” meaning action. These kriyas create space in the human temple for living spirit — they detoxify the body, the blood stream, the nervous system, brain, nadis, mind, thought patterns, and negative tendencies. Kriyas open up and clear out accumulated toxins from the body and alleviate the past resistances to clear thinking and lead one toward an enlightened, body, mind and spirit.
1. Neti: Nasal Cleansing
2. Dhauti: Intestinal Wash
Antar (internal) Dhauti
Hrida (cardiac) Dhauti – It has 3 kinds of practices
3. Vasti: Intended to serve the purpose of ‘enema’ to pass out the accumulation of feces from the intestinal canal. There are two varieties
4. Trataka: Yoga exercise for the eyes, it involves steady and continuous gazing at a point of concentration. Trataka is similar to dristhi , but with the exception that our intent here is to purify the physical eyes while not blinking. Hatha yoga asana practice also provides other exercises for the eyes such as the eye circle movements which also increase circulation to and purify the eyes
Benefits of this practice:
Trataka cures several eye diseases. Eyesight improves and it reduces lethargy. It increases the power of concentration.It improves the optic function, both external and internal, such as poor eyesight and visualization abilities. Trataka stimulates the activation of the ajna chakra . Trataka helps focus and calm the nervous system and mind. It aids in concentration and will power, thus expediting dharana siddhi (the entering into the more subtle awareness of antaranga yoga). Trataka not only cleanses the eyes but rather removes the coverings of the third eye (gnosis).
5. Nauli: 3 Types a yoga abdominal cleansing technique which serves to massage the internal organs of the body. In this the abdominal muscles are isolated and churned. It has 3 part
Benefits of Nauli: better digestion, improved metabolism, reduced stress, easier meditation and a clearer mind.
6. Kapalabhati: The process of kapalbhati is related to the breathing process, The constant pushings exercise the muscles which are used for breathing, which increase their efficiency. Also, a certain pressure of air is created in the process which helps in removing impurities in the breathing tube from the alveoli. Important in the process is the particular movement of the stomach muscles. The process of Kapalbhati helps the awakening of kundalini.
DO NOT TRY THESE ON YOUR OWN
ONLY UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF A QUALIFIED TEACHER!
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