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The Cleansing practices Vatsara Dhauti Agnisar Kriya Trataka Kapal Bhati

Other cleansing techniques

The Cleansing practices

Cleansing practices owe their origin to Yoga, which has documented these practices as essential for the body to be free from illnesses and also for higher spiritual development.

According to Yoga, the cleansing practices are 6 in number and serve to balance the energy flows in the body through the two main channels called the Ida and the Pingala. In fact all the oriental cultures, focus on these 2 energy flows but by different names, thereby adding credibility to this theory.

These cleansing practices, called Shatkarmas are responsible for creating physical and mental harmony and freeing one from diseases. In Ayurveda, disease is caused by the imbalance of the three 'doshas' or humors, which are the Kapha (mucus), Pitta (Bile) and the Vata (Wind). The cleansing practices also serve to balance these three elements and purify the body of toxins.

The cleansing practices are:

  1. Neti : responsible for cleaning the nasal passages through the common practices of Jala Neti and Sutra Neti.
  2. Dhauti: This is subdivided into internal cleansing techniques, head cleansing and thoracic cleaning practices which include:
    1. Shankhaprakshlana or Intestinal cleansing techniques.
    2. Agnisar Kriya for stimulating the digestive fire.
    3. Kunjal for abdominal washing.
    4. Vatsara Dhauti: Cleansing the intestines with air.
  3. Nauli: techniques that are used to massage and strengthen the abdominal organs.
  4. Basti: techniques for cleaning and toning the large intestine
  5. Kapalbhati: A technique of "skull polishing" or cleaning the frontal region of the brain.
  6. Trataka: developing concentration by staring at a fixed point. Most of these practices must be learnt under expert guidance to take note of the advice and precautions while learning them in the correct manner.
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