Sage Patanjali, who authored the ‘Yoga Sutra’ laid out the condition, that before starting any Yogasana, Pranayama and meditation, one must purify the body, with the methods suggested  in  his book.

 Why the body has to be purified before performing yogasanas?

Yogasanas demand certain conditions to be fulfilled in order to get the best results from Yogasanas, Pranayama and meditation. We know that during our day to day activities, several toxic substances accumulate in our body, some without our knowledge and some owing to our negligence. Because of extreme pollution around we will be subjected to  extreme atmospheric conditions, which in turn lead to ailments of all kinds. The presence of toxins will affect the body, if they are not removed from time to time on a regular basis.

Let's face the reality.

The stark reality whether we like it or not is, we cannot escape from the prevailing conditions around us. See the modern fast way of life. See the food we are eating. See the way we run after our deadlines and see the emotional turbulence caused by a plethora of uncertainties from dawn to dusk.

With all the above said conditions, its wise on our parts to think of an alternative that takes care of our helpless conditions and makes us to lead a life  free from ailments.

And the answer, rather the only answer is time teted age old Yoga. Yoga has the surest and most effective methods of body detoxification. The icing on the cake is, Yoga is a non – invasive and holistic therapy that will not cause any side effects.

Simplicity, Hallmark of Yoga.

The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Yuj'. Yuj means yoke. It's the same yoke, a farmer uses to bind his bulls to facilitate easy and fruitful farming. Here, Yoga ties body and soul in order to achieve a balanced life.

Six types of Body Purification techniques.

The techniques for body purification are six in number. Sage Patanjali named them as ‘Shat Kriyas’ . Shat in Sanskrit means six and Kriyas means, activities or techniques.

The six techniques of body purification are

JalNeti

Procedure.

In the cleaning process of Jalneti, boiled and then cooled water is used in a special pot known as ‘Neti Lota’. Fill this lota with the  previously boiled and cooled water. Add  half a spoon of salt to it. Stand  in front of a basin.Lower your head to the left side. While keeping your head in this position, insert the tip of the spout of the Neti lota in to the right nostril.

Now the water enters through your right nostril, comes out through your left nostril. Then repeat the same action this time tilting the head to our right side and pouring the saline water through the left nostril.

Now, in order to dry the nose,whuch is very essential, you have to blow your nose until the last traces of water comes out.

Benefits :

The nose is thoroughly cleaned.Jalneti is an effective method to cure sinus, cold, headache and migraine.

If Pranayama is practised after Jalneti,  one can derive maximum benefits from Pranayama. 

Dhauti

Procedure:

Mix two or three spoons of salt in  two liters of warm water.  Drink six to eight cups of this saline water. The  drinking of saline water will create a sense of vomiting in your stomach. At this stage, bend forward. Push the first three fingers deeply in to the mouth. This makes you vomit. And the water you drank will be vomited.Continue this process until the entire water you drank comes out.

This technique is called ‘Vaman Dhauti’. Vaman means vomiting. Repeat Vaman Dhauti once in a week.

Benefits :

Digestive system works with full capacity.

Toxins in the body are effectively eliminated through vomit.

Practising  Vaman Dhauti by those who are suffering from peptic or gastric ulcers, high blood pressure, Hernia  are strictly prohibited.

Nauli

Procedure:

Stand,  with legs  with a distance of about one foot between them. Bend forward slightly while bending the knees also. Now place the palms of your two hands on the thighs, just above the knees.

Take a deep breath by inhaling. Exhale slowly. Now the whole abdominal region has to be pulled back as far as possible towards the spine. This posture is known as ‘ Uddiyan bandh’. The next step is , while exerting pressure on the thighs with your palms, push the abdominal muscles down. The vertical muscles will protrude forward.This is one cycle. This stance is called ‘Madhyam nauli.’

Beginners cannot achieve the above posture easily and perfectly. As the practitioner continues, over a period will be able to get the required posture.

Remember not to practice Nauli after eating or drinking something. It should be practiced on an empty stomach.

Benefits:

Abdominal organs will be in very good condition. The most effective way to solve constipation problems.

Basti

The pre condition for doing  the Basti detoxification is the practitioner should be proficient in Nauli. This purification kriya should be practiced under the supervision of an expert as this purification kriya involves complexities.

Procedure :

In this process of internal purification, water is sucked in through the rectum into the large intestine and then thrown out.

Basti kriya can be done in two ways.

One way involves sitting in knee deep water or standing in waist deep water. The second way is through enema. Practitioners especially beginners are advised to consult a doctor before thinking of starting of any Yogasana.While performing the Basti kriya in the knee deep/ waist deep  water one should do Madhyam Nauli first. This makes the water flow in to the large intestine. Send the water through rectum three to foue times. in no time you feel like going to the toilet.

If  the practitioner is a beginner and cannot do the Nauli, Enema method of sending water in to the large intestine will serve the same purpose.

Benefits :

Basti is a sure way of cleansing the intestines. And this automatically solves the constipation problem.

Tratak

Tratak is a yogic exercise aimed to strengthen the eyesight. Tratak is also a yogic exercise to be done under the supervision of a guru.

Procedure :

Sit in a comfortable position preferably in  sukhasana. At a distance of one and a half feet two and a half feet, place a dot in black colour or a picture of your choice. You can do Tratak with a candle also. If you prefer a candle to work with, choose a place where there is no chance of a breeze that puts off the candle.

Look at the object you kept at a distance from you. Don’t frown. Just stare at the object without batting the eyelid. When your eyes start burning and shedding water, shut your eyes and imagine whatever you have been seeing till then. Give yourself some time and open the eyes and resume Tratak again. Repeat Tratak four to five times.

This can be repeated once or twice in a day.

Benefits :

A regular session of Tratak will strengthen the eyesight. And a good eyesight will have an indirect effect on the brain and the mind.

For a beginner staring straight at the object will cause instant burning in the eyes. And the eyes start shedding water. With practice one can increase the duration of staring at the object without eyes shedding water.

Kapalbhati.

Kapalbhati lends glow to the skull of the practitioner. Kapala in Sanskrit means skull. Bhati means shine or glow.

Procedure :

See that you are sitting in a comfortable place. Sit on a yoga mat. The floor should be even. Sit in  Padmasana or Sukhasana as per your convenience. While sitting ensure your spine and head are in a straight line.

Place your hands on the knees. Start inhaling and exhaling rhythmically and quickly. While inhaling pull the abdominal muscles as much as you can. Then exhale with force. This kriya should be done at a rapid rate of 60 to 120 minutes a minute. Give a gap. Allow the breath to be normal.

A practitioner of Kapalbhati should ensure, his shoulders and chest are kept steady, as there is a chance of unsteadiness in the chest and the shoulders due to fast and rapid breathing.

Don’t eat anything before performing Kapalbhati.. Kapalbhati is forbidden to those who suffer from high blood pressure  and heart related ailments.

Perform Kapalbhati every day. But it should be done  before Pranayama.

Benefits :

The practitioner will have a well composed mind. He will remain calm all along the day. Respiratory system will be fortified and purified.


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