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Cleaning technicians in Hatha yoga. Shatkarma

In the ancient treatise of the “Yoga Sutra” of Patanjali classification of a yamas and niyama as principles of moral and ethical behavior of a yogin is given. One of the principles of a niyama is the Shaucha that it is possible to mean as Purity. The concept of purity can be considered in a broad sense as purity of a body and mind. In later treatises, such as “Hatha Yoga Pradipika” and “The Gheranda Samhita” are described concrete exercises which are intended for creation and maintenance of that purity (Shaucha) which Patanjali mentions . This exercise gave Shatkarma's name (sansk. Shat-karman: shat – six, and karma – action). Six actions mean 6 types of exercises which purpose is maintenance of healthy hygiene of concrete bodies and specific to these the technician psycho-emotional and power influence.

Here that is told about Shatkarmas in “Hatha Yoga Pradipika”:

Shlok 21. When fat or mucus is excessive, the shatkarmas should be practiced before pranayama.

Shloka 23. Shatkarma – the secret practice bringing wonderful results..

These practicians of a shatkarma which clear a body are secret. They yield big result and are highly appreciated by great Yogins.

Practicians of a shatkarma are very powerful, and they can't learn from books or from inexperienced people. In India there is a tradition – only the one who, in turn, was trained in the guru can teach other people. If people study at the unskilled teacher, they, most likely, will make serious mistakes. Practicing will make mistakes and in that case when he practices independently, without the guide of the guru. They say that practicians of a shatkarma are secret because practicing has to receive personal instructions that they are really necessary, and how to carry out them — and all this according to individual requirements. For this it is important to have the qualified and skilled teacher. Practicians of a shatkarma were never developed especially for treatment, but only for creation of harmony in a body and mind and for preparation for further practicians."

The Shatrarmas are as follows:

1. Dhauti – a techniques which clean the entire alimentary canal

2. Basti – a techniques for washing and toning the large intestine

3. Neti – cleansing and purifying the nasal passages

4. Trataka – the practice of contemplation clearing plaintive channels, strengthening muscles of eyes and optical nerves

5. Nauli – a method of massaging the abdominal organs

6. Kapalabhati – a technique for purifying the nasal passage and frontal region of the brain

We will consider each type of technique in more detail


Dhauti is directed on clarification of a digestive tract, which are divided into three main groups:

Antar Dhauti (internal)

• Vatsara dhauti – pushing out of air through an anus

• Varisara dhauti (Shankhaprakshalana) – cleansing of the intestine by large amount of water

• Vahnisara (Agnisar kriya) dhauti – fast expansion and compression of an abdominal cavity

• Bahistrita – washing of a rectum in hands

Danta Dhauti (the tooth)

• Jihva – cleaning the tongue

• Karna – cleaning the ears

• Kapalrandhra– clarification of the sinus courses

• Chakshu – bathing the eyes

Hrid Dhauti (cardiac)

• Danda dhauti – by inserting of a soft banana trunk into a stomach

• Vastra dhauti – swallowing of a long thin rope

• Vaman dhauti – vomit the food from the stomach

Moola shodhana (clarification of a rectum)

We will consider the most available and effective method – Vaman dhauti which also call Kunjal kriya.

Step-by-step technology of performance Vaman dhauti:

1. To prepare salty solution of warm water about 1-2 liters on the person (Proportions ~ 1 liter of water / 1 small spoon of salt)

2. To drink solution fast small drinks (on an empty stomach)

3. To make soft option of an agnisar of a dkhouta

4. Having inclined over a bathroom or a sink, to induce vomiting by tickle the back of the throat with the first two fingers.

5. To remove stomach contents outside. Do it so many time, how many will be required completely to remove all water.

Effects and indications to application of a Vaman dhauti

Shloka 25 Dhauti cures many diseases. There are no doubts that cough, asthma, spleen diseases, leprosy and twenty types of other diseases caused by excess of slime are eliminated with help by of a dhauti karma.

The main effects of Vaman Dhauti are:

1. Removal of excess slime from respiratory tracts (catarrhal diseases at completion stages, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic sinusitis, allergic reactions)

2. Stimulation of work of a stomach, intestines. Stimulation of secretion of gastric juice and enzymes of a pancreas (at insufficient activity of digestion)

3. Activity regulation of biliary system, gall bladder, pancreas (dyskinesia of bilious channels, hypofunction of a gall bladder)

It is better to do procedure in the morning, on an empty stomach. The regularity of repetition of procedure is caused by personal features of an organism. Procedure can be done with a regularity of times once a month or daily courses for receiving fast steady effect.

Contraindications to Vaman Dhauti :

1. Аcute and exacerbations of chronic inflammatory diseases of a digestive tract (gastritis, stomach ulcer)

2. cirrhosis

3. tumors of a digestive tract

4. cholelithiasis

5. tendency to hyper secretion of a stomach and low level of a kapha according to an Ayurveda (relative contraindication)

Special instructions to procedure performance

If when performing a vaman of a dkhouta, the water leaving a stomach has a reddish shade, there are clots of blood or firm blood particles are testifies to that that mucous a stomach is damaged. In this case it is necessary to interrupt performance and to take measures for restoration mucous a stomach.


Basti – this is yogic Enema, clarification of the lower departments of a digestive tract. Allocate two options of performance:

• jala (the water) basti – sucks water into the anus, and then pushing out of contents of intestines

• sthala (dry) basti – вsucks air into the anus and then pushing out of contents of intestines.

We will consider in more detail jala basti which renders the strongest effect on a body and consciousness of the person.

The main difference of Bastia from Enema is that when performing enema water is entered under pressure and walls of intestines stretch that can lead to locks and stagnation of a blue blood. Basti is carried out due to creation of low pressure in an abdominal cavity by means of performance of a madhyam nauli that trains muscles of intestines and interferes with developments of stagnation.

Step-by-step technology of performance basti:

1. to fill a bathtub with water, to squat over (it is possible to carry out with a basin, having put a basin on a chair)

2. to oil anal passage by oil or cream and to enter a tube with a diameter of 5-15 mm

3. to execute a madhyama nauli

4. when water stop to come to intestines, to close a tube by finger

5. to restore breath and to repeat step 3,4 several times

6. when intestines enough are filled with water to remove a tube from anal passage

7. to execute few times agnisar dhauti or a vama-dakshima nauli

8. to empty intestines

9. To repeat procedure until water doesn't start leaving absolutely pure and transparent.

Effects and indications to application of Basti

Shloka 27. Enlargement of the glands and spleen and all diseases arising from excess wind, bile and mucus are eliminated from the body through the practice of basti

Shloka 28. By practising jala basti the appetite increases, the body glows, excess doshas are destroyed and the dhatu, senses and mind are purified.

The main benefits of Jala Basti are:

1. Purifycation of rectum and sigmoid colon , large intestine

2. Stimulation of activity of intestines (at locks)

3. Stimulation of venous system of a small pelvis (at hemorrhoids in a remission stage, chronic prostatitis, other chronic inflammatory diseases of bodies of a small pelvis)

4. The tranquil effect (at a neurasthenia, ensomnia)

Short courses of Basti in the preventive purposes it is possible to carry out 1-2 times a year. At medical indications it is possible to carry out daily.

Contraindications :

1. Exacerbation of hemorrhoids

2. Acute inflammatory diseases of an abdominal cavity and bodies of a small pelvis

3. Сancerous growth of any localization

4. Pregnancy, menstrual period

Special instructions to practice of Basti

When developing bleedings of intestines performance of Basti it is necessary to stop and take measures to restoration of walls of intestines.


Neti – Technology of nasal cleansing.

There are two types:

• Jala neti – washing of a nose salty solution of water.

• Sutra neti – nasal cleansing by cotton lace or rubber catheter.

We will consider both of this equipment in more detail.

Step-by-step technology of performance of a Jala neta

1. To prepare solution ~ 1 teaspoon of salt on liter of warm water

2. To take a sniff water (from a bowl) by one nostril. Let the water pass out through the nostril

3. To remove water through other nostril, having inclined the head and breathing through a mouth

4. To do point 2nd and 3rd for other nostril

5. To clean nasal bosoms exercise of a kapalabhati/bhastrikа with an open mouth, rotating the head

Effects and indications to application of Jala Neti

Shloka 30. Neti cleanses the cranium and bestows clairvoyance. It also destroys all diseases which manifest above the throat

1. Purification of the nasal passages (antritis, sinusitis)

2. Stimulation of blood system and nervous terminations mucous nose

3. Improvement of work of a brain (ensomnia, premenstrual syndrome)

4. Stimulation of an intellectual tone and memory

Contraindications to performance of Jala Neti

Contraindications to performance of this equipment can be numerous punctures of sinuses of nose, that can cause inflammatory process at hit of salty water in sinuses.

Step-by-step technology of performance of Sutra neti:

1. to inject 2-3 drops of vegetable oil into the nose before some hours prior to procedure

2. To oil a rubber catheter or a cotton tie-string by vegetable oil or to place in hydrochloric solution of water

3. to place a tie-string tip in a nostril and softly to push till the moment when the tie-string to enter a nasopharynx

4. to hook on a tie-string by fingers and to remove the end of a tie-string through a mouth

5. Several times to pull a tie-string there and back, stimulating the mucous.

6. To do point 3rd -5th for other nostril or to do at the same time by two tie strings

Effects and indications to application of Sutra Neti

1. Purification and stimulation of a mucous nasopharynx (chronic sinusitis, maxillary sinusitis)

2. Improvement of capillary blood circulation and local immunity (headaches of a vascular origin, migraine)

3. Stimulation of the nervous terminations in mucous membrane of the nose

4. Improvement of work of a brain (functional frustration of a menstrual cycle, sleep disorder)

5. Stimulation of an intellectual tone and memory (decrease in an intellectual tone, increased fatigue, the expressed intellectual loadings)

6. curvature of a nasal partition

At the indications stated above this equipment should be carried out daily. For prevention it is enough to do 1-2 times a week.

Contraindications to performance of Sutra Neti

1. tumors and polyps in the nasal passages

2. nasal bleedings of an unknown origin


Trataka – it is training of eyes by means of not movably fixing of eyeballs in this or that gaze. To gaze steadily at a fixed point

There are two forms of Trataka:

• bahiranga , or external trataka

• antaranga , or internal trataka .

Bahiranga is easier to practise because one simply has to gaze at an object or symbol, antaranga trataka involves clear and stable inner visualisation of an object . As external object of fixing can be used: eyebrow center, nose tip, candle flame, river, rising sun, etc.

We will consider in more detail performance of a trataka with fixing on a candle flame in a combination of 2 options of performance (external and internal concentration)

Step-by-step technology of performance of Trataka

1. Place a candle at eye level

2. gaze steadily at the candle flame till:

3. plentiful dacryagogue, excepting blinking

4. easy burning in eyes with periodic rare blinking

5. to close eyes, observing a light spot, without allowing its movement and bifurcating

6. to cover eyeballs by warm palms, strengthening brightness of a light spot

7. gaze at the after-image of the flame in the space in front of the closed eyes before its disappearance

8. to repeat 2-3 times points 1st - 5th

It is possible to practice a trataka during from 5 to 20 minutes daily in the absence of contraindications.

Benefits from Trartaka

Shloka 32. 'Trataka eradicates all eye diseases, fatigue and sloth and closes the doorway creating these problems. It should carefully be kept secret like a golden casket.

1. Purification of nasolacrimal duct

2. Activation of parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation, calm)

3. Relaxation of muscles of eyes



1. Acute inflammatory diseases of eyes


Наули – Abdominal Massage by means of reduction and isolation of direct muscles of a stomach.

The preceding technicians to nauli is agnisara-dhauti and the uddiyana bandha.

There are three types of Nauli:

• madhyama nauli – allocation of a median muscle of a stomach

• vama nauli – reduction of the left rectus abdominis muscle (rotation from left to right)

• dakshina nauli - reduction of the right rectus abdominis muscle (rotation from right to left)

Step-by-step technology of performance of Nauli

Shloka 34. Nauli is foremost of the hatha yoga practices. It kindles the digestive fire, removing indigestion, sluggish digestion and all disorders of the doshas, and brings about happiness.

1. exhalation, held out

2. retraction of a stomach at the blocked throat crack

3. allocation of rectus abdominis muscle

4. reduction of the left rectus abdominis muscle

5. reduction of the right rectus abdominis muscle

6. relaxation of abdominal

7. breath

Demonstration of consecutive development of a nauli:

Effects and indications to application of a naula

1. Improvement of venous outflow (at varicosity)

2. Stimulation of a large intestine (at locks of atonichesky type)

3. Strengthening of respiratory muscles

4. Stimulation of peripheral blood circulation

5. Inclusion of parasympathetic nervous system (calm, relaxation)

6. Lowering of arterial pressure

7. Improvement of blood circulation in pelvic organs

8. Stimulation of endocrine system (hypofunction of a pancreas and liver)

9. Stimulation of systems of allocation

10. Bile-expelling effect (dyskinesia of bilious channels, hypofunction of a gall bladder)

In the absence of contraindications of Nauli it is possible to carry out daily, identical times in each party.

Contraindications to nauli:

1. periods

2. pregnancy

3. the uterus myoma (bleeding or growing)

4. acute infectious diseases of abdominal organs and small pelvis

5. exacerbations of chronic diseases of digestion (gastritises, ulcers)

6. tromboembolichesky illness

7. malignant tumors of any localization


The words 'bhala' and 'kapal' mean the 'cranium' or 'forehead'. 'Bhati' means 'light' or 'splendour' but also 'perception and knowledge'. Kapalbhati is a pranayama technique which invigorates the entire brain and awakens the dormant centres which are responsible for subtle perception.

According to «Gherand Samhita» there are three forms of a kapalabhati:

• vatakrama - rhythmical inhalations and exhalations with the emphasis on an exhalation

• vyatkrama – sniff the water by nostrils with removal through a mouth

• sheetkrama – water retraction by a mouth with removal through a nose.

Step-by-step technology of performance of a kapalabkhati

Shloka 35. Perform exhalation and inhalation rapidly like the bellows (of a blacksmith). This is called kapalbhati and it destroys all mucus disorders.

1. An easy active rhythmical exhalation and contract the abdominal muscles inward and upward

2. passive inhale

3. to repeat comfortable few times. It is recommended to begin development with 30.

It is important to carry out kapalabkhat short cycles with compensation in the form of full breath of yoga or a delay of breath to prevent hyperventilation.

Effects and indications to application of a kapalabkhati

1. activization of sympathetic nervous system (at hypotonia, fatigue, obesity)

2. massage of mucous membranes of respiratory tracts slime removal (at chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, antritises, the frontitakh, the etmoiditakh)

3. stimulation of blood circulation of respiratory system and a brain (at the headaches connected with an imbalance of the vascular course, migraines, intellectual fatigue, functional deviations of gipotolamo-hypophysial system).

It is possible to do kapalabkhati daily in the absence of contraindications.

Demonstration of a kapalabkhati on video:

Contraindications to kapalabkhati:

1. pregnancy

2. periods

3. arterial hypertension

4. serious diseases of a brain including trauma

5. epilepsy

6. Acute inflammatory diseases of the bodies adjacent to a diaphragm, abdominal cavity

7. tromboemboliya

It is possible to summarize cumulative impact of a shatkarmas on an organism in a word — purification. When various systems of a body are cleared, the general result is that energy can freely flow on a body. Abilities of the person to work, think, digest food, to feel taste, to feel, worry and so on increase, and also big sensibleness develops. And it isn't surprising that the yogis which reached perfection and knowing real degree of human abilities very much highly appreciate a shatkarma.

Without exaggeration it is possible to tell that, having mastered these exercises of yoga, practicing will be able to harmonize the physical and psychoemotional state. It is necessary to master these technicians gradually, "without fanaticism". It is necessary to be morally ready that some technicians won't turn out from the first and even from the second time, but at regular practice and due degree of persistence you surely reach positive result. It is important to remember contraindications and if something goes not so, it isn't necessary "to stop at nothing at all" and to torment the body, you remember about an ahimsa – the first principle of a yamas. Signs of that that, it is necessary stop there can to be, for example, bleedings, acute pains, strong dizzinesses, temperature increase. However don`t give up if something is impossible it isn't necessary, differently you won't achieve success.

by the teacher of yoga Andrey Golubev