Shankha Prakshalana falls under the Dhauti Kriya of Shatkarma or SHAT KRIYA and is one of the six yogic cleansing techniques, the traditional name of which is Varisara Dhauti.
Under naturopathy, the yogic process of Shankh Prakshalana has an important place in the removal of foreign matter and the complete destruction of digestive problems.
Shankh Prakshalana is made up of two words- Shankh which is used for the shape of the digestive system or intestines because the intestines are also as complex as the inner part of the conch shell and ‘Prakshalana’ means complete cleansing. Seen this way, Shankhprakshalan is a yogic cleansing technique that cleanses the digestive tract including the entire gastrointestinal tract (from mouth to anus).
Shankha Prakshalana purification process is depicted in this way in Gheranda Samhita.
Aakantham pureydwari vaktrena cha pibechchanaih.
Warisaram Param Gopyam-. -Ghe-No-1/17-18
This means Shankh Prakshalana, a special yoga exercise with the help of which water is passed through the intestines and the dirt of the intestines gets removed.
The traditional name used for Shankh Prakshalana is Varisara Dhauti (Vari is the synonym of Water). In Sanskrit, “vari” means “water”, “Sara” refers to “essence”, and “dhauti” means “cleansing”.
Shankh Prakshalan is an interesting yet very effective way to cleanse your stomach. It occupies an important place in Kaya Kalpa (the traditional Indian system of medicine) (“kaya” means body and “Kalpa” is a term for transformation) and promotes bowel movements naturally without any medication and side effects.
What’s the concept?
Unlike other yogic cleansing techniques, Shankhprakshalan begins with the consumption of salt water, where you have to drink 4 to 6 glasses of lukewarm water mixed with a little salt and some drop of lemon. After drinking water there is a precise series of a particular set of asanas respectively. This includes Tadasana, Tiryakatadasana, Katichakrasana, Tiryak Bhujangasana, and finally Udarakana – this series of asanas is specifically called Shankhaprakshalan asana.
After consuming water each asana should be done eight times, if you feel pressure then go to the toilet, and after that drinking water again. Do this process till clear water starts coming out in the form of stool.
The 5 Shankh Prakshalan asanas are as follows in detail.
1. Tadasana (mountain pose)
- Stand separating the feet from 1 to 2 feet.
- Slowly raise both hands to the solder level.
- Interlock the fingers, take a breath and pull it upwards.
- Lift the heels and stretch the body upwards.
- While exhaling, keep the hands upside down on the head.
- Do this 4 to 5 times.
2. Tiryakatadasana (swaying palm tree pose)
- Stand in tadasana with heels down.
- Raise both hands up like Tadasana.
- Lock it, while exhaling, and bend to the waist towards the right side for a while.
- Come back to the center then bend to the left side and again return to the center.
3. Katichakrasana (standing spinal twist)
- Stand separating the legs two feet.
- Extend both hands in line with the shoulders.
- Place the left hand on the right shoulder and bring the right hand from behind to the left and wrap it around the torso.
- Rotate the mouth and bring it in line with the left shoulder.
- Release and repeat on the other side.
4. Tirayaka bhujangasana (twisting cobra pose)
- lie down on the mat in a prone position.
- Keep both hands by the side of the shoulders and curl the toes to the floor.
- While inhaling, Press the palms to the ground, raise the head, and raise the part from the waist to the top.
- Turn the head to the right side to look at your left heel and come back then relax on the floor.
- Raise your head once again, raise the part from the waist to the top.
- Now turn the head to the left to look at your right heel and come back to the center and then relax on the floor.
5. Udarakarshan (abdominal twist pose)
- Sit bending the knee and keep the feet hip-width apart.
- Keep your hands on your knees.
- Take the right knee near the toe of the left foot and push the left knee towards the right.
- Turn to look towards the left shoulder.
- Come back to a sitting pose.
- Repeat it by pushing the left knee to the right foot.
Shankha Prakshalana Kriya benefits
Shankha Prakshalana Kriya is very effective for the purification of the digestive system and protecting it from toxic elements.
This purification technique enables the intestines to function normally.
Gives relief from stomach gas, constipation, acidity, and indigestion.
Relieves from menstrual pain, asthma, acne, and ulcers.
It prevents urinary infections and kidney stones.
Shankh Prakshalan Kriya increases the working power of the brain and refreshes the person.
‘Shankh’ refers to the conch-like shape of the intestines and the air present in them and ‘Prakshalana’ means complete cleansing. Shankh Prakshalan holds an important part of the Kaya Kalpa transformational and purification practice.
In addition to cleansing the digestive system using salt water and yoga asanas, Shankh Prakshalan Kriya is believed to boost metabolism, soothe the nervous system, and help the skin problems like acne, neurodermatitis, or psoriasis.
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