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What is sat karma and yogic detox?

a perfect yogic purification of body

Yoga has different dimension of purifying our body mind and soul. One of the vital part of yoga is yogic detoxification (satkarma). ‘Shatkarma’ known as Shatkriya is a compound word consisting of two components: ‘shat’ meaning ‘six’ and ‘karma’ mean action or task. The word ‘kriya’ and ‘karma’ has same meaning used in Hatha Yoga. Dhauti, basti, neti, trataka, nauli and kapalbhati are the six process of detox in yoga which is known as shatkarma or shatkriya. These six technique of yogic cleansing can make the body clean , strong and  removes  accumulated  toxins in our  body. This detoxification also improves the flow of prana into nadies (pranic channel).

These purification processes are both preventive and curative so any one can practice this natural technique of yogic detoxification (shatkarma) with good teacher (Guru). Shatkarma is better to teach individually according to individual nature and requirement. The shatkarma affect and activate almost all of the vital systems in the body, especially the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, nervous systems and endocrine gland. When the different systems, gland and organs of the body have been purified, the overall result is that energy can flow through the body freely which develops the efficiency of work, positive and creative thinking, strong digest, and happy mood. These cleansing parts of yoga prepared for good meditation and eventually help for enlightenment is ultimate goal of yoga.

According to the Ayurveda the food we eat gets assimilated by the digestive system and gets converted to the Saptha Dhatus, the seven types of body substance that constitute the body that are chyle, blood, flesh, bone, fat, bone marrow and semen. The food that we eat helps to nourish these bodies properly due to the accumulation of the various substances in body and their improper absorption imbalances the bodily humors (Doshas kapha-mucus, pitta-bile, vata-wind). According to Hatha yoga and Ayurveda an imbalance in the doshas will results illness in the body so these need to clean by various Pranamayas and higher yogic practice to purify the body toxins, ensuring safe and successful progression heading towards spiritual path.

The six techniques in Shatkarmas are as follows:

  1. Neti (nasal cleansing) 
    • Jala Neti (nasal cleansing with water)
    • Sutra Neti (nasal cleansing with thread)
  2. Dhauti (cleansing of digestive track) 
    • Vatsara Dhauti (cleansing the intestines with air)
    • Agnisar Kriya or Vahnisara Dhauti (activating the digestive fire or cleansing with the essence of fire)
    • Kunjal Kriya (the practice of vomiting water)
    • Gaja Karma Kriya (elephant action)
    • Vastra Dhauti (cloth cleansing)
  3. Nauli (abdominal massage and cleansing)
  4. Basti (intestinal cleaning with yogic enema)
  5. Kapaibhati (frontal brain cleansing)
    • Vatkrama Kapaibhati (air cleansing)
    • Vyutkrama Kapaibhati (sinus cleansing)
    • Sheetkrama Kapalbhati (mucus cleansing)
  1. Trataka ( Eye cleansing with concentrated gazing)