Through certain cleansing practices, you can restore the body to its natural health and well being by eliminating all the accumulated radicals. “Kriyas” are a series of key exercises that will help you cleanse and purify your body in a natural and effective way. The purpose of kriya is to help the body eliminate toxins and waste products.
The six acts (cleansing techniques or kriyas) are dhauti, vasti, neti, trataka, nauli, and kapalabhati. The yogic kriyas are also explained in the ‘Niyamas’ denoting how a swachh (clean) body is closest to the divine.
“The body is like a raw clay pot that if submerged in water disintegrates, that is why it should be exposed to the fire of yoga to strengthen and purify itself. All yoga practices lead to purification.”
Hatha Yoga Pradipika
From the perspective of Ayurveda, many of the diseases that affect humans are caused by an excess of toxins and inflammations in the body. For this reason many kriyas aim to reduce or eliminate certain inflammations.
The six processes deal with the delicate organs so the practitioners should consult the experts while attempting. It is always better to do them under the guidance and in the presence of experts for the first five or six times. Then they can be practiced on your own. All kriyas are recommended to be practiced on an empty stomach and fasting to avoid discomfort.
NETI KRIYAS:Jala (water), Ksheer (milk), Tail (oil), Ghrit (ghee), Sutra (thread), Swamutra (self urine), Gomutra (cow urine), Neti Kriyas (nose cleaning processes).
This is highly beneficial in releasing muscular tension from the facial muscles and will generate a youthful glow. It is also helpful in relieving anxiety, depression and various types of mental congestion. It works to help balance the entire nervous system.
Benefits:helps clean the nasal cavities of bacteria and allergens, removes phlegm, facilitates breathing and helps oxygenate the nasal and prenasal sinuses.
DHAUTI KRIYAS:Jala (water), Vamana (vomit), Vastra (cloth), Danda (stick), Dhauti Kriyas (stomach cleaning processes).
Dhauti kriya is specific to the cleansing of the upper intestine. It is one of the most rigorous yet highly beneficial types of kriya. This is performed with the intention of inducing vomiting in order to clear any impurities or blockages in the intestine. Obese people with a loose stomach and poor phlegm benefit greatly from this kriya.
Benefits:In the upper digestive system we accumulate many toxins that are the origin of many diseases. Dhauti Kriya means purification of the digestive tract and it can be practiced in different ways.
VASTI KRIYA:Vasti (enema) and Shankh Prakshalan – (large intestine cleaning processes).
As the abdomen is divided into three parts – upper abdomen, middle abdomen, and lower abdomen, Vasti kriya is implemented to purify the lower abdomen. This includes the pelvic zone and bladder too. This is also referred to as the ‘Yogic Enema’ as the process is conducted to clean all the impurities through the colon.
Benefits:The objective is to clean the cavity of the rectum and expel all the stools and bacteria that may have accumulated. In this way, the colon is effectively cleaned without affecting other organs of our system.
NAULI KRIYAS:Agnisar, Uddiyan, Nauli (navel rotation processes for purifying abdominal organs).
Nauli is an essential kriya implemented for the purification and toning of the abdomen and its internal organs. This type of kriya is highly essential in simulating the digestive system while cleansing it completely.
Benefits: strengthens the muscles of the abdominal area and stimulates the internal organs and digestion.
KAPAL BHATI:Bhastrika-Kapalbhati (forceful breathing processes for purifying the skull and brain).
It is an intense breathing technique which removes all the respiratory blockages from the tracts and detoxifies the entire lymphatic system.
Benefits:it allows you to clean the nasal passages and increase oxygen consumption in addition to balancing the nervous system and toning the digestive organs.
TRATAK:Continuous gazing (eye cleaning processes).
This works towards promoting good eyesight, developing focus and enhancing physical and mental dedication. It is performed by freezing the vision on a particular object without blinking the eye.