Six Shatkarmas in Yoga Practices

The six shatkarmas are:
1. Neti: A process of cleansing and purifying the nasal passages. Practices included in this category are: jala neti and sutra neti.
2. Dhauti: A series of cleansing techniques which are divided into three main groups:
antar dhauti or internal cleansing,sirsha dhauti or head cleansing (traditionally called danta dhauti), and hrid dhauti or thoracic cleansing. The internal techniques clean the entire alimentary canal from the mouth to the anus. They are divided into four practices:
a) Shankhaprakshalana and laghoo shankhaprakshalana: cleansing of the intestines;
b) Agnisar kriya: activating the digestive fire;
c) Kunjal or vaman dhauti: cleansing the stomach with water
d) Vatsara dhauti, cleansing the intestines with air.
3. Nauli: A method of massaging and strengthening the abdominal organs.
4. Basti: Techniques for washing and toning the large intestine.
5. Kapalbhati: A breathing technique for purifying the frontal region of the brain.
6. Trataka: The practice of intense gazing at one point or object which develops the power of concentration.

Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda, M.B.B.S., M.D.

Yoga practitioner, Dhrti Yoga


About drmcpanda

Dr. Mahesh Chandra Panda, M.B.B.S.,M.D. Date of Birth:29.02.1948 Retd. (29.02.2008) Chief District Medical Officer Bargarh Orissa India
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3 Responses to Six Shatkarmas in Yoga Practices

  1. A Shatkarma trip to SVYASA Yoga University, Jigani Bangalore was arranged for yoga practitioners of Dhrti Yoga on June 27, 2010.

    I was one of the participants in the group of 12.
    Satya, Director Dhrti Yoga accompanied the practitioners.

    The programme commenced with demonstrations and practices of Jala Neti & Vaman Dhauti: the two practices of six Shatkarmas.It was followed by practices of D.R.T.(Deep Relaxation Technique) in the yoga hall.

    In the campus visit the most valuable learning was visiting I.C.M.R. (Indian Council of Medical Research) Neurosciences Laboratory where researches are being conducted to study the effect of yoga practices on brain wave pattern of yoga practitioners before, during and after the practice.

    A talk on Yoga and Health covering all the aspects of physical, mental, social and spiritual health was delivered by Prof.T.Mohan.The talk was followed by practices of Cyclic Meditation.

    The visit to SVYASA, a Yoga University was a great source of learning of academic, therapeutic yoga and higher aspects of Yoga practices.
    Such visits need to be arranged at frequent intervals and more number of practitioners should participate in the programme.

  2. Dr. Madan Goyal says:

    Dear Dr. Panda,
    These yogic techniques are a matter of research.

    Meditation definitely helps the people in many ways.
    It gives rest, relaxation. I simply equate it with “Automobile Engine switched off or at slowest speed”. Different areas of brain work during meditation, stressed parts are at rest. It`s histochemistry and neurochemically different state helps positively. Detailed research and documentation is required.

    Jal Neti, I practiced in my childhood, may be of some help in rhinitis and sinusitis.
    Sutra Neti may be of help in mucosal hypertrophy of nose, may be harmful in allergies and inflamed nasal passages. Details need proper scientific evaluation.

    Various cleaning techniques may be of some help in comprehensive programmes for obesity, keeping the anxious patients diverted mentally and hence helping therapeutically.I am not sure, if simple drinking water, saline water etc. used for “So Called cleaning of stomach and intestine” are of any help as prophylaxis or in normal persons. Guts have their normal enzymes, acid, partially or completely digested food particles, normal intestinal flora. What is being washed is of questionable value.

    Breathing exercises help by opening the lungs fully, altering blood chemistry and associated stimuli to brain. This also needs proper documentation.

    All in all, no medicine can be used blindly. All procedures including Yoga need proper scientific evaluation and required to be practiced under proper indications, supervision and with proper precautions. These may not be absolutely harmless.

    Knowledge definitely increases by sharing and practice.
    It is “Samunder Manthan”.
    Some Amrit will definitely emerge.

    Thanks & regards.
    Dr. Madan Goyal

  3. I have attended lectures, spiritual talks by faculty members, practical demonstrations of yoga practices by students and witnessed yoga therapy in arogyadham during visitors program conducted for the visitors at SVYASA (Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana) Yoga University Bangalore as Yoga Practitioner, Dhrti Yoga Centre BTM 2nd Stage Bangalore during 2009-2010.I joined the classes of Yoga for Elderly persons in Dhrti Yoga Centre BTM 2nd Stage Bangalore on July 28, 2009.

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