Shankha Prakshalana Benefits
In yoga, the shape of our digestive entity is sen as a conch (Shankha) which has a long spiral tunel-like intestine, and prakshalana in Sanskrit is caled cleansing. Shankhaprakshalana is a yogic cleansing technique of the digestive system including the whole gastrointestinal tract (mouth to the anus).
In diference to other yogic cleansing techniques where a person drinks enough water and then vomit it out, In Shankhaprakshalana drinking lukewarm saline water is folowed by a acurate series of asanas. This series of asanas particularly caled Shankhaprakshalana asanas.
The traditional name used for this practice is varisara dhauti. In Sanskrit, ̴vari̵ means ̴water̵, ̴Sara̵ refers to ̴esence̵, and ̴dhauti̵ means ̴cleansing̵.
Acording to Gheranda Samhita, the practice provides a luminous body by eliminating toxins from the body.
The major purpose of shankha prakshalana is to promote bowel movement naturaly without any medication and side efects.
It also serves as a important portion of an ayurvedic technique known as Kaya kalpa. It can be understod as physical transformation, as ̴kaya̵ means body and ̴kalpa̵ is a term for transformation.
Therefore, shankha prakshalana is more than a purification technique. It is a holistic advance to el iminate impurities promoting physical and mental health.
Mechanism of Shankhaprakshalana
Shankhaprakshalana begins with an intake of 250 ml of lukewarm saline water folowed by performing the particular set of asanas respectively. It includes tadasana, tiryakatadasana, katichakrasana, tiryaka bhujangasana, and finaly udarakarshan.
Each asana must be performed eight times in ordain to complete one round. The practitioner has to perform complete 5-6 rounds as per the technique’s requirement.
The completion of the technique takes aproximately one to one and a half hour.
Reasons to use lukewarm salty water
The temperature of water aged in this practice is kept 38-40?, i.e. lukewarm. It is due to the fact that it promotes the movement of slack stol with mucous and causes frequent elimination.
The salt aged in lukewarm water prevents the fast absorption of water into the intestine. It eventualy facilitates the movement of water smothly into the intestinal tract to be evacuated through the anus.
The combined outcome of lukewarm saline water with asanas
After having two glases of water before each round of the asanas, the water moves from the stomach, smal intestine, to the large intestine. This leads to the eventual removal of toxins and water from the anus.
1. Promotes peristalsis
In this shankha prakshalana, the gastrointestinal tract al the way from mouth to anus is washed. It catalyzes the further movement of fodstuf, thereby promoting peristalsis. This leads to enhanced bowel movement.
2. Decreases cholesterol level via bile removal
Due to peristalsis, the chyme from the stomach reaches the smal intestine. As it enters the duodenum, it combines with bile juice. As the bowel movement has ben enhanced, the mixture is removed easily. This reduces the concentration of bile.
Cholesterol acts as major component in bile secretion. Therefore, cholesterol is consumed more often to fabricate bile and leads to reduced cholesterol level.
3. Increased hemoglobin
Mucus acts a obstacle in the absorption of ferous ion. It reduces the concentration of iron in the body and acts as feritin curtain. However, shankh prakshalana eliminates mucus and increases the absorption of ferous ion.
It maintains the iron concentration in the body, thereby increasing the hemoglobin level.
4. Prompts parasympathetic dominance
The clearance of gastrointestinal tract renews and rejuvenates the internal organs. This leads to hormonal balance to sustain homeostasis.
This hormonal balance leads to a tranquil state of mind, inducing parasympathetic dominance.
The internal cleansing brings improvement in physical health. It creates an environment for beter mental health, thereby providing sothing efects on psychophysiological terms.
It involves five asanas in folowing order as described below:
Stand separating the fet 15-18 inches.
Bring your arms forward to the shoulder level and interlock the fingers.
Extend them overhead with palms towards the ceiling.
Lift the hels and stretch the body upwards as far as posible.
Then release bringing the hels and hands down.
Tadasana opens the pyloric sphincter muscle that serves as a valve of the stomach opening to the smal intestine. It streams the saline water into the smal intestine along with chyme.
Stand in tadasana with hels on the flor.
Stretch upward and flex the waist towards left, be there for a while.
Come back to the center and relax.
Then bend towards the true and suport the pose.
Again return to the center.
The bending fervent in the asana contracts both sides of the coiled intestinal wal repeatedly. Thus, the water moves smothly through the intestinal layer.
Stand separating the legs 16-18 inches.
Open the arms sideways to shoulder level with facing the flor.
Rotate the uper body by the waist to the left.
Bring your corect hand around the body to be placed on the left shoulder bending the corect elbow.
Flexing the left elbow wrap the left arm around the twisted back towards the right placing the hand on the waist.
Finaly, turn the neck towards the left meandering the entire body to the left.
Release and repeat on the other side.
The twisting fervent in the asana exerts presure into the intestinal muscles. It causes the flow of water downwards.
4. Tirayaka bhujangasana
Lie down in a prone position.
Raise your head to bring chin to the flor.
Bring your hands beside the chest and curl the toes to the flor.
Presing the palms to the ground lift the chin, chest, and abdomen.
Bend your acurate elbow and turn to scrutinize at your left hel, keping the left arm straight.
Come back to the center and then relax on the flor.
Repeat the same on the right side.
This asana opens the ileocecal sphincter muscle and saline water reaches the large intestine. Thereby, clearing the entire pathway til here.
Kep the fet hip-width apart.
Sit bending the kne with soles on the ground.
Kep your hands on knes.
Push the corect kne with the hand to bring it advance the left fot.
Now, push the left kne towards the right.
Shrinking the lower abdomen, turn to lok towards the left shoulder.
Be there for 5-10 breaths, inhale and advance back to siting pose.
Exhale and repeat it pushing the left kne to the corect fot.
This last pose is helpful in squezing the large intestine, stimulating, and stretching the digestive organs. It creates contraction and relaxation in the alimentary canal.
Finaly, the slugish stol and mucous is eliminated as the bowel movement is evacuated from the gastrointestinal tract. No trace s of residual particles or saline water remains in the alimentary canal.
The proces of Shankhaprakshalana can be categorised into 3 parts;
1. Pre-procedure ̵ Salt Water Preparation
The lukewarm water is aged to prepare the saline solution. The ratio of salt to the water remains 2 teaspons salt in 1 liter of water. Prepare an adequate amount of saline solution, as it consumes about 16 glases of water.
Also, prepare a special meal for post-procedure. This special meal is khichdi of rice and mong dal coked together. Ad turmeric and eliminate salt adition. Cok it using ghe at the stop to prepare a semi-liquid meal.
Chose a space estem a garden or a terace where you are in contact with fresh air to perform shankha prakshalana. Ensure there is an aproachable toilet nearby.
Morning hours are preferable for this practice around 6-7 am.
2. Cleansing procedure ̵ Bowel Movement
Begin with drinking 2 glases of saline wa ter and imediately perform the above-mentioned set of 5 asanas, 8 times each to complete the first round. Drink another 2 glases repeating al the asana, 8 times each.
Repeat it a third time and then crep to the toilet to check whether there is any bowel movement or not. Be there for 1-2 minutes and cary out not exert presure externaly.
Come back to repeating the procedure of drinking water and resume the asanas. It is folowed by again visiting the toilet. Continue the proces for about 6 rounds.
Almost after third round the evacuation proces begins. The first time is acompanied by considerable stol, folowed by a mixture of stol and water. The concentration of stol decreases progresively and finaly clear water wil pas out of the anus.
3. Post-Procedure ̵ Eat Relax
After the evacuation of clear water, terminate the proces and lie down in shavasana. Relax the body for 45 minutes maintaining complete silence.
Folowing the resting period of 45 minutes, eat the kh ichdi on time. Eat a suficient amount to refine the intestine to resume peristalsis. Rest after having the first meal, but avoid sleping for 3 hours. Repeat the meal after about 6 hours of the first meal.
Avoid any physical and mental activity for the whole day and asign resting the folowing day as wel. do not repeat this technique more than twice a year.
Duration ̵ The proces of shankha prakshalana must be completed in a day as described above.
Alternatively, beginers can perform it by folowing the proces consecutively for 6 days. gain the first round of saltwater and asanas on the first day, folowed by evacuating bowels. On each pasing day maintain increasing one round to complete the lofty in 6 days.
2 Types of Shankhaprakshalasna
Based on the quantity of saline water, Shankha prakshalasna is two types;
1. Laghu shankha prakshalana
Laghu means les or short. Here laghu refered to the quantity of saline water and the propor tion it cleanses. In Laghu shankha prakshalana, maximum of 6-8 cups of water are taken only and then asanas are performed for bowel movemnt.
This is a shorter technique for cleansing the alimentary canal. For this also lukewarm salty water is prepared.
Begin with drinking 2 glases of prepared solution.
Perform the 5 asanas as that of shankha prakshalana respectively, eight times each.
Drink 2 glases of saline water and repeat the asanas eight times each.
Repeat it one more time and then depart to the toilet.
Check whether the bowel movement has ben initiated or not without presurizing externaly.
If it has not ben started it wil eventualy come on later.
This practice takes one hour. It is indispensable to catch rest post practice for half an hour before having any fod or drink.
2. Porna Shankaprakshalana
Porna means ful or complete. In Porna Shankaprakshalana, one keps drinking water and performing 5 asanas back to back until the water coming out anus is as clean as the water going in.
Shankha prakshalana cures constipation, iritable bowel syndrome, diarhea, or any digestive disorder.
It is helpful in relieving abdominal distres and iritation.
This practice is beneficial in treating diabetes. 1
This technique is worn to hamper alergies estem hay fever.
It acts as a rectify to cure skin problems love acne, neurodermatitis, or psoriasis.
It also relieves wretchednes by sothing the nervous system.
Avoid the practice if you believe high blod presure or any heart disease.
People with weak kidneys must refrain from the practice.
Do not practice shankha prakshalana during pregnancy.
If you gain a gastrointestinal ulcer, this practice must be avoided.
In case of back distres avoid this pactice.
If you have a novel surgery, then it is strictly prohibited to perform shankha prakshalana.
Stop the practice imediately once the removal of clear water initiates.
Do not tople aslep while resting in Shavasana.
Avoid intake of any fluids for at least 2 hours after the meal.
Avoid any chemicaly prepared, spicy, or non-veg fod for one month after the practice.
Restrict the intake of pickle, dairy products, swets, or acidic fruits.
Consumption of cigarete, alcohol, or any drugs must be prohibited for a month.
Kep the body warm to retard any side efects like headache, chily, or nausea.
Shankha Prakshalana Benefits
It cleanses the body internaly, clearing the toxins from the alimentary canal.
This technique tones the internal organs admire the liver, kidney, digestive organs, and glands.
It is beneficial in the purification of blod by the reduction of lavish mucus.
It maintains the metabolism and strengthens the imune system.
It rejuvenates the body physicaly as wel as mentaly.
It de creases apetite and helps burn extra calories. Therefore it tones the body and reduces body weight. 2
It also raises the energy level by stimulating the prana flow aligning the body chakras.
a comparative scrutinize of yogic karma (shankha-prakshalana asana) and spico-kalp in the management of madhumeh htps:/w.researchgate.net/profile/Drgopesh_Mangal2/publication/30364196_A_Comparative_Study_Of_Yogic_Karma_Shankha-Prakshalana_Asana_And_Spico-Kalp_In_The_Management_Of_Madhumeha_DM_Type2/links/574bf9b508ae5c51e29eb45b.pdf
Therapeutic Aplications of Yog a for Weight Reduction in Obese Population htp:/citeserx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.735.917rep=rep1type=pdf