The most common method of using an enema is gravity feed. Water or whatever is being used as enema is kept in a container above the level of the anus. A thin tube feeds the water from the container directly into the anus. The water flows directly into the colon under the force of gravity; no effort is necessary. Special tubes and containers can be obtained from a chemist shop.
The gravity feed method is very similar to basti and is certainly much easier. Basti requires some degree of muscular control. If a person has severe constipation and cannot do basti, we recommend that they adopt the gravity feed method. However, we suggest that he or she tries to master basti since it has the following advantages:
• Develops strength and control of the abdominal muscles. This is necessary in order to suck the air or water into the bowels. This alone helps to improve the efficiency and health of the abdominal organs.
• Simultaneously massages the inner organs and tones up the nerves.
• Requires little or no equipment. If you can do basti (with or without a tube) then do it in preference to a gravity feed enema. If you cannot do basti then use gravity feed, but you should gradually aim to develop more control over the abdominal muscles in order to practise basti in the future. We recommend that you practise yogic techniques such as bhastrika pranayama4, uddiyana bandha5 and asanas in general.
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