Yogic science gives as much importance to certain cleansing processes as it does to asanas or pranayama. Without regular cleansing of the system you will not gain maximum benefits from your practices. Without purification of the body one will not be ready for the higher practices of yoga. When the body is free the mind also functions properly.
Body cleansing is gained through the practice oishatkarmas or the six purificatory techniques.
They are very important from the point of view of physical and mental health, and these simple techniques are also highly valuable in healing internal disorders.
There are six main groups of shatkarmas or yogic cleansers as follows:
1 Neti: nasal cleansing, includingjala neti and sutra neti.
2. Dhauti: cleansing of the digestive tract, including danta dhauti, vatsara dhauti and so forth.
3. Nauli: abdominal massage.
4. Basti: colon cleaning.
5. Kapalbhati: purification and vitalization of the frontal lobes.
6. Trataka: blinkless gazing.
Each of these groups contains more than one practice such asjala neti, vaman dhauti (or kunjal kriya), moola shodhana etc., which will be described at various stages throughout this book1. They are all excellent practices which are designed to purify the whole body and bring about first class health. They also bring clarity and harmony to the mind. We suggest you try some of them. The first technique we will give is jala neti.
Jala neti is a process of cleaning the nasal passage with salt water, and is essential in allowing free breathing as required in many of the practices we will teach you, as well as in helping to ensure your good health.
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