Surroundings

The best place to practise is in a garden or on a veranda where you are in contact with fresh air. Also make sure that a toilet is reasonably accessible. In the later stages of shankha-prakshalana it becomes a little difficult, to say the least, if you have to run a hundred yards to the nearest toilet. It is not necessary to practise in the toilet, or immediately outside the toilet, but the toilet should be situated reasonably near, within a few seconds walk, so that you can reach it quickly when circumstances demand it. Another point to note is that it is most ill advised for large numbers of people to practise together when there is only one toilet available. This is a catastrophic situation, for you will have twenty people fighting each other to use the same toilet. A good ratio is that there should be one toilet for every two or three people.

Do not treat shankhaprakshalana as a gravely serious affair. Don't start the practice with an attitude of grim determination, for this is a sure way to create tension and prevent free bowel movement. Approach the practice with a feeling of fun and lightheartedness, for this is the way to finish the practice quickly and enjoyably. We have found in the ashram that the practice seems to take much longer, to drag like a long boring speech, if the people involved are cheerless and gloomy. It becomes a chore, a burden to be endured rather than a pleasant, refreshing experience. It is for this reason that we advise that shankhaprakshalana be practised in a jovial and friendly group atmosphere, for it is this setting that makes the practice fun and easy to carry out.

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