51 Days Yoga Consciousness Series 2nd May-21st June 2021

Namaste All My Yoga Yaatris! May Yog Bless You!

Knowledge of Yoga is infinite, boundless and timeless. “Learning Yoga is an everlasting journey that leads you within and Within is where you find the world of immortal bliss”. –Mitraasha

The idea behind running this 51 Days Yoga Consciousness series is to proffer my modest learnings and share the divine pearls of Yoga science with people at large. Let’s have a conjoint intent to learn, implement and extend the wisdom of Yoga with a positive co-action and harmonious reverberation amongst each other.


For an uninterrupted flow of energy throughout the body, cleansing of the body is very vital. Kriyas (purification actions) clears the energy channels of the body, attenuates various infections, diminishes toxins, many diseases, and reinforces the immune system, thereby aiding a better functioning of the body parts.

The traditional yoga texts such as Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita and others mention about the ‘shat karma ’- the six practices of refinement of the body through distinct avenues such as air, water, heat etc.

Shat-Kriyas as per Hatha-Yoga

Theory of Ghata and Ghata Shuddhi  


Hatha Yoga texts consider the human body to be an earthen pot, which is very soft, ductile and when put under pressure or placed in water, breaks down and/or disintegrates. Although when the same pot is scorched in fire making it sturdy, it becomes useful and capable of holding water in it. Hathayoga understands that the body is intrinsically fragile akin to an unbaked pot, that may not be able to sustain the pressures of the world, and similarly not progress in Yoga too. Thus, it needs to undergo transformation like being heated in the flames of Yoga” emerge vigorous who can handle the challenge of life and be equipped for the practice of Yoga.

Ghata Shuddhi

Gheranda Samhita says that the procedure of “baking in the fire of Yoga” starts with the purification of the body and this process is called Shodhanam (purification) of Ghata (body). An intricate system of external and internal cleansing was developed by Hatha Yogis to achieve this aim. This process is called Shata Karma – Dhauti, Basti, Neti, Nauli, Trataka and Kapalabhati. Gheranda Samhita has mentioned 20 distinct activities under these six heads for purification.

This cleansing, although is not constricted only to the evident physical body but stretches out to Nadi Shuddhi (nerve purification), Mana Shuddhi (mind purification) as well. To be precise, the objective of all the seven steps of Saptanga Yoga/Ghatasya Yoga remains as the purification and corroborating of all aspects and extents of human existence. 

The 6 kriyas:

  1. Dhouti : Internal cleansing
    1. Antara Dhouti ( Internal cleansing-Alimentary Canal)
      • Vaatasara
      • Varisara : Laghu shankh prakshalan
      • Agnisara / Vahnisara
      • Bahiskrita
    2. Dant Dhouti
      • Dantamool : Cleaning teeth
      • Jivhamool Shodhana : Cleaning the root of tongue
      • Karan randra dhouti :  Ear
      • Kapal randra dhouti : Face
    3. Hrid Dhouti : Chest area
      • Vastra Dhouti : Inserting cloth trough throat
      • Vaman Dhouti : Drinking water and puking
      • Danda Dhouti : Soft stem of turmeric, and clean the esophagus
    4. Mulashodhana Dhouti : Cleaning of anus, using the middle finger or turmeric stalk
  2. Basti : Intestinal / colon cleaning
    1. Jalabasti / Wet Basti : Sit in Utkatasna in navel deep water, to extract malice
    2. Sthala/sushka/dry basti : Sit on land in Pashcimottanasana, and do Ashwini Mudra
  3. Neti : Nasal cleaning
    1. Sutra Neti : Interwind thread dipped in ghee
    2. Jala Neti : Water
    3. Dugdha : Milk Neti
    4. Ghrita / ghee: clarified butter neti
  4. Tratak : Fixing the gaze
    1. Antaranga / Internal / Inner Trataka : Fixing the gaze and closing the eyes,  in bhrumadhya (middleof the eyebrows)
    2. Bahiranga / external / Outer Trataka : Gazing star, sun etc
  5. Nauli/Lauliki : Abdominal massage
    1. Dakshina : right
    2. Vama : left
    3. Madhyama : center
  6. Kapal Bhati : Shining of forehead A. Vata Krama : Alternate nostril cleaning using air B. Jal Neti: With water a. Vyut Krama : Inserting from nose and removing from mouth b. Sheet Krama : Water from mouth and removing from nostrils c. Siddha

Shat Kriyas as per Yoga sutra 

Yoga sutra of Patanjali also laid much emphasis on the significance of the cleansing  of the body and mind in the second limb of Ashtanga Yoga-the Niyamas where Saucha is the very first step. It explains in the Yoga Sutra through verse II-32, that the external and internal cleanliness as well as eating pure satvik ahar is inevitable for elimination of uncleanliness and filth of the body and mind. It also mentions through verse II-43, that the removal of the impurities expands the practice of austerities and brings about sublimity and magnificence of the body and its organs. Yoga Sutra also puts forth through Sutra II-41 that Shuddhi leads to amenity and cordialness of mind, which further takes to the state of one-pointedness and wholesome control over the senses and mind. Ultimately, a controlled mind leads one to the knowledge of Self, which remains as the final and highest realization in Yoga. 

Objective of the Shat-Kriyas 

Nadi–Shuddhi is the prime objective of Shat Kriya in both Hatha Yoga and Yoga Sutra as well.

They assert that the flow of the Prana can be regulated only when it is flowing uninterruptedly through the energy channels(nadis). Yoga sutra states that cleanliness(saucha) can arise the body awareness to an extent that one not only feels disassociated to one’s own mortal body but inculcates an aversion towards it and aims at getting free of it’s bonding and attain liberation so as to not be born over and over again. 

Advantages of practising Shat-Kriyas

These kriyas are for the carigness of internal and external organs like ear, nose, eyes, sinuses, the oesophagus, intestines etc. AS per the Hatha Yoga texts, the kriyas develop manifold the realm of compliance of the tissues that form various organs and further systems, and thereby increase the outset of their reactivity. Kriyas bring command on different reflexes and institutes psychosomatic harmony. Regular practice of these Kriyas eliminates the pathogenic metabolites from various vital organs and keeps the body free from ailments.

When and How to do Kriyas

Although there are no restrictions on other timing, morning is the best part of the day to perform Kriyas. As a learner or a novice with respect to the yoga practices, complex kriyas like Vaman dhouti, Sutra-neti, Agnisar should be performed very prudently and under the supervision of an proficient teacher, maintaining at least a gap of 15 days before doing them again. Kriyas like Jalaneti, Kapalbhati, Trataka can be practiced regularly as a daily routine to achieve best results.

We shall see how to practice some of the above mentioned Kriyas in the upcoming posts.

Thought of the day: “Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.” – George Bernard Shaw

Link to day 10: Bhavas: Dharma, Gyana, Vairagya, Aishwarya : https://kreately.in/day-10-bhavas-dharma-gyana-vairagya-aishwarya-mitraasha/

Link to day 12: Dhauti, Types, Methods, Advantages https://kreately.in/day-12-dhauti-types-methods-advantages/

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