We are so conscious about cleanliness in the West, washing our bodies, hair, nails, surfaces of our homes all external surfaces. We are concerned with the internal also the ears, teeth, mouth but yogis delve even deeper into cleansing practices.
Known as the sharkarmaa or kriyas they are given as a prelude to practice.
These practices include :
- Dhauti – bandage swallowing , tongue cleansing
- Vasti – water drawn into the rectum
- Neti – jala and sutra water and thread nasal wash
- Trataka – candle gazing for the eyes
- Nauli – for digestion
- Kapalabhati – skull shining breath
Upon entering an ashram the first step is to be given these cleansing practices to remove any blockages that impair health. Yoga states that if there are blockages they will obstruct a deeper and higher level of consciousness of being reached. If we are not entering ashram life what can we do in the modern toxic world that we live in?
Our bodies have remained very resilient even from the time of Adam and Eve. The food is contaminated with pesticides, hormones, colourings etc. Our medicine cabinets are full of drugs. Our water is tainted with fluorides, chlorine and chemicals. What is the result of this in our bodies? Some bodies adapt better than others but we should do our best to limit ourselves to this kind of exposure.We can never completely avoid ingesting toxins but we could try -
Things to consider:
- ingest fewer chemicals – stop smoking, using alcohol and drugs
- cut back on foods that are processed and highly processed
- add more grains into your diet – lemon juice into hot water with a spoon of honey is a great bowel cleanser first thing in the morning
- nasal wash regularly – the body produces mucus in order to rebalance itself , it also rids the nose of dust, pollen, viruses.
- take exercise and sweat this helps the build up of toxins to be released through the skin, encourages the digestive fire and improves the immune system.
- consider a fast – allow water, fresh juices and vegetables during the fast – consult your doctor first .
- the power of your mind has been proven to eliminate mental toxins as well. Cleanse your day and your thoughts be taking a yoga class at the end of the day you will feel healthier in body, mind and spirit.
- think about your household cleansers, choose natural avoid chemicals completely.
Kriyas can be used in all areas of your life, cleansing regularly makes a difference.
Copyright © 2013 Santosha Yoga