New Year – the time of the year, Every Year, when we witness maximum number of people hitting gyms or using different modalities to workout. The simple reason being, “The New Year Resolution” to become fit, after gorging excessively on unhealthy food. No doubt, this is a logical decision. What they miss, in this process, is the importance of “DETOXIFICATION” – cleansing of different parts of the body – thereby preparing the body to get optimal benefit of the new exercise regime.
Detoxification gets the right Foundation
Despite the many strictures, we impose upon ourselves, over indulgence in rich and unhealthy food, especially in the last quarter of every year, which is abundant with festivities and celebrations; leave our system sluggish and tired and thereby making it susceptible to toxin accumulation. Proceeding towards a hard core workout without first detoxifying our body is like working on a weak foundation where we can only have less than optimal results.
Yoga Talks about Kriya
As per “Hatha Yoga Pradipika”, a classic Sanskrit Manual, “when different systems of the body have been purified, the overall result is that energy can flow through the body freely”. This article is all about “Laghoo Shankhaprakshalana”, a shorter technique of Shankhaprakshalana, one of the cleansing processes in Yoga. In Laghoo Shankhaprakshalana, water is taken in from the mouth, goes through throat to the stomach, from the stomach to the small intestine, from small intestine to the large intestine and finally comes out through the anus. This process replicates the cleansing of a conch and is named Laghoo Shankhaprakshalana.
Laghoo shankhaprakshala is one of the most important yogic kriya that helps bring down the blood glucose levels. It should be done in the morning on an empty stomach. No beverage or fruit should be consumed before this detoxification process.
One of the most recommended practices for managing Diabetes (check the contraindications). The hatha yoga practice of shankaprakshalana is known to greatly reduce the levels of blood sugar in the body, almost immediately.
- People suffering from Digestive problems like constipation, flatulence, acidity, indigestion see great result with regular practice of Shankhapraksahlan.
- Headache due to indigestion & constipation disappears.
- Nerve endings in digestive and excretory route get energized.
This is an excellent way to detoxify your body. One should make it to do this if one eats out for consecutive 2-3 days.
People suffering mouth ulcers have benefitted greatly by practicing this regularly.
- Prepare three liters of lukewarm water with two teaspoon of salt for every liter. The water should taste mildly salty.
- Drink two glasses of the prepared concoction in quick succession.
- Perform the below mentioned five asanas eight times each at a steady pace without taking a break.
- Drink two more glasses of the water and repeat the five asanas eight times each again.
- Finally, consume the last two glasses of water and repeat the asanas eight times each for the last time.
- You should feel the urge for motion by this time. If not, wait for a few minutes and the urge would eventually be upon you. Do not force yourself for the motion at all.
Blood sugar level falls drastically after this, hence, modify insulin dosage accordingly, in case you are on insulin.
Asanas to be performed
Tadasana: Stand with the feet together. Stretch your arms up above your head, interlock your fingers and turn your palms upwards to the ceiling; Stretch your whole body from your toes to your fingers. Inhale, raise your heels up, exhale and drop it down with force. Repeat 8 times.
Assume the same posture as the previous one but this time, with your legs apart. Exhale and bend to the right as much as possible. Inhale come back in the middle, exhale and bend to the left as much as possible. This is one set. Repeat 8 such sets.
Kati Chakrasana (waist rotating): Stand with feet shoulder width apart; raise your arms parallel to the floor with an inhalation. Keeping the feet flat on the floor, exhale as you twist the upper body to the right side, wrapping the right arm behind the waist and the left hand onto the right shoulder. Turn the head fully to the right to look behind; Inhale back to the center, exhale as you twist to the opposite side. Return to the center. Repeat 8 times.
Tiryaka Bhujangasana (Twisting Cobra): Perform Bhujangasana. Exhale and twist the upper part of the body to the right to look at your right heel; inhale come back to the original lying down position, inhale and lift upper part of the body up; exhale and twist the upper body to the left to look at your left heel. This is one cycle. Repeat 8 times.
Udarakarsasana (abdominal massage): Sit in squat position. Place your left knee on the floor; rotate right knee clock wise & anti-clock wise in circular motion 8 times; relax and raise left knee off the floor and this time rest right knee on the floor; rotate right knee clockwise and anticlockwise 8 times.
With the performance of these postures, we are pushing the water down from the mouth towards the anus. On completion of the entire practice, rest for half an hour in Shavasana. Keep yourself warm, and try not to sleep.
*You can check the video for the above asanas at YouTube.
Food after Shakhaprakshalan
After resting, eat khichdi – prepared with moong dal & rice. Add 1-2 teaspoon of ghee before eating. It is important to have ghee to create the inner lining of the food pipe, which would have been washed away due to the saline water. Try to eat light during the rest of the day, avoid refined or non-veg food & alcohol. The practice is designed differently for different therapy. But in general, practice once a month to keep your system energetic.
Do not practice this in case of stomach/intestinal ulcers, hernia, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Many of my students have benefitted immensely from regular practice of Laghoo Shankhaprakshalan. Try this to step into a healthy living.
Disclaimer: In case of multiple problems, consult a yoga expert. Shammi’s Yogalaya is not responsible for any negative impact.