Written by Dr. Sudarshan Biala   

Human body needs a kind of physical training to show its efficient results. These results are gained by practicing the so called “Shatkarma” which are able to bring good results if practiced for ever.
Body cleansing is gained through the practice of Shatkarmas 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.
Shatkarmas: The word 'Shatkarma' is originated by the combination of two words 'Shat' and 'Karma'. Shat means six, karma means action or kriyas. Hence Shatkarma consists of six processes of purification such as panchakarma of Ayurveda.
The aspirant should practice the Shatkarmas namely Dhouti, Basti, Neti, Nauli, Trataka and Kapalabhati.
1. DHOUTI (Washing up of the Digestive Tract): Dhouti is a kind of penance consisting of washing strip of white cloth, swallowing it and then drawing it out of the mouth. Dhouti means to wash out. As the name itself suggests, this process is suggested for washing stomach and intestines. Dhouti kriya should be well carried out in the early morning and empty stomach after evacuation of the bowels.

There are three types of dhoutis:
A) Jala Dhouti or Vamana Dhouti:
The aspirant should drink water slowly by the mouth so as to fill the stomach and then push it by moving the abdomen and evacuate it through the lower passage.
B) Vastra Dhouti: The aspirant should swallow slowly a strip of thin wet cloth which is four fingers in width, either nineteen cubits or twenty five cubits in length and then draw it out again slowly. This is called vastra dhouti.
C) Danda Dhouti: The aspirant should push the stalk of a plantain, turmeric or a cane into the gullet, move it there, up and down and then slowly draw it out.
2. BASTI (Yogic Enema): Basti means the bladder, the lower belly abdomen. Basti karma means the application of an enema or injection. Basti is known to be of two kinds namely Jalabasti and Shushka basti. Jala basti is practiced in water while Shushka basti is performed always on the ground.
A) Jala basti : Assuming the utkatasana posture in deep water, up to navel with a tube inserted in the rectum, the aspirant should perform Jalabasti by relaxing and contracting the rectum.
B) Shushkabasti: Raising the lower part of the back in the supine position and moving the pelvic region of the abdomen, the aspirant should dilate and contract the rectum by Ashwini mudra. It also cleans the colon and removes gas.
3. NAULI (Abdominal massage): The aspirant should move the abdomen rapidly from side to side, this process is known as Nauli and it cures many diseases.
There are 4 stages of Nauli:
• Madhyama nauli (central abdominal contraction)
• Vama Nauli (Left isolation)
• Dakshina Nauli (Right isolation)
• Abdominal rotation or churning
4. TRATAKA (concentrated gazing) (cleansing of the eyes): The aspirant without winking, should gaze for a minute at an object until the tears start falling from the eyes. This is called Trataka. Method of fixing the eye on the object is known as Trataka.
Commonly two types of tratakas are practiced
1) Jyoti Trataka
2) Bindu Trataka
5. KAPALABHATI (Head cleansing): Kapalabhati is a particular sort of penance (consisting of in alternate suppression and emission of the breath). The aspirant should practice kapala bhati in three different kinds namely vatakrama, vayukrama and seetkrama, thus it cures disorder of phlegm Kapha.
The three methods are like
1. Vatakrama Kapalabhati (Air cleansing)
2. Vyutkarma Kapalabhati (Sinus cleansing)
3. Sheetkrama Kapalabhati (Mucus cleansing)
6. NETI (Nasal cleansing): Neti means the drawing of a thread through the nose and mouth. The aspirant should insert a fine thread of nine inches length into a nostril and pull it out through the mouth. This is known as Neti.
Commonly two types of neti are used
1. Sootra Neti (cleansing by thread)
2. Jala neti (cleansing by water)
The six types of kriya of neti, dhouti, kapalabhati, basti, nouli and trataka are training for cleansing, massaging, evacuating and rapid movements of diaphragm and cheek muscles along with abdominal muscles. If keenly observed the practices of Shatkriya are mostly concerned with the vision, intestines, respiratory system, cardio vascular system and also smooth muscles of the body.
Though external respiratory passage is having all kinds of requirements like filtration of air removal of dust particles but even then there is a small lacuna that requires some sort of smoothening effect by one or the other way. Since, in classics there is no authenticity about Jalaneti but today it can be seen that it is an ideal practice to minimize the respiratory problems by simple practice of Neti karma.
As it is felt that during heaviness of the throat or change of voice due to some errors in the vocal cards, there just by simple salt water gurgling gives us good relief and even a feeling of change in the localized anatomical structures. These are all due to use of salt water. Salt water which is consisting of sodium and chloride ions are very useful here to bring mucolytic scrapening of mucous and clearing the passages by means of anti inflammatory effect. Hence it is essential to practice everybody to treat and even to prevent, diseases like common cold. Running nose, head ache, sinusitis etc. Even it has shown in many numbers of patients that it is one of the very useful procedures to overcome such problems.
Jala Dhouti
Yastra Dhouti
Danda Dhouti
Jala Basti
Shushka Basti
Madhyama Nauli
Yama Nauli
Dakshina Nauli
Jyoti Trataka
Bindu Trataka
Vatakrama Kapalabhati
Vyukarma Kapalabhati
Sheetkarma Kapalabhati
Sootra Neti
Jala Neti

Like this other procedures like nouli, basti, dhouti, kapalabhati are also essential now a days. By mere massage of the small intestinal part certainly helps the individual in increasing its peristaltic movements and even the glandular functions of small intestine.
In the same way, though the procedure like dhouti that too vastradhouti is difficult but it clears all the debris like mucous and other glandular secretions. Even kapalabhati also brings a very good exercise amongst the facial muscles, inter coastal muscles, anterior abdominal muscles and also diaphragm. During the act there will be to and fro motion of the central tendon of diaphragm, this activity helps or exercises the apex of the heart.
To attain positive health, yogic kriyas are essential tools for every individual. To overcome the influences of stress and strain in daily routine Shatkarmas are the ultimate solution.
Seth Hukum Chand Colony,