Remember if any part of you is damaged, broken or not in full working order or if you have any doubt as to whether this technique is appropriate for you please consult your yoga teacher or health care provider before proceeding.

Laghoo Shankhaprakshalana

Laghoo shankhaprakshalana is said to regularise the functioning of the intestines and encourage good bowel movement. Shankha means ‘conch’ and prakshalana means ‘to wash completely’.

Laghoo shankhaprakshalana is performed in the early morning on an empty stomach. It should not be undertaken by pregnant women. If you are taking medication please consult your doctor before practising laghoo shankhaprakshalana as it could affect the absorption of the medication.

Prepare hot salty water by dissolving two teaspoons of salt in one litre of hot water.

Perform the following sequence THREE times:

Drink two large glasses of water as quickly as you can. The water should be as hot as you can bear it.

Perform each of the following exercises EIGHT times:

Tadasana. Stand with arms raised overhead, fingers interlinked and the palms to the ceiling raise and lower the heels quickly. Acts on the stomach and stretches the colon.

Tiryaka Tadasana. Stand with feet 18 inches apart, arms raised overhead, fingers interlinked and the palms to the ceiling. Bend to left and then to the right. Acts on the small intestine and colon.

Kati Chakrasana. Standing waist rotation. Massages the small intestine.

Tiryaka Bhujangasana. In bhujangasana with legs 18 inches apart and toes tucked under. Twist to look over the left shoulder at the right foot then return to centre before twisting to look over the right shoulder at the left foot. Squeezes and massages the caecum, sigmoid colon and rectum, and also stimulates the rectosphincteric reflex (urge to defecate).

Udarakar shanasana.  Squat with the hands on the knees. Drop the right knee to the floor and twist to the left. Return to the centre and then drop the left knee to the floor and twist to the right. Squeezes and massages the caecum, sigmoid colon and rectum, and also stimulates the rectosphincteric reflex (urge to defecate).

Go to the toilet but do not strain to achieve a bowel movement. The motion may come later.

Rest in Savasana for 30 mins. After this period of rest food may be taken.

The five asanas activate peristalsis and the sphincters or valves, muscles and nerves of the digestive tract in order to enhance the cleansing process. They progressively open the pyloric valve at the outlet of the stomach, then the ileocaecal valve at the exit of the small intestine and finally the sphincter which forms the anus.

 

Bibliography

Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati ISBN 81-86336-04-4

The Short Intestinal Wash.

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