Shankhaprakshalana is one of the traditional shuddhi kriyas (yogic cleansing process) which is a sub kriya from the group of kriyas as Dhouti. It is a cleansing process for the whole of the colon from the mouth to the anus, by tepid saline water. In Shankhaprakshalan, water is taken 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 Shankhaprakshalan. This is an excellent way to detoxify your body from the accumulated toxins.
- Prepare approximately three liters of lukewarm water with two teaspoons of salt for every liter. The water should taste mildly salty.
- Drink two glasses of the prepared concoction in quick succession.
- Perform five asanas eight times each at a steady pace without taking a break.
- Drink two more glass 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.
Before Laghoo Shankhprakshalan
- On the eve of Laghoo Shankhaprakshalana, have a moderate, non-spicy food early in the evening. Avoid raw food.
- Laghoo Shankhaprakshalana is to be performed on empty stomach. Do not have tea / breakfast in the morning. One can have water.
Auxiliary Yogic Practices for Lahoo Shankhaprakshalan
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.
Trikaya Tadasana (lateral stretch)
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.
On completion of the practice, rest for half an hour. Keep yourself warm, but try not to sleep. You can lie down or sit down.
After Laghoo Shankhaprakshalan
After resting, eat khichdi – prepared with moong dal (yellow) & rice. Add 2-3 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. Eat light during the rest of the day, avoid refined or non-veg food & alcohol. The practice is designed differently for different therapies. But in general, practice once a month to keep your system energetic and toxin-free.
The whole process of performing Laghoo Shankhaprakshalan may take around half an hour. Excretion process may vary from person to person. One may need to defecate twice or thrice in a span of 10-15 minutes or one may need to rush to the toilet 15-20 times in a span of one hour to one an half hour or vice versa.
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.
- Entire alimentary canal is cleansed. As a result, people suffering from Digestive problems like constipation, flatulence, acidity, indigestion see great result with regular practice of Shankhapraksahlan.
- Foul smell of mouth due to indigestion is eliminated.
- Headache due to indigestion & constipation disappears.
- Nerve endings in digestive and excretory route get energized.
- Excretion starts working at optimal capacity.
- Problems surrounding anal area like piles, fistula, fissures etc. are pevented.
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.
- Do not practice this in case of stomach/intestinal ulcers, hernia, heart disease and high blood pressure.
- This is one of the most recommended kriyas to control diabetes. But, blood sugar levels fall drastically after this performance hence, modify insulin dosage accordingly.