Meaning of cleansing process in Hatha yoga – Beginning
We all know that the cleansing is a natural process. Every living being has its own way to clean. Rain is a very good example of cleansing process in nature. Animals, even the little birds have bath and clean themselves. Finally, human beings life has a huge part in the cleansing process too.
In fact, we are very absorbed about a daily cleansing during whole life circle. Every day we take a shower, clean our teeth, evacuate our bowels etc. Many of us like to take a shower or bath, and we really enjoy that. However, when it comes to Yoga cleansing techniques, things are different. Constant yoga followers reluctant or even refuse to practice those techniques.
Why do so many of us, who like to clean themselves not like there Hatha Yoga Cleansing techniques? Nevertheless, they are many reactions which are probably responsible for this negative reaction to the yoga way of cleansing.
Meaning of cleansing process in Hatha yoga – Fear of Criticism
The first reason can be in the social acceptability of these techniques. In society we are taught not to display the negatives or waste products that our body and mind produce. We often think that it is not proper to do it in front of others or in society itself. What will other people think about it? Society will think that it is a mannerless person. It calls a fear of criticism. Obviously, it can be obstructing the acceptance of these cleansing techniques.
Meaning of cleansing process in Hatha yoga – Emotional makeup
The second reason is related to our own emotional makeup. We often suppress our emotions, we may not express ourselves. This creates an emotional stress in the deeper mind.
For example, memory of sad events and negative experiences. This can create similar experiences in our mind.
We all know that as the body and mind are closely related. The mind resists as it is scared of letting the negatives accumulated come out.
This happens when we are trying to bring the waste products from inside of the body. Sometimes when sudden death of a close person creates emotional strain. We know that it is better to cry and release these trapped energy in this situation. Cleansing is a simple release of these emotional stress on the physical level. It is definitely affecting the mind in a positive way.
Meaning of cleansing process in Hatha yoga – The other reason
The other reason is the lack of control during the practice. That is why we are reluctant to practice cleansing techniques. Every person in the world wants to be in control of their body. However, in cleansing techniques we have a very little control.
Sometimes we have various thoughts and emotions. We definitely express them in a totally different way. There is a split between what is inside and what we show outside. The cleansing techniques bring out what is inside on a physical level. Moreover, as the body and mind are connected, people are scared of letting these internal experiences from the mind to come out.
However, there are 6 different techniques of cleansing in Hatha Yoga. We briefly discussed about them in the previous article Traditional Hatha Yoga. All of them have to be practiced only under the guidance of yoga expert. Also, remember that the improper practice might cause some serious health side effect.
Meaning of cleansing process in Hatha yoga – Magnificent Techniques
Many yoga teachers are introducing at least a few techniques in their classes. In fact, most of them can be performed at an advanced level only, after years of yoga practice.
We are going to discuss about first technique, which is Kapalbhati or Frontal Lobe Cleansing.
In the process of Kapalbhati exhalation is fast and with jerk. However, inhalation is slow, passive and without any effort. Emphasis is given more on the process of exhalation.
In natural respiration, emphasis is on inhalation and it is active. However, exhalation is passive. In Kapalbhati the process is exactly reversed. It gives us more importance to exhalation and less importance to inhalation.
The benefits of Kapalbhati are different. It helps us to clear and purify the mucus, dust, carbon particles from the respiratory tract. Also it helps to improve digestion, the function of liver and pancreas. It increases the strength of abdominal muscle and the diaphragm.
Meaning of cleansing process in Hatha yoga – Magnificent Techniques
Second technique is Neti or Nasal cleansing. Magnificent practice, helps to remove obstructions from the nostrils. It creates a proper air flow through the nostrils. It also helps to improve the secretion and functioning of the nose, throat and ear. This technique opens up the inner ear, which helps to improve hearing and prevent ear infection. It helps to get rid of and prevent tonsillitis, allergies, cough, cold, hay fever. The practice supports to remove the accumulated mucus from the sinuses. Finally, gives relief to migraine.
Third, Vaman Dhouti or Regurgitive cleansing helps to increase the efficiency of the abdominal muscles. As large amount of water consumes, it stretches the stomach muscles. It also helps to remove excess mucus and acid secretion. It will not be absorbed as the water is salted. Instead, water along with toxins from the blood will come in the stomach and will be vomited out. So, it is a process which helps in digestive problems. It also improves digestion, improves the strength of abdominal muscles, and relieve the pressure on the heart.
Fourth, Shankha Prakshalana or Master cleansing. In fact, this technique is described in “Gherand Samhita”. It is a text on Hatha Yoga written by Sage Gherand in 13th Century. Many diseases like diabetes, IBS, colon related problems can be effectively treated with Master cleansing.
It is a process of consuming of salted water with lemon followed by complex of exercises. Generally, this process should be done in presents of yoga of even medical expert. Besides, salt can increase blood pressure during the practice. Also, there are some more precautions which are not allowed to practice this technique.
Meaning of cleansing process in Hatha yoga – Eyes Cleansing
Finally, Trataka or Eyes Cleansing. This is a process of looking intently and to gaze at a small single point until tears are shed from the eyes. Candle flame is usually used for the Trataka practice. Even after closing eyes the impression of candle flame remains for a long time.
The practice helps us to improve the function of our eyes. It gives relief from eyes strain, headache, myopia and the early stages of cataract. The eyes become brighter by the magnificent practice of Trataka.
More importantly, Trataka has an effect on the mind and brain. It is useful in cases of depression, insomnia. It will also help to increase memory and concentration.
As we can understand now, yoga cleansing techniques surely affect our body and mind. It helps us to bring purification which leads to our physical health. It also leads to a strong mind and controlled emotions. Regular practice under the guidance of yoga expert will help to the state of health on both physical and mental levels.