Shatkriyas the cleansing processes

Yoga connotes purification of the all the internal channels in the physical body. Vastra Dhauti is done to cleanse the throat, oesophagus, and stomach of Kapha (mucus) and Pitt (excess bile). Neti is the method used to cleanse the mucus in the nostrils, sinuses and throat using a sutra (string) or a cathetor (rubber tube).

Picture showing the 11 feet long 1.5 inches wide cotton cloth for performing Vastra Dhauti

5:52 AM Vastra Dhauti
Vancouver was sound asleep.
I wanted to time my Vastra Dhauti and so I filled up my Indian copper mug with warm water, soaked the 11 feet cotton cloth, set the clock and started swallowing. It went down quickly this time but I choked twice. Mucus ran down from my nose and tears from my eyes. I stared at the second hand and shifted to high gear as I gagged and choked. This is the trick – since I’m already gagging and choking, I couldn’t feel worse. So I took in larger chunks during the gagging. As the roll of wet cotton grow thinner and thinner, I sped up and finished in 8 minutes, beating my own records and all those who took the Vastra Dhauti exam in India. A standard Vastra Dhauti cloth is 22 feet long and 3 inches wide, double when we used. So we better be prep up ourselves for our next training trip to India next year!


Sutra and Cathetor for Neti

6:00 AM Sutra and Jal Neti
I did this to cleanse my nose, sinus and throat. A sutra is a cotton string with beeswax at one end to stiffen it for easier insertion through the nostrils. A cathetor is a piece of rubber tube for beginners to practise with before trying with the sutra. The sutra is hard and can cause too much friction and discomfort on the nasal membrane, sinuses and throat. On first trial even with a cathetor, one is bound to sneeze continuously before one can insert the cathetor through the nostrils to the throat. Then there is the gagging effect resulting from having to pull the thing out from the mouth. Once done, one has to take the nose end with one hand and the mouth end with the other and pull the cathetor or sutra back and forth to create friction for cleansing the nostrils, sinuses, and throat. Adept practitioners can insert two sutras at the same time through both nostrils and pull them out with ease and a smile without seconds.

Jal neti is done with luke warm saline solution with a neti pot after sutra neti. The warm saline solution is both soothing and disinfecting and helps to heal common cold and sore throat. It is superior to blowing the nose with Kleenex because blowing agitate the nasal membrane further and can even break the small blood vessels in the nasal cavity. Use of Kleenex is detrimental to our planet earth because billions of trees from natural forests and habitats for wild life are destroyed each years just to fuel this crazy misguided health extravagance in the west. I’ve been doing Neti and have taught my pupils to do Jal Neti since I returned to Vancouver. I shall start them on the cathetor when they are more prepared.

My yoga student in Vancouver 2010 BC Canada performing Shatkriyas under my guidance. She is my top yoga student in Canada and was able to meet all criteria of LIFE Mission. Her record in Vastra Dhauti was 15 minutes on her second trial. Her sutra neti record was under 30 seconds. Here I dedicate the merit of her accomplishments to my Guruji Swami Rarjarshi Muni of the Lakulish International Foundation for Enlightenment (LIFE) Mission

Written by Ven. Sakya Longyen
Huayen on Indra’s Net


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