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Alvin Chan

Hong Kong
407 Posts

Posted - Dec 25 2005 :  08:52:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
I am consider adding some shatkarma. Hope someone here can help giving me some suggestions of which one to do, or share some experiences. Here is my health problem which I believe shatkarma can help.

I am suffering from constipation and sometimes discomfort/pain in the area of my lower intestines. Not very serious, but enough to give me some symptoms (very often), like lack of concentration, sleep deprivation, tiredness, etc. They affect my quality of life quite severely. Also, the pain appears nearly everytimes I sit for meditation.

My constipation is not severe enough to get attention from any western doctor. (I clear my bowel almost everyday, but with some difficulty, and not clear ENOUGH.... I can feel that...) Usually I take some psyllium husk (a natural source of fiber) as a "cleanser". It works but not very well. And to make it work, I have to take doses far exceed the usual recommended one!!

Edited by - Alvin Chan on Dec 25 2005 09:04:19 AM


5192 Posts

Posted - Dec 26 2005 :  11:51:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Alvin:

I moved this topic from healthcare into yamas and niyamas...

Basti and dhauti are the shatkarmas to consider for cleansing and improving GI tract function. See the summary in the yamas and niyamas introduction.

Shatkarmas are especially helpful if one is well-established in a steady routine of sitting practices, because there is a substantial spiritual dimension to them -- they are an aid for cultivating ecstatic conductivity in the neurobiology. The GI tract plays a central role in this, but not necessarily in the beginning days of our practices. It is much more important to become stable in our core practices.

The shatkarmas are an area slated for detailed coverage in the AYP writings, but are down the list from all the rest that is being covered, so it will be a while longer. I am planning a book on them for 2007.

That does not help your immediate need, I know. Perhaps others can step forward on this until I can get an online lesson together to help folks develop some practical familiarity with the shatkarmas. One reason I have been slow on shatkarmas is I want to be careful not to distract folks from the core practices (meditation, spinal breathing, etc.) with what are ancillary hatha yoga methods. From the AYP point of view, they are middle stage practices, not needed much by most yogis and yoginis at the beginning or at the end of the journey. They are very helpful in the middle when ecstatic conductivity is coming into play.

Of course, for health reasons shatkarmas can be useful anytime, so they straddle the spiritual and medical arenas, as do all yoga practices. In AYP we focus primarily on the spiritual side...

The guru is in you.
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1608 Posts

Posted - Dec 26 2005 :  12:32:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
No shatkarma experience here, but Alvin, some things that have worked for me in the past with similar GI issues. Cut out white flour, white bread, white pasta etc. from your diet (if you haven't already). Also, adding a daily capsule of cod liver oil helps immensely too.
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34 Posts

Posted - Dec 26 2005 :  4:00:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit love's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Alvin:

What have helped me in the past with constipation is doing a 21 day cleanse with ( products, which is aimed at removing the old hard mucoids from the colon walls. I have done many cleanses but none of them addresses the mucoids like the cleansing products of arisandshine.

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34 Posts

Posted - Dec 26 2005 :  4:16:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit love's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Alvin me again

After the cleanse if you don’t want to go on a raw food diet then you can take 1 cascara capsule with your fiber which will keep you regular. Note cascara is none addictive. Cascara is known to exercise and strengthen the colon instead of weakening it like other laxative such as sanna.
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363 Posts

Posted - Dec 26 2005 :  5:15:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frank-in-SanDiego's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hari OM

Hello Alvin.
Per your request of shatkarma, I understand them to fall in the following categories ( again, open to all new info and help on this, and will learn along the way)

1. Dhauti cleaning the stomach
2. Basti cleaning the colon
3. Neti cleaning the nasal passage
4. Nauli cleaning the abdominal organs
5. Kapalabati cleaning the respiratory organs
6. Trataka clearing the mind through gazing

I have been practicing neti this year... more for allergies and the like. I have been happy with the results - minor effort for reasonable and measurable results. the benefit is better pranayam.
But then ya always Afrin too!! (a sinus decongestant - one spray and you are on your way! )

Sarvam khalu idam Brahm, ‘All of this indeed is Brahman’

Frank In San Diego
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Alvin Chan

Hong Kong
407 Posts

Posted - Dec 26 2005 :  10:41:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the all sharings.

Don't know why, my intestines feel pain very often when I meditate (usually near the end of my practice)!

For the Basti, I can perform a good uddiyana bandha but not yet nauli. Would this work for Basti?
Actually, the problem for me is to find a way to do Basti without contaminatng anything!

Also, what about Shankhaprashalana? I have read fairly detailed description of it. Seems to be the most thorough one, especially for the large intestines which I couldn't think of other ways to clean...

I have been maintaining a diet of Brown Rice (five kinds, actually) in stead of White rice for a year. And no white flour products except occasionally. Fish oil, olive oil, advocados, Yogurt...and some asanas, everything I've heard is healthy for my gut! I think there is a long-term, chronic problems.

I guess besides the heathly deposit I'm putting it, what I can do is either to cleanse it directly (e.g. with fiber, shatkarma) or by giving some extra stimulations for the GI track to move and cleanse itself (e.g. with herbs). A thorough cleansing of the intestine would be helpful, I think.
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363 Posts

Posted - Dec 26 2005 :  11:47:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frank-in-SanDiego's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hari Om

Hello Alvin,
I hope we have a knowledable Ayurvedic AYP member that can assist...
I, for one have had good luck with triplala [ known as the 3 fruits] Good for internal cleansing. NOw I do not know your consititution ( Vata, Pitta, Kapha)... if you care to find this out if you do not know, visit . Look at the tab "About Ayurveda" and they give in-depth descriptions for Pitta, Kapha, Vata. THey also sell quality products.

Hope this gives some help...?

Frank In San Diego
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2602 Posts

Posted - Dec 27 2005 :  08:20:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply


I have no knowledge (yet) of the Sh*tkarmas, (LOL), but I will say that the first thing to try to reduce constipation ( and this is often forgotten or unknown) is to drink lots of fluids. Lots of water or tea (weak if necessary) between meals.

That's a good first line of attack. For some people it solves the problem right there.

There seems to be a kind of common weakness in the human body where we don't quite know that we are dehydrated. We usually seem to get hungry when we need food, but we don't all (or always) get thirsty when we need water.

By the way, I don't think coffee is good for this purpose, because it is a diuretic (makes your kidneys eliminate more water, and thus reduces your hydration levels).


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Alvin Chan

Hong Kong
407 Posts

Posted - Dec 27 2005 :  11:13:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks again. In fact, I have been drinking 3-4 liters per day. Even more some years ago (around 5 liters when I can get that much). I do feel thirsty, besides intending to cure constipation and eliminate toxins. But anyone would say that 5 liters is well too much, so I cut it off gradually to 3-4 liters.

Thanks for the links of Ayurveda. I'll try that out later, when I have time to learn about it in more detail. I am sure herbs would help-- I didn't try Ayurvedic herbs, but I visited a good practioner of Chinese medicine and she can really make me flush for some days! What I concern, however, is that I cannot rely on herbs in the long run-- primarily because of the high cost of visiting practioners for a long time, and without knowing whether the constipation will be cured at its root in this way! Also, I am also concerning about the possibility of reliance on external stimulants.

Of course, may be the actions of certain herbs are not "stimulating" in nature. But that would be too difficult, if possible, for me to learn from books....

If so few people are trying the cleansing technique, then let me do some experiments. I intend to do "Laghoo Shankprakshalana", the small version first. After that, depending the results, I may try the full version, "Shankprakshalana". My source is Satyananda's "Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha". But it's also in
(Click "intestinal cleansing")
Both source point out that it should not be done without guidance from expert, that's why I'm asking for experience (especially potential danger). But actually, I don't see there would be much problem, as long as I stop when there's something wrong.

I'll report the results here later. I don't expect an immense effect from a single session of the small version. (not even sure if I can suceceed in doing it)

Edited by - Alvin Chan on Dec 27 2005 11:18:59 AM
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363 Posts

Posted - Dec 27 2005 :  2:29:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frank-in-SanDiego's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hari OM

Originally posted by Alvin Chan

I do feel thirsty, besides intending to cure constipation and eliminate toxins. Thanks for the links of Ayurveda.

Hello Alvin,
Hope alls going well.. I noticed a few points in your response...again I am not an Ayurvedic doctor, nor claim any special knowledge, but have been practicing Ayurved for a while now ( + or - 20 years).
First the constipation is intestinal and therefore Vata driven. Most all illnesses are driven (root cause) by Vata - and having it intestinal based,( seated as they say) is a key indicator of Vata dosha ( or some imbalance).
Vata is responsible for movement and has the air and space principles ( tattva or element) association. Movement via air/gas/space/akasha.

This does not infer you are Vata constitution ( prakruti), just having a Vata imbalance. Most folks are primary one type and then secondary another.( I am Pitta-Vata prakruti as an FYI). Also , you mention thirst - this is a result of Pitta. fire or agni element. Too much pitta increases heat, and one is more thirsty ( to put out the heat) then normal, when pitta is over stimulated.

So, ya gotta ask " what causes the imbalance?" - Well, what we take in… food, environment, entertainment, social conditions…
What can you control - all of the above almost, starting with food. Certain foods aggregvate Vata and Pitta ( also Kapha, but we can leave that for your research). Please look on line..there are tons of Ayurvedic sites. A good foundational book that will get you comforable is "Ayurveda- The Science of Self-Healing , by Dr. Vasant Lad. I bet you can find info from Dr. Lad on line too. He runs the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexciao.

The principles of Ayurved is simple:
1. Food is medicine, medicine is food.
2.Dis-ease comes from the disharmony of the 5 elements ( tattvas)
3. Like increases like ( that is, the more of the same gives you more of the same!)
4.Whatever affects the body affects the mind ( and vice versa)
5. Last, "as above, so below" - that is, every thing that exists in the universe has its couunterpart in the internal body-universe of the individual.

Om Kham Brahma - Brahman ( both absolute and relative qualities) is like space ( akasha).

Frank In San Diego
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Phil Morningstar

3 Posts

Posted - Dec 27 2005 :  2:59:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit Phil Morningstar's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
My constipation is not severe enough to get attention from any western doctor. (I clear my bowel almost everyday, but with some difficulty, and not clear ENOUGH.... I can feel that...) Usually I take some psyllium husk (a natural source of fiber) as a "cleanser". It works but not very well. And to make it work, I have to take doses far exceed the usual recommended one!!

Greetings Alvin, I had a serious bout of constipation last summer and did talk to my M.D. about it. She said that constipation is caused by dehydration. I looked it up and sure enough everything I found said the same thing. So it may be as simple as drinking more water. Especially with or right after a meal, drink a cup of water. Especially if you eat a lot of grains etc. Anything that absorbs a lot of water will do it. My constipation is when the weather got warmer I didn't increase my water intake and I made this rice dish that I ate for 3 days and ....."squeeek" everything came to a stop. Well can't hurt to drink more water anyway. Best of luck, much love and hope you start feeling better.
Oh! And a warning about those laxatives, most of the laxatives work by irratating the intenstines into forcing things out. Inducing contractions in the muscles. I have no idea about the psyllium husks though.

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Phil Morningstar

3 Posts

Posted - Dec 27 2005 :  8:30:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit Phil Morningstar's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Greetings again Alvin. I wanted to add a bit more to what I've said. Taking more than the recommended dose of a laxative and/or taking them for more than a couple of days is hazardous to your health. If your getting cramps at all you should definately stop taking them. An enema is the mildest way, it doesn't irratate the intestine lining, but it also washes the fauna out of the intestines. Overdoing enemas can make one sick too. But the best is too drink lots of water and drinking things with water in them, like tea or soda, does not count. So for every cup of tea have a cup of water too. Well you will regain your balance I'm sure and I wish you the best.
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Alvin Chan

Hong Kong
407 Posts

Posted - Dec 28 2005 :  02:15:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't know, but I think 5 liters/day is too much. Some say that it would burden my kidney. I found that most ppl drink about 2 liter or less. I guess that's why doctors keep telling us to drink more? I don't take psyllium husk regularly, just when things get worse....

I get cramps but still having difficulty emptying my bowel. Have to strain much every morning. There must be something at the root which cause this problem. I've heard of some cases even worse than me, and cured by Chinese Medicine. Completely! But it takes some time, and depends on whether you can find a good practioner.

Ayurveda sounds promising. If it is simple and still works, that would be great. Chinese medicine works too, but it's damn complicated! Frank, how's your experience with Ayurveda? I don't mean constipation but in general.

I tried the Laghoo Shankprakshalana today morning. I did something wrong for the first half, but finally I can still flush the watery thing out in rather large quantity--very much like after taking Chinese medicine but with even more liquid out! The drawback is that the whole practice is more exhausting than I expected. The asanas ara not difficult, but it has to be done that many times (especially the swinging tree pose which really make me scream!) with so much water inside and without breakfast. The water inside realy upset my GI track and thus me--everyone has the experience of feeling exhausted when your intestine are moving.

I may try another round after a few days. But it seems that I'm not in a position to do the full version yet.
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United Kingdom
741 Posts

Posted - Dec 28 2005 :  05:36:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit riptiz's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dear Alvin,
Firstly the practice of meditating will make you thirsty normally because of the amount of energy generated. I find even 5 minutes is enough to make me thirsty.
Secondly I would suggest you try green clay(search the net)for cleansing.You put 1 teaspoon of green clay in a glass of water, leave in fridge overnight and drink each morning for up to 3 weeks.The green clay absorbs up to 40 times it's own volume and removes toxins, heavy metals etc.I took some to India for my guru to give her mother and she said it worked well.It was inexpensive as well.

'the mind can see further than the eyes'
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5192 Posts

Posted - Dec 28 2005 :  10:11:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Alvin:

Basti is simple warm water enema with a gravity bag, hose with clamp, and an insert fitting at the end. Tap water can be used if it is free of bacteria. If not, use bottled water. Just fill up (a quart or so), either leaning over on the toilet or lying down, and wait for a few minutes before expelling. It is a good colon clean-out.

For spiritual purposes basti is done every morning before bathing and sitting practices, along with jala neti (nasal wash, discussed here). However, as mentioned earlier, this is not a routine for beginning yogis/yoginis, nor needed for advanced practitioners with ecstatic conductivity well established. That is mainly what these practices are for, middle stage cultivation of ecstatic conductivity, done in conjunction with a full yoga routine.

However, basti will clean the colon for sure, which is a useful side effect for health.

Can basti become a habit that we cannot let go of, so we are bound to the bag forever to eliminate? Not in my experience. I used it for a solid 3 years in the 1980s and it was an important part of ecstatic awakenings back then. Then it dropped off and I have used it only occasionally since then. Elimination becomes part of the overall ecstatic neurobiology, but it takes a transition (with a full range of practices) to get there. The cleansing shatkarmas are part of that transitional phase.

So you can see why I am dragging my feet on basti and cleansing shatkarmas in general. If you start with daily basti now, when will you stop? How far off is middle stage? That is the question. But if you need it for health, it can work. Obviously, you don't want to become dependent on it for elimination forever. If it is used mainly for health purposes, then maybe once or twice per week will be plenty. When the inner energies are moving (kundalini), your rising bhakti will let you know to do more basti and other shatkarmas.

Dhauti is the intestinal wash -- drinking salted water for a full GI tract flush. Is that what "Laghoo Shankprakshalana" is? Dhauti should not be done often. It does deplete the system much more than basti. Weekly would be a lot. Monthly is even too often for some. I rarely used it. It is drinking 2-4 quarts of salted water (about the same salt concentration as used in comfortable jala neti) over 10-15 minutes, and then lying down on the left side (best flow through intestines) for 20-30 minutes. Then run for the toilet. It's best to plan on at least a half hour of eliminating off and on, and then lie down and rest afterward. The salt causes the water to pass straight through the entire GI tract for a big flush out. Besides the cleansing, this can be very depleting. This is what hospitals have you do before major surgery -- complete emptying of the GI tract.

Basti is the more practical method, I think -- it can be done daily with relative ease (not a big operation like dhauti) and is not depleting. In fact, basti brings energy once ecstatic conductivity gets going.

Alvin -- As for all those cramps and difficulties in the colon, it sounds like stress. The cure for that is deep meditation and spinal breathing, and some consideration of lifestyle. Besides keeping up your spiritual practices as simple and relaxed as possible, you will be making choices as you move forward in life with education, career, living space, friends, lover, etc. How those choices are made will have a bearing on how you feel inside. Right now you are living a rather cramped and stressful life. Is it surprising that you feel cramped and stressed inside? Maybe you have not had a choice so far, but you will as time goes on. So choose wisely!

The guru is in you.
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Alvin Chan

Hong Kong
407 Posts

Posted - Dec 28 2005 :  12:06:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks riptiz. I have been looking for the name of "green clay" after I heard of it from the discovery channel (and unable to catch up with the terms "green clay") It sounds really promising (and natural. I used some chemicals(DMSA) to remove heavy metals before---rather dangerous)

Thanks your sharing, yoganni. Yes, stress. Sense of insecurity. But the syptoms go tightly with the cause, that they keep giving me more troubles than stress alone can! I spend more and more time on resting and relaxing, stay close with friends, etc. They are indeed valuable in their own right(maybe the most valuable), but ultimately my problems--both physical and psychological ones---are still there. If my health get better, I would surely have a better mood and attitude. That's why I am investing that much on my health. I tried many things---healthy foods, Chinese medicine, 30 kinds of supplements, expensive pillows and bed, pilates, asanas, acupuncture, now AYP.

Overall, I am moving towards the right direction-- I am less risky and extreme on my methods, and prefer tackling things inside first. But my physical body are still upsetting me seriously--- my mind usually goes with the condition of my GI track, my last "target" on my body after years of research. Sometimes the mind is the cause, sometimes the bowel is.

Yes, "Laghoo Shankprakshalana" is what you describe here, the sources I read suggests some squences of asanas instead of lying down, but I do think that the main effects come from the osmotic pressure of the salt water. I can feel that it's depleting. But it's still not as tiring as what I felt when my bowel get worse. So it's worth trying for me. I guess the reason for the depleting effects is the violent movements of the bowel, together with the neurotransmitters produced which upset us. I guess it's not harmful? Do I miss something?

Where can I get the bag for Basti you mentioned? And for more information? (The Basti I read involve sucking up water from the anus by doing uddiyana bandha and nauli. I don't think I can do that, though. )

I think the main obstruction lies near my anus. The hole is very small--from the way water ejected out today morning. And I have some mild pain around that area, which I think is due to the hardening layer of dirts. Will Basti help with that? A simple hatha yogic practice do just that ------ by cleaning it with our fingers!! I have to find a way to clean it using something else, and even then I have to overcome my phobia...
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363 Posts

Posted - Dec 28 2005 :  1:20:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frank-in-SanDiego's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hari Om

Originally posted by Alvin Chan

Frank, how's your experience with Ayurveda?

Hello Alvin, you have stimulated the AYP troops to bring you help!!
I have been the practicing Ayurvedic approach for 20 years or so.
Key for me is the six tastes ( more if there's interest)that maintains ones health through good eating habits.

I have been to an Ayurved doctor many years ago; at that time I did need medical-maintence help. I have found good results on my own just reading. Now, the doctor did something I could not do ( yet could be trained) - that is nadi vidya or pulse diagnosis. Taking ones radial pulse ( close to the wrist), a trained Ayurved doctor can diagnose both existing conditions, and those that are dormant that also need treatment. This site may be of some research use to you:

Overall, I have found once you know your constitution, ( Vatta-Pitta, Kapha-Vatta, etc) , you can take care of yourself, unless your are really health-challanged. I prefer Ayurved doctors that are also MD's ( a.k.a part of the AMA) so they can treat you two diffenent ways.

I like the approach "physician, heal thy self" - and with Ayurved you can assist/manage your health by what you consume and the herbs/spices/rasa's you can add to your diet.
Last point - ingesting food is one part; the other is "ingesting" your environment, entertainment, social interaction and the like that comes in through the senses a.k.a. the 10 gates. Ayurved made it clear to me I need to manage the other inputs and stimuli that also enter into me.

Hope this adds some value.

Frank In San Diego
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5192 Posts

Posted - Dec 28 2005 :  2:07:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Alvin:

This is what I used for basti:

It can be found at drug stores in the West. Not sure about Hong Kong.

I found this page with a Google search on "enema bag." Lots of info came up. The internet is great, isn't it?

As for constricted anus, mulabandha/asvini can help in time.
See and follow-up lessons later on.
But again, that is a spiritual practice more than a medical remedy.

All the best on your continuing journey!

The guru is in you.
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Alvin Chan

Hong Kong
407 Posts

Posted - Jan 15 2006 :  03:29:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Just want to share with you guys the experiences with my 3 rounds of Dhauti (Laghoo Shankprakshalana) done in these 4 weeks, in case anyone is interested. I have done the 3rd this morning.

1. The practice itself
Compared with the last two times, it's much much easier to drink the large amount of water without causing too much discomfort.

2. my body responses
In the first 2 times, it took me almost 2 hours before the first stream of water comes out(much later than what's described in books) , the remains come out some hours later This time, the first stream of water rush out in less than 1 hour. And the remaining water comes out within some 20-30 mins.

3. On the day of practice......
For the first two times, I feel exhausted on the day of practice. More emotional exhaustion and discomfort than physical, although both apply. Today, I am recovering fairly quickily. "normal" again in just about 3 hours.

4. Overall effects:
In the first 2 times, I do have an apparent relieve of constipation for some days. I am sure it would be the same this time. And my overall feeling was great too for some days after the wash. (in fact, I am doing it again today, because I start to fall back: both my constipation and overall sense of well-being, after eating too fast for several meals)

Still didn't try the basti with enema bag. It's much more embarrassing to do basti at my house. If one do the Laghoo Shankprakshalana with only about 6 glasses (around 1.5-1.7 liter??) of salt water, then according to Satyananda's book, it's ok to do it every week, or even every day.(though not yet possible or desirable for me at the moment) With more water, of course, one needs a much much longer rest.
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3615 Posts

Posted - Mar 07 2006 :  10:15:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit Etherfish's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I know this is an old thread, but I stumbled on it today, and thought I'd post in case someone reads it someday.
I'm surprised nobody wrote that constipation is most easily solved by eating raw greens before meals. You should eat at least a couple hands full of raw greens minimum per day, preferably before the evening meal. It can be raw lettuce, celery, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, parsely, anything like that. If you use a lot of thick salad dressing it takes away from it, but a light one is OK.
Raw greens do for solid elimination what water does for liquid elimination. Of course water helps solid elimination too.
You can work your way up to a lot more if you want and it doesn't hurt. (do it gradually!)

Also their are pills to re-establish healthy bacteria in the intestines.

Edited by - Etherfish on Mar 07 2006 10:19:35 PM
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1 Posts

Posted - Oct 20 2006 :  12:31:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit tannaz's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Alvin
there is one Shatkarma that works immediately. It forms a part of the Basti group. Since it is not possible in todays times to do basti the way the ancients did it, Hatha Yoga has a self treatment called Shankhprakshalana. 4 to 5 (depending upon the school you follow)asanas are done at a time after ingesting a couple of glasses of warm salty water. One keeps drinking, followed by the asanas until the urge to pass stools happens. First, the hard stuff comes out, followed by progressively softer and more watery stools. Believe me it feels so good meditation is a delight after following the procedure.
In Shankhaprakshalana proper, you need to follow several precautions and do the same under the guidance of a qualified teacher. However there is a simpler version called Laghoo Shankhaprakshalana that is gentler, but not less effective. it is safe to do and can be practised very easily once you have learnt the asanas. The only difference between the two is the amount of water you drink in the gentle version is limited to 6 glasses in all

Teachers from the Bihar School of Yoga can help you if you have access to one. I can also type and send you the instructions if you wish. However some familiarity with Hatha yoga would be helpful, though not essential. Mail me if interested at
All the best!

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Posted - Oct 20 2006 :  11:23:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit sadhak's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Alvin
I have done Laghoo Shankaprakshalan, and taught it to several people too. It is very effective for consitipation and blockages, subject to some precautions. I hope you don't have acidity, however mild. I do not know what exact process you followed, so I am putting out here what I know.

What I learnt was: 8 large glasses of warm water with two teaspoons of kala namak (rock salt). Drink two glasses, do each of the five exercises dynamically 8 times, making sure that you follow the correct breathing. Two glasses of the water. 5x8 set again. Two glasses of the water. Last 5x8 set. Last two glasses of water go in. (That makes it 5x8x3 totally, with two glasses before, between and after each set). If this already sets you off to the loo, sit without straining. It is successful when you have gone many times and pass clear water in the end.

these exercises done in rhythm and with the right breathing are important because they activate the sluggish peristaltic movement of the intestines that then pushes out all the blockages.

LIE down in shavasana, without sleeping, and relax for atleast 45 mins after this.

It is important to not overdo the shatkarma... make sure to eat very bland food for the rest of the day and two days after, or the walls of the intestines and stomach may get irritated and lead to hyperacidity.

All the best

Edited by - sadhak on Oct 20 2006 11:24:38 PM
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Posted - Oct 21 2006 :  5:54:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Alvin, I have had in the past some experience with this problem myself and being involved in the medical field I know of the potential dangers to ignoring the problem. You mentioned drinking enough fluids and that's good. I might suggest to make sure you are getting enough calcium in your diet, if not ask your health provider about a supplement. Some folks, if even they are getting enough calcium in the diet, seem to need more and because of the special calcium feedback mechanism in the body, low calcium doesn't show up on blood levels for a long time. Also a very good thing to do is eat plain yogurt every day. A big spoonful on an empty stomach every morning is very very good for the gut. Exercise like jogging or walking is good because it stimulates the nerves involved to keep elimination going well. Constipation is rare among dedicated joggers. You also might add a little olive oil to your diet, this is also good for the gut. I eat a little oatmeal daily which (along with calcium) has helped me greatly with the constipation problem! I have a stressful job and I've noticed that when I do have a problem it's always on the workdays, so I guess I tend to put my stress in the gut part of the body. Every one seems to have thier own way of placing stress! Enemas are good but laxitives, even the "natural" herbal ones, can be not so good in the long run because they are an artificial stimulant and if used too often your gut becomes dependant on them. I've seen it happen many times. Better to use the types of foods and exercise that promote easy bowel movements and good bowel health. Also, be sure to have your thyroid checked. Hope this helps. :)

Edited by - LittleTurtle on Oct 21 2006 5:56:08 PM
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Posted - Dec 15 2006 :  08:08:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit arjuna207's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I tryed following the instructions for short shankprakshalana, researching it on two web sites, but still, i can't get the water to go through. Advice, anyone?
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Posted - Nov 18 2008 :  01:38:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit lover's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

just wanna ask if how much water do we need in a day..Thanks..
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