Lagoo shankaprakshalana - the yogic way
Lagoo Shankaprakshalana is an excellent, yet simple, method of encouraging a good bowel movement, and for generally washing out the intestines. It is particularly useful for people who suffer from constipation, though it can also be utilized to thoroughly flush out the digestive system.
It can be done daily as part of your early morning routine, or it can be performed occasionally whenever it is justified. The practice only takes a few minutes to carry out, yet this short time is usefully spent, for the practice will help you to remove torpor and dullness from your life, and to replace it with energy, interest and optimism.
The Sanskrit word laghoo means "short", "condensed" or "concise". The word shanka means "conch" or "shell" and prankshalana means "to wash" or "to clean throughly". Therefore the combined term shankaprakshalana means to completely wash the intestines.
The method described here is the shortened form - lagoo shankaprakshalana - which can be done very quickly and with little preparation, with the intention to encourage normal functioning of the intestines.
Advantages over laxatives
Laghoo shankprakshalana is not intended to act in the same way as laxatives. Laxatives artificially stimulate the nerves of the intestines, so that peristalsis is prompted to rapidly propel the stool through the intestines to the bowels for expulsion.
In this method, salt water is used, not a laxative. The salt water acts as a lubricant and loosens up the stool. The salt water does not directly stimulate the nerves. The salt water encourages the hardened or blocked stool to move, which prompts the nerves to carry out their normal functions.
All that is required is a jar with lukewarm water and salt, and a glass. In the practice you will be required to drink about six glasses of water. Around two liters of warm water should be sufficient. The salt should be added in the proportion of two teaspoonful per liter of water. Make sure the salt is clean, and fully dissolved in the water.
The salt water creates a high osmotic pressure, much higher than pure water, preventing absorption and allowing salt water to flush through the system.
You will be required to perform five special asanas during the practice. These are tadasana, tiryaka tadasana, kati chakrasana, tiryaka bhujangasana and udarakarshanasana.
Time and sequence
You should practice when your stomach is empty. as such, the best time is early in the morning.
Prepare the warm salt water.
Quickly drink 2 glasses of water.
Then practice the following asanas:
Tadasana - 8 times
Tiryaka tadasana - 8 times
Kati chakrasana - 8 times
Tiryaka bhujangasana - 8 times
Udarakarshanasana - 8 times
Please maintain this sequence.
Then drink 2 more glasses of the warm salty water.
Repeat the 5 asanas, 8 times each.
Finally drink 2 more glasses and again repeat the asanas.
Having drunk 6 glasses, now go to the toilet.
Don´t strain whether you have a bowel movement or not. If you don´t have a movement it will come later.
If you suffer from constipation, then you can practise every day. Otherwise practise once or twice a week or whenever you have time to spare.
People who suffer from ulcers, and with high blood pressure. Please practice under expert supervision.
After completing the practice wait for half an hour before eating. Don´t force a bowel movement, it should be natural.
People with digestive problems such as constipation, flatulence, acidity, indigestion and other digestive maladies are advised to practice this technique. Lagoo shankaprakshalana is an excellent method to purify the body, and of preventing or helping to remove a diverse number of ailments. I suggest you seek expert guidance to find out whether it will help to remove any ailment that you have.
The method described here is the shortened form - lagoo shankaprakshalana - which can be done very quickly and with little preparation.
Shankaprakshalana means to completely wash the intestines, a more comprehensive technique.
Furthermore, the two practices have slightly different purposes: shankaprakshalana is intended to completely empty and clean the digestive system, should be done under the guidance of expert supervision.
Compiled by Maria do Rosário Pereira.
Source: "A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya" by Swami Satyananda Saraswati.