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.

Terminology

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.

Equipment

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.

Asanas

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.

Frequency

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.

Limitations

People who suffer from ulcers, and with high blood pressure. Please practice under expert supervision.

Precautions

After completing the practice wait for half an hour before eating. Don´t force a bowel movement, it should be natural.

Benefits

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.

NOTE

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.

I have just arrived from a very exciting month of August, literally on the other side of the world, in the land of the kangurus and koala, Australia.

World Acupuncture, which i proudly make part of, just hosted the 29th international workshop with Masakazu Ikeda sensei, and there are rumors this was the last international seminar, but i don´t believe it!

And this master with more than 50 years of clinical practice, and superior knowledge of the ancient Chinese classics on what we know nowadays as Traditional Chinese Medicine. Him being japanese, he is actually very chinese, in the sense he preserves and presents us the knowledge of this ancient texts in a more easy and digestible manner.

This seminar was such a pleasure to be part of, with the depth of knowledge presented, through the eloquent and vivid interpreter Edward Obaidey sensei. That couldn´t have happened without our courageous hosts, Alan Jansson sensei and Takashi Furue.

So i come back fully inspired for a new year, to keep my practice, and my studies in Lisbon city.

And because life isn´t just work and study, and we all need our share time to relax and rejuvenate through leisure and rest. I was able to visit Lady Elliot Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef, and had the pleasure to swim with turtles, fishes of all colors, manta rays, sharks of different sizes, and whales just on a far distance.

I welcome you in my practice in Lisbon, to come for a session, and enjoy the benefits and the knowledge of the ancient medicines.