The Shatkarma or the six purification techniques in Hatha Yoga are designed to make the body strong and healthy. ‘Shat’ means six and ‘Karma’ here means a method or technique. Shatkarmas are considered preparatory steps towards higher practices of pranayama and meditation.
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Pranayama is the yogic science of breath control. Yoga teaches that breathing can be regulated and controlled for various health and spiritual benefits.
Prayer to Adi Yogi, Lord Shiva Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat This is the Mrityunjaya mantra of Lord Shiva which translates as: “OM, We worship the three-eyed Lord Shiva, who is the fragrance of Life and nourishes our health. O Lord, just as a cucumber when ripe is freed from the vine, release us from attachment and death; and grant us the nectar of immortality.”
Yoga is one of the six main systems of Indian philosophy called Shad-Darshanas. Yoga is a philosophy as a well as a practical science. The Yoga system of philosophy has been existing from ancient times, but it was codified by Maharishi Patanjali in his classical treatise, today known as Patanjali Yoga Sutras. So, what is Yoga?
Mudras are important practices in yoga. Mudra means a “sign” or a “seal” in Sanskrit. Mudras are various yogic gestures or positions using the fingers, hands, eyes or other parts of the body to channelize energy in a certain way. It can indicate a certain inner state of mind.
Nauli or Nauli Kriya is a technique for abdominal massage in Hatha Yoga. Benefits of Nauli are tremendous. It is one of the six purification methods or Shatkarma in Hatha Yoga. Nauli practitioners can maintain good health and vitality. But mastering this technique is not easy for beginners. It may take anything from three months to one year to perfect it depending on your body condition, your zeal and your effort.
Basti is the Hatha Yoga method of performing an enema. Basti is one of the Shatkarma or the six purification techniques mentioned in the yogic texts – Hatha Yoga Pradeepika and the Gheranda Samhita. It is aimed at cleaning the lower intestines and the colon, removing toxins and cooling the body.
Surya Namaskara or the Sun Salutation has a great energizing effect on the body, prana and mind. In Sanskrit, ‘Surya’ means the sun and ‘Namaskara’ means the salutation. Surya Namaskara consists of a series of yoga postures. There are 12 yoga poses performed in sequence. Surya Namskara is usually done in the morning during sunrise, facing the rising sun.
Sirsasana or the head stand pose is the most important among inverted asanas. In Sanskrit the word ‘sirsha’ means ‘head’ and ‘asana’ means pose. Sirsasana is considered the king of all asanas and is usually done at the end of the yoga asana practices.
Kechari Mudra is considered the king among mudras. In Sanskrit, the word ‘Kha’ indicates Brahman or the Supreme Reality and ‘Chara’ means to move. Kechari Mudra helps the practitioner to move in the blissful infinite consciousness of Brahman. Kechari is an advanced practice that enables the yogi to reach higher states of consciousness.