What are Kriyas?
Kriyas are Ayurvedic practices that aid in body purification. Utilizing kriyas has many advantages, including increased physical awareness, improved digestion, reduced common illnesses and disorders, and increased energy levels. Six purification techniques pertain to Hatha Yoga, called Shatkarma Kriyas or Shat Karmas.
Six Yogic Kriyas
- Neti – Purification of the Nose
Purification of the nasal tube and nostrils is referred to as neti kriya. Four different tool kinds are available for use when doing the neti kriya, and water (Jal), Thread (Sutra), Milk (Dugdha), and Ghee are these instruments (Ghrita). This type of kriya is beneficial in reducing facial muscle tension and giving the skin a youthful glow. Additionally, it aids in the reduction of anxiety, sadness, and many forms of mental clogs.
Jala Neti Yogic Kriya Technique:
- Warm, salty water should be added to the Neti Pot, a specially constructed container. The water should be between 38 and 40 degrees Celsius and contain roughly one teaspoon of salt per litre of water*.
- Gently place the Neti Pot’s spout inside the right nostril while bending your head over a sink (which, as a result, closes it).
- To allow water to exit the left nostril, tilt the head to the left while bending the head slightly forward. The mouth is opened for breathing, and about half of the pot’s contents are poured through the right nostril.
- About half of the pot’s contents are poured through the right nostril when the mouth is opened for breathing.
- When finished, use the Kapalbhati technique to blow out every last drop of water from both nostrils.
- Hold the other nostril closed and forcefully exhale 3-5 more times through each nostril to finish cleansing the nose (as when blowing your nose).
Benefits of Yogic Kriya:
- Positively affects all of the brain’s sense organs; strengthens eyesight; and soothes tired eyes
- Improved attention and memory
- Head colds and sinusitis can be avoided by using neti
- Dhauti – Purification of the Esophagus and Stomach
This method is sometimes referred to as Gaj Karn. Gaj is the Hindi word for elephant. An elephant will stretch its trunk far into its gullet when it feels sick to its stomach in order to suck out the contents. Nature thus provides us with a demonstration of the technique.
Dhauti Yogic Kriya Technique:
- One teaspoon of salt is added to two litres of warm (40°) water.
- Drink the water quickly, glass by glass, while standing upright.
- The right hand’s index and middle fingers are extended halfway down the neck while the left-hand presses against the lower belly.
- Press the tongue down simultaneously to cause nausea.
- In less than a minute, the entire volume of water emerges once more.
- This can be done once or twice a week and is best done in the morning while you’re empty-handed.
Benefits of Dhauti Yogic Kriya:
- Has a positive influence on high acidity, allergies, and asthma
- Eliminates halitosis (bad breath)
- Nauli – Turning of the Abdominal Muscles
In yoga, it is a requirement that every muscle be used at least once daily. Clearing out the blockages restores the flow of our energy. This is the rationale behind everyday abdominal and intestinal muscle movement. Because it stimulates and regulates the entire digestive system, nauli is one of the healthiest workouts for our health.
Nauli Yogic Kriya Technique:
- Breathe deeply through your nostrils while you stand straight up with your legs slightly apart
- Breathe out from your mouth, bending forward while maintaining a straight back.
- Put both hands on the thighs while bending the knees just a little.
- Contract the muscles that run parallel to each other in the centre of the belly and tighten the muscles along the sides of the abdomen (Rectus abdominis).
- This creates a powerful suction action inside the abdominal cavity.
- When the urge to breathe comes on, stand up straight once more and breathe.
- As long as the abdominal muscles still have strength, this process can be performed 5–6 times.
- After numerous repetitions, you should be able to move the Rectus abdominis from right to left, then from left to right, and eventually in a circular motion.
Benefits of Nauli Yogic Kriya:
- The lower abdomen’s organs and intestines are massaged as the abdominal muscles are strengthened with nauli.
- Additionally to controlling blood pressure, it protects against diabetes.
- Beneficial for skin conditions and heartburn (acne)
- Basti and Shanka Prakshalana – Complete Cleansing of the Intestines
An important kriya used to cleanse and tone the abdomen and its internal organs is nauli.
This kind of kriya is crucial for adequately cleansing the digestive system while imitating it.
Shanka Prakshalana Yogic Kriya Technique:
- Six to seven litres of water should be gently warmed to 34–40°C.
- For every litre of water, add half a teaspoon of sea salt (with high blood pressure, use diet salt).
- Throughout the entire practice, the water’s temperature needs to remain steady. Glass after glass, quickly consume the full bottle of water.
- Practice five stretches and twists, such as Trikonasana, Triyak Bhujangasana, Sideways Bending of the Body, Meru Prishthasana, and Tadasana, after each glass of water.
- Go to the bathroom and do the Ashwini Mudra after the sixth drink (rapid contraction and release of the anal muscles).
- The intestines’ peristalsis is induced by this mudra.
Benefits of Shanka Yogic Kriya:
- Shanka Prakshalana improves digestion, detoxifies the body, and purifies the blood.
- It cures skin conditions and allergies (like hay fever) (e.g. acne, neurodermatitis, or psoriasis)
- It also helps with springtime sluggishness and has a balanced influence on the psyche.
- Kapala Bhati Pranayama – Cleansing the Frontal Sinuses
The KAPALBHATI type of kriya is a cute combination of the words “skull and the functions, organs related with it” and “glow, sheen, and luminosity.”
As a result, this subcategory of shatkriya is focused on clearing the mind and purifying the brain. It is a vigorous breathing technique that clears the lymphatic system of all toxins and unclogs the respiratory tracts of all obstructions.
Kapalbhati Yogic Kriya Technique:
- Bend the head and upper body. Breathe in via your mouth 25–50 times, then quickly and forcefully exhale through your nose.
- This exercise is performed initially through both nostrils, and then through each nostril, while bending the head to the right or left.
- One should unwind for 1-2 minutes after performing Kapalabhati.
Benefits of Kapalbhati Yogic Kriya:
- This method has a revitalising impact and provides fresh energy
- The nasal canal and the entire forehead region receive an increase in blood flow
- The respiratory system is bolstered and the nose is cleaned
- Stress is reduced as a result of the relaxing effect
- This approach, when used before meditation, promotes inner tranquility
- Trataka – Concentration on a Point or Candle Flame
Trataka is a kriya that promotes clear vision, develops attention, and strengthens physical and mental dedication. Without blinking, one performs it by fixating their vision on a certain item. You can select from the Jatra and Jyoti varieties of Trataka kriyas.
Trataka Yogic Kriya Technique:
- Put on your meditation position and face a candle.
- Put the candle in front of you at approximately an arm’s length, with the wick level with your chest.
- Shut your eyes.
- repeating your mantra in your head when you meditate.
- Open your eyes and maintain a constant gaze on the flame.
- There are three colored zones on the flame.
- The wick is reddish at the base, dazzling white in the middle, and slightly smokey at the tip.
- Focus your attention on the brightest area of the flame, which is at the top.
- Once more, shut your eyes. If the vision of the flame appears inside, gently focus on it without tensing up. Repeat it three times.
Benefits of Trataka Yogic Kriya:
- Increases eyesight and memory strengthens the eye muscles and purifies the eyes
- Bedwetting and sleep issues are addressed, and concentration is made stronger
- Increases willpower and insight
Sages and gurus have studied and practiced these kriyas. You can discover the “spiritual” you by adhering to the kundalini yoga path and engaging in kriya yoga. Allow your passion, resentment, joy, suffering, depression, pride, and prejudice not to stand in the way of your spiritual awakening. Everyone is suitable for these techniques without restrictions on their diet, lifestyle, gender, or age.
A 10-day Kriya and Kundalini retreat offered by Shree Hari Yoga can assist you in achieving your goals of expanding your consciousness and learning the most traditional and ancient styles of yoga.