Shankha Prakshalana – a Yogic Detox Process to Overcome Poor Digestion

Yoga is an ancient and systematic method of healing, that takes the form of numerous poses. We know that yoga comprises poses but many people are unaware that it provides cleansing benefits too. The process of cleansing is known as Shankha Prakshalana and in this blog, we shall make a point to explain it in detail.

1. What Is Shankha Prakshalana?

Shankha Prakshalana is a Sanskrit word and is formed when two terms, ‘Shankha’ and ‘Prakshalana’ are combined. The first term means ‘conch’ whereas the latter one means cleansing/washing away. When we amalgamate these terms, we can understand that Shankha Prakshalana refers to a natural cleansing process. 

This term mostly refers to cleansing the digestive system. It revolves around the concept that a healthy digestive system is a symbol of a healthy body. What’s impressive about Shankhaprakshalana is that you don’t have to pay a significant amount of time and money to practice it. With a little dedication and practice, you can master this act.

2. Historical Significance Of Shankha Prakshalana

Shankha Prakshalana is also synonymous with ‘varisar dhati’. In this term, ‘shankha’ signifies the entire alimentary canal that commences from the mouth and ends at the anus. The historical texts involving Ayurveda and yoga signify the vitality of Shankha Prakshalana. In the past, sages used to perform this detoxification process by drinking water and using specific poses. 

Many historians believe that the yogis used certain tools too but concrete evidence is yet to be found. The mentions of Shankha Prakshalana is found in the historical text Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Gherand Samhita. Shankha Prakshalana is also an integral component of an Ayurvedic technique that goes by the name of ‘Kaya Kalpa’. 

Now that we have learned about the historical aspect of Shankha Prakshalana, let’s take a look at the poses and know-hows.

3. Basic Idea

To practice this technique, you have to drink at least 5 glasses of lukewarm water. Make sure that you blend salt and lemon drops into it. After drinking the water, you need to practice certain asanas. You should practice such asanas until you feel the pressure. 

4. How To Prepare For Shankha Prakshalana

Let’s have a look at some of the basic guidelines that you can use to make your drink for practicing Shankha Prakshalana.

  • Take 1-2 liters of lukewarm water and add two teaspoons of salt per liter. Quickly drink 2-4 glasses one after another and perform the mandatory asanas.
  • Drink another glass of water and repeat the asana at least 6 times.
  • Practice the same procedure until you finish the water or when clean water comes out from your anus.

5. When Should I Practice This Exercise?

The best time to practice Shankha Prakshalana is in the early morning. There won’t be any disturbances in the morning and you can get the work done easily. 

6. Where Should I Practice?

You should practice this exercise in places where there are adequate toilet facilities. For instance, you can practice it in your home or your garden too. If you have a personal toilet, then it is much easier.

7. What Sort Of Poses Should I Practice?

This is the major section of the Shankha Prakshalana exercise. There are numerous poses that you can practice but to make matters easy, practice the poses given below:

  • Tadasana (Palm tree pose)
  • Tiryaka Tadasana (Swaying Palm tree pose)
  • Kati Chakrasana (Waist Twisting posture)
  • Tiryaka Bhujangasana (Swaying Cobra pose)
  • Udarakarshansana (Spinal twisting pose)

8. Benefits

  • It aids in removing the toxins from your body.
  • It rejuvenates the intestines.
  • It rids of the problems of the digestive system like bloating, indigestion, and gas.
  • It makes the body energetic and boosts your confidence.
  • It is also greatly beneficial for the skin.

I’m sure that after reading the benefits of Shankha Prakshalana, you want to practice it right away. But, here are some points that you need to consider

9. Precautions

  • Don’t try this pose if you have undergone major surgery.
  • Women should refrain from this exercise during pregnancy and menstruation.
  • Do not perform this exercise if you have back pain.
  • Do not smoke or chew tobacco after completing this process.

Thus, these are the points that you need to consider while practicing Shankha Prakshalana.