Importance of Shatkarma in Daily Life

In our fast-paced, modern world, maintaining physical and mental well-being can be challenging. Many of us turn to ancient practices like yoga for balance and health. One such powerful but often overlooked practice within yoga is Shatkarma, also known as Shatkriya. Shatkarma refers to six purification techniques that cleanse the body, improve health, and enhance spiritual growth. Incorporating these cleansing practices into our daily lives can have immense benefits for both the body and mind. 

Shatkarma: Purifying from Within


Let us understand, What do you mean by Shatkarma? Shatkarama is made up with two words Shat and Karma. Shat means “Six” and Karma means “action” as described in the ancient Hatha Yoga Texts. It consists of six group of purification practices which create harmony between the two areas in our body IDA and PINGLA. The first one is our left side of the body and second one is the right.
These are also used to balance the three doshas or humors in the body Kapha (Mucus), Pitta (bile), Vata (wind). When we are imbalance results in illness. It is necessary to purify the body of toxins and to ensure safe and successful progression along the spiritual path.

Shatkarma comprises six primary techniques, each targeting different aspects of the body’s internal system. Understanding and practising these techniques can help maintain optimal health and well-being.

1. Neti

Neti is a nasal cleansing technique aimed at clearing the nasal passages of mucus and debris. The most common form is Jala Neti, which involves pouring saline water through one nostril and letting it flow out through the other. This practice helps alleviate respiratory issues, allergies, and sinusitis, and can improve overall breathing.

 2. Dhauti

Dhauti involves cleansing the digestive tract. There are several types, such as Vamana Dhauti (induced vomiting) and Vastra Dhauti (swallowing a cloth strip). These practices aid in detoxifying the stomach, improving digestion, and eliminating toxins that accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract.

3. Basti

Basti is a yogic enema that cleanses the colon. It involves the introduction of water into the rectum to flush out waste materials. This practice supports digestive health, alleviates constipation, and enhances the function of the lower digestive system.

4. Nauli

Nauli is a form of abdominal massage achieved by rotating the abdominal muscles. This technique stimulates the digestive organs, strengthens the core muscles, and promotes the efficient functioning of the intestines. Nauli is also known to improve metabolic processes and aid in detoxification.

 5. Kapalbhati

Kapalbhati, or skull shining breath, is a breathing technique that involves forceful exhalation and passive inhalation. This method helps clear the respiratory passages, increases lung capacity, and enhances oxygenation of the blood. Additionally, it aids in mental clarity and energizes the body.

6. Trataka

Trataka is a meditative practice focused on gazing at a fixed point, often a candle flame. This technique strengthens the eyes, improves concentration, and calms the mind. It is beneficial for mental focus and can alleviate eye strain caused by prolonged screen time.



Benefits of Shatkarma

Integrating Shatkarma into daily life has immense benefits, extending beyond physical health to include mental and emotional well-being. Here are the five key benefits:

  1. Detoxification: Shatkarma techniques help eliminate toxins from the body, promoting overall health and preventing various diseases.
  2. Improved Digestion: Practices like Dhauti and Basti enhance digestive health by cleansing the digestive tract and improving nutrient absorption.
  3. Respiratory Health: Neti and Kapalbhati clear the nasal passages and respiratory system, reducing the likelihood of respiratory infections and improving breathing efficiency.
  4. Mental Clarity: Techniques like Trataka and Kapalbhati enhance concentration and mental clarity, reducing stress and anxiety levels.
  5. Energy and Vitality:Regular practice of Shatkarma energises the body, increases stamina, and promotes a sense of well-being.


1. What are the main benefits of Shatkarma techniques?

Answer: Shatkarma techniques offer numerous benefits, including detoxification of the body, improved digestive health, enhanced respiratory function, mental clarity, and increased energy and vitality. Practices like Neti cleansing help clear nasal passages, while techniques like Dhauti and Basti cleanse the digestive tract, promoting overall health and well-being.

2. How can I incorporate Shatkarma into my daily practice?

Answer: Incorporating Shatkarma into your daily practice can be done gradually. Start with simpler techniques like Jala Neti for nasal cleansing and Kapalbhati for respiratory health. As you become more comfortable, you can add other methods such as Dhauti for digestive health and Trataka for mental clarity. Consistent practice will yield the best results.

3. How does Shatkarma detoxification benefit the body?

Answer: Shatkarma detoxification benefits the body by eliminating accumulated toxins that can lead to various health issues. Techniques like Basti and Dhauti cleanse the colon and digestive tract, while Kapalbhati and Neti clear the respiratory system. This comprehensive detoxification supports overall health and prevents diseases.

4. Can Shatkarma techniques improve respiratory health?

Answer: Yes, techniques like Neti and Kapalbhati are specifically designed to improve respiratory health. Neti cleansing removes mucus and debris from the nasal passages, while Kapalbhati involves forceful exhalation to clear the respiratory system, enhance lung capacity, and improve oxygenation of the blood.

5. Why is mental clarity important, and how does Shatkarma help achieve it?

Answer: Mental clarity is crucial for focus, productivity, and overall well-being.  Techniques like Trataka and Kapalbhati enhance mental clarity by calming the mind, reducing stress, and improving concentration. Trataka involves focused gazing, which strengthens mental focus, while Kapalbhati increases oxygen supply to the brain, promoting mental sharpness.


Incorporating Shatkarma into daily life can significantly enhance physical health, mental clarity, and overall well-being. These ancient yogic practices offer a holistic approach to health, targeting various systems within the body and promoting balance and harmony. Whether you are a seasoned yogi or new to these techniques, exploring and integrating Shatkarma can lead to transformative benefits. Start with simple practices like Jala Neti and Kapalbhati, and gradually incorporate other techniques as you become more comfortable. Embrace the power of Shatkarma to cleanse, rejuvenate, and invigorate your body and mind. 

Aspiring Yoga teachers can join our comprehensive 200 Hours yoga teacher training courses and learn about these practices in detail.



Pramod Sahoo
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