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Yoga: A holistic approach to cleanse the body and mind

These kriyas aid in day-to-day detox as innumerable toxins are cleared, via daily cleanse of blockages

Pratap Dash | New Delhi |

Detox is a word that has garnered much attention in our modern lives laden with stress, environmental pollution, and unhealthy lifestyles. Our bodies and minds are constantly processing a series of unhealthy elements including unwholesome food and negative emotions. High levels of stress, lack of sufficient sleep and disturbed biological clocks also put our hormonal balance in disarray, leading to oxidative stress and production of toxins and free radicals. Eventually, this imbalance and accumulation of toxins manifest itself in the form of lifestyle diseases. To combat this constant turmoil afflicted upon the body and mind, a holistic approach is required. While modern medicine has made huge strides in treating lifestyle diseases and managing chronic symptoms, it lacks a comprehensive approach to prevention. The ancient Indian science of Yoga combined with a naturopathic approach is the key to cleanse the body and mind and restore its lost balance.

Yogic kriyas which are introduced at the early phase of practice are often considered as the pillars to complex lessons of yoga. They (kriyas) are a chain of techniques that aid in cleansing the mind and body, via clearing excess phlegm, bile and undigested food particles from the body. This clears associated energy blockages from the various channels of the astral body while preparing the yogi to gain superior benefit from the practices to follow. These following kriyas aid in day-to-day detox as innumerable toxins are cleared, via daily cleanse of blockages:

Jala Neti

This yogic kriya helps you to maintain your nasal hygiene. It clears out dirt and bacteria from the nasal passage so that clean air can enter your lungs. For practicing Jala Neti, you need to use a Neti pot (a pot which has a long spout so that it can be inserted into the nostrils) filled with lukewarm water mixed with a pinch of salt. Put the spout inside one of your nostrils so that the saline water in the pot passes through the nasal cavity and comes out from the other nostril, while keeping your mouth open. This works wonders for preventing colds, sinus infections, and allergies while enabling greater flow of life-force energy to all channels of the body.

Kunjal Kriya

This kriya usually performed first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach, helps to improve the digestive system. It also gives relief to those suffering from asthma, acidity, indigestion, headache, etc. For this kriya, one needs to quickly drink four to six glasses of a mixture of lukewarm water and saunf (fennel seeds) while in kagasana posture. Then one must immediately stand up, lean forward and vomit, which is typically automatically induced. One may also prompt a “gag reflex” by gently putting one’s fingers down the back of one’s throat. Induced vomiting must stop once all the water from the stomach is dispelled, and the stomach is empty. Kunjal kriya’s effects and repercussions will be felt throughout the entire body, making it a very effective cleansing technique.


Kapalbhati is a technique that involves repeated forceful exhalation. One needs to sit in a comfortable meditative pose and keep the spine, neck, and head straight. Close the eyes and keep the palms on the knees in chin mudra. Inhalation should be passive and silent, while exhalation should be forceful, brief and audible. Exhale out the air in rapid bursts so that the diaphragm is drawn gently down and air comes back in. Gradually increase the speed of the pumping action. Return to normal position slowly. This exercise is not only refreshing but also rejuvenating for the mind. The increase of oxygen stimulates and energizes the brain while preparing it for meditation and work that requires high focus. It also cleanses the lungs, sinuses, and respiratory system.

Practicing these yogic kriyas daily can cleanse the body of regularly accumulated toxins and help in restoring internal health by improving the resistance to diseases. It also helps in purifying the blood, improving its circulation and strengthening the organs of the body. These yogic practices are to be learned in a gradual manner under the supervision of a yoga expert. A conscious effort to eradicate accumulated toxins can make a difference to your physical and spiritual health, helping the body and mind reach the peak of their performance.

(  Pratap Dash, Sr. Yoga Teacher, Jindal Naturecure Institute )