The Shankha Prakshalana, in very simple terms, is a complete and thorough cleansing technique that purifies the complete mouth to anus chanel. It is done by drinking lukewarm water with salt in stages, and performing a sequence of five asanas, this will invite one to go the bathroom, again and again, until everything is cleaned.
After the exercise, a whole day of rest is required and there are very specific timings for when to eat and what to eat. I am learning now how to cook Khichdi, and how to prepare a special juice called Ukada.
Why am I doing it? I am always looking for ways to help the body work at the optimum level (just like the yogis in the Pradipika times and ever before or since), and also, one of the benefits of this kryia is that it reduces mucous, which after my last cold has not completely gone away. The way I was taught to reduce this in Thailand was by doing the Vaman Dhauti (which is done by drinking warm salty water and then vomiting it), but this type of practice feels a little too violent for me, especially when you hear that it has to be perfromed for about a week, every morning… instead this other kryia, although more intense and requiring one full day of rest, is done and that is it. I kind of like that, I am after all a New Yorker now.
Picture credit is here. It shows some of the simple asanas that are performed in between salty-warm drinking-rounds.
It is recommended to perform this (or any) kryia under the guideance of a teacher, not something to treat lightly…