Basti is a part of Shatkarma that is mentioned in Hatha Yoga.
According to Gheranda Samhita, there are 06 yogic techniques to clean our whole body.
Basti is a very simple technique/practice for washing & purifying the intestine especially the large intestine & bowel.
There is another yogic technique mentioned that is Shankhprakshalana to purify the whole intestine but it only can be practiced twice or thrice a year, whereas basti may be undertaken twice a week to remove constipation & clear the bowels while the problem persist.
Basti Karma is not only a yogic technique but also an important technique of Panchkarma.
Some of you might have heard about Vaman, Virechaka, Swedan, Basti... In Ayurveda/panchakarma, Basti is used for the treatment.
In Ayurveda poit of view, Basti is a treatment procedure in which the liquid medicines/oils are administered through the anal route.
Why to name it "Basti"? Is Basti or enema the same?
Many of the people cannot do the the Yogic Shankhaprakshalana & yogic Basti because it's little bit complicated & not healthy for patients.
So in ancient times, urinary bladder of animals (goat, dear...) were used.
In Sanskrit "bladder" is called "Basti". In yogic culture we are emphasizing to follow the non-violence & also that kind of basti is not practical.
Basti is Hatha yoga
In Hatha Yoga (Gheranda Samhita) two types of Basti are mentioned:
Jala Basti: "Sitting in the water up to navel, adopt utkatasana, then contract & expand the anal region. This is jala basti. This practice removes the wind disorders, urinary & digestive problems, and makes the body beautiful like that of Kamadeva, the God of Love." Nowadays, neither the water of rivers & canals are pure, nor it's practical... That's why, it's out of trend.
Sthala Basti (Dry basti): "Sitting in the padmasana, practice basti in the lower portion, contracting and expanding the anus by means of Ashwani mudra. It removes the diseases of the stomach and bowels and enhances the digestive fire."
This is really very useful practice. Spiritual aspirant should try it. It helps to awaken the energy (Kundalini) on the root chakras, muladhara and swathisthana chakra.
With the practice of some bandhas, this dry basti has wonderful results.
There are some techniques in advanced pranayamas for Awakening the Kundalini.
Purpose & benefits
Some of you may don't know that some particles of the food you have taken six months or one year ago, may have still in your intestine or colon. This accumulation slowly increases if your food, habits, physical activities are not proper.
In Ayurveda & Naturopathy, it is believed that constipation is one of the root causes of many physical & mental problems.
Basti is for those who are facing problems of constipation, obesity, high blood pressure, piles, fistula, hemorrhoids, low appetite, indigestion,... Imbalance of tridosha.
It will help for:
Balancing the Tridoshas.
Expelling the accumulated dry stool from the large intestine & bowel.
Purification of the body.
Losing the overweight.
Good digestion/absorption/assimilation of the food/nutrients in the body.
Stopping the aging process & promoting the longevity.
Enhancing the strength & immunity.
Promoting good health.
Simple enema with salty warm water can take anyone but should communicate with your teachers/doctors before medicinal enema.
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