How to Cleanse, the Ayurvedic Way - Chopra

Ayurvedic Detox: Overview, Safety, and Effectiveness

Ongoing Maintenance: Prevention is Key.



Also remember that whatever you do for your body will also affect your mind. Every time you practise yoga or follow Ayurvedic principles, you’re not only helping eliminate toxins from your body but you’re also creating the habit of being clear-minded, focused, centred, peaceful, emotionally balanced and joyful. Happy detoxing!


Shankhaprakshalana is a cleansing practice in which warm, salty water is drunk and then five asanas are performed in sequence, eight times. More water is then drunk, the poses repeated, and then again. After this, the person goes to the toilet. If no bowel movement happens they drink more water and repeat the five poses eight times. Typically, solid stool is followed by a mixture of stool and water, which then becomes a cloudy yellow liquid and eventually becomes almost clear.

Guidelines given when practising the shatkaramas may vary from person to person according to their individual needs; some of the practices need to be avoided altogether by people with specific ailments. Hence, it is very important that they are learnt under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher. According to the tradition, only those who’ve been taught by a guru (spiritual teacher) should teach others.

Whenever we invert the body we are turning it so the flame is directed at the area below the navel and physical toxins get burned out. For this reason, inverted poses such as shoulder stand or headstand are considered very powerful for detoxifying.

There are two different kinds of detoxification programs recommended by Maharishi Ayurveda: 1) self-detox (involving diet, herbal preparations, and daily routine) and 2) panchakarma (a more in-depth, spa cleansing program supervised by Ayurvedic experts). We’ll be discussing the first type, which you can easily do yourself, in this article.




Yoga is as much about the breath as it is about the body. The correct linking of breath with movement forms the basis for a good yogic practice. Basically, poses need to be led by the breath and not the other way round. When your breath leads you from one movement to the next and is combined, you are working your body in a way other exercises rarely do. This combination of movement and breath benefits the lymphatic system, improving circulation, strengthening the heart and oxygenating the cells, and is a great form of detoxification for the lymphatic system because it keeps the lymphatic fluid moving, ensuring toxins are flushed out through sweat.


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