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Shatkarma (Sanskrit: षटकर्म ṣaṭkarma, literally six actions), also known as Shatkriya,[1] refers to Yogic practices involving purification of the body.

These practices, outlined by Yogi Swatmarama in the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā as kriya, are:[1][2][3]

  1. Netī
  2. Dhautī
  3. Naulī
  4. Basti
  5. Kapālabhātī
  6. Trāṭaka

More details[edit]

  • Netī refers to nasal wash. This is the practice of using a neti pot to cleanse the nasal passages. A basic neti wash consists of purified water and non-iodized salt, to create a gentle saline solution. A demonstration of this practice is available through the website of the Himalayan Institute.
  • Kapālabhātī refers to skull polishing, and is a pranayama (breathing) practice intended to energize and balance the nadis, and the chakras. Specifically, it is a sharp, short outbreath, followed by a relaxation of the core that allows the body to inhale on its own.
  • Naulī refers to intestinal cleansing. The practitioner stands with the feet about hip width apart, hands on knees, and body at about a 45 degree angle. The core is rotated internally by moving the abdominal muscles alternately in a clock-wise, then counterclock-wise direction.


  1. ^ a b Shatkarmas - Cleansing Techniques, in Yoga Magazine, a publication of Bihar School of Yoga
  2. ^ Muktibodhananda, Swami. (1985). Hatha Yoga Pradipika. New Delhi India: Thomson Press India, for The Yoga Publications Trust.
  3. ^ These techniques and their practice are outlined in considerable detail by Swami Rama in his two volume set:
    Rama, Swami. (1988). Path of Fire and Light, Volume I: Advanced Practices of Yoga. Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Himalayan Institute Press.
    Rama, Swami. (1988). Path of Fire and Light, Volume II: A Practical Companion to Volume I. Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Himalayan Institute Press.