Detox Your Colon Naturally with Shankha Prakshalana Kriya

Traditionally known as the Varisara Dhauti, Shankha Prakshalana is a Dhauti Kriya of Shatkriyas and is among the 6 yogic cleansing techniques. It is a yogic process whereby toxins and foreign matter is removed from the digestive system, thereby achieving restoring and boosting digestive health.

The term ‘shankha’ refers to the conch-like shape of the intestines and the air in them. Prakshalana refers to cleaning. This yogic method combines the intake of saltwater with some yogasanas, which together lead to a complete cleansing of the digestive system, while also boosting the metabolism, alleviating skin problems and soothing the nervous system. Here is more about the Shankha Prakshalana Kriya and how it serves as a natural way to detox yourself.

Process of Shankha Prakshalana

  • Take lukewarm salt water, add lemon and some salt to the water.
  • Drink 4-6 glasses of this water.
  • Perform 6 asanas, namely, Tadasana, Tiryakatadasana, Katichakrasana, Tiryaka Bhujangasana and Udarakana, in that order.
  • After drinking water, each asana has to be performed 8 times.
  • If you feel the pressure, you should go to toilet and drink the saltwater again.
  • The process has to be continued till clear water starts coming out in the form of stool.

Shankha Prakshalana Asanas

Shankha Prakshalana Kriya - Colon Detox

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

  • Stand with your feet 1-2 feet apart.
  • Raise your hands to shoulder level.
  • Interlock the fingers, and stretch your hands upwards.
  • Lift your heels to stretch your body upwards.
  • Exhale with the hands kept upside down on your head.

This yoga pose helps in toning the abdominal muscles and strengthens the lower body. It provides strength to the core muscles, gives a stretch to the chest and shoulder muscles and is believed to benefit the heart chakra. It enhances a sense of stability to the entire body.

Tiryakatadasana (Swaying Palm Tree Pose)

  • Stand in the tadasana pose with your heels down.
  • Raise the hands up and interlock the fingers.
  • Exhale and while breathing out, bend in the waist towards the right side.
  • Return to the centre, then bend to the left side, and return to the centre again.

This yogasana improves muscle strength, flexibility of the spine, and gives relief from back pain, intestinal problems and postural disorders. It improves postural balance and is good for stimulating the root chakra and solar plexus.

Katichakrasana (Standing Spinal Twist)

  • Stand with your legs 2 feet apart.
  • Extend your hands to shoulder level.
  • Place your left hand on the right shoulder. Get your right hand from behind to the left and wrap around the torso.
  • Rotate your face and get it in line with your left shoulder.
  • Release this position and repeat the sequence with your right hand placed on the left shoulder.

This yoga pose helps relieve constipation, enhances flexibility of the waist and spine, provides strength to the lower back and abdominal muscles, and is also good for the arm and leg muscles.

Tirayaka Bhujangasana (Revolved/Twisted Cobra Pose)

  • Lie down, keep your hands on the side of your shoulders, and curl your toes to the floor.
  • Inhale and while inhaling press your palms to the ground, raise your head and raise the part from your waist. Your hands should be near your chest and the torso should be raised up in a cobra pose.
  • Turn your head to the right side, look at your left heel and return to the lying down position.
  • Raise your head again and raise the part from the waist.
  • Turn the head to the left, look at your right heel, then return to the lying down position.

This yogasana strengthens the spine, increases the appetite, improves liver function, and provides relief from flatulence and constipation.


  • Sit bending the knees with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Place your hands on the knees.
  • While inhaling deeply, take the right knee to the floor nearest to the left foot. Using your left hand, push the left knee to the right side.
  • The inside of the right foot should be kept on the floor.
  • Using pressure of the thighs, squeeze the lower abdomen.
  • Look over the left shoulder. Hold your breath for a few seconds.
  • Exhale and return to the initial position and repeat the steps for the other side.

Udarakarshanasana can give you relief from constipation. It gives a stretch to the abdominal muscles, helps remove excess fat in the lower abdominal region, improves flexibility of the lower spine, and helps prevent stomach problems and digestive disorders.

Benefits of Shankha Prakshalana Kriya

  • Practicing Shankha Prakshalana detoxifies the digestive system and removes toxic elements or impurities from the body.
  • It gives relief from digestive problems like gas trouble, indigestion, acidity and constipation.
  • It promotes smooth functioning of the digestive system.
  • It helps in the prevention of urinary tract infections and kidney stones.
  • It can help alleviate menstrual pain.
  • It can help against skin problems like acne, neurodermatitis and psoriasis.
  • This yogic practice can help fight asthma.
  • It can relieve ulcers.
  • It can improve brain function.

Precautions and Contraindications for Shankha Prakshalana

  • Take rest for an hour after completing the Shankha Prakshalana Kriya. For the next four hours, do not consume water, and do not take a bath.
  • Do not take up any strenuous activity or exercise for the day.
  • It is advisable to take only a vegetarian diet for some days after Shankha Prakshalana, as non-vegetarian food may burden your digestive system. A khichri prepared using rice and moong lentils can be taken 2 hours after completing the practice.
  • Avoid Shankha Prakshalana if you have high blood pressure or heart disease.
  • Individuals with weak kidneys, or conditions like kidney stones or gastrointestinal ulcers should not practice Shankha Prakshalana.
  • Those with back pain should avoid this practice.
  • Women should not undertake Shankha Prakshalana during their periods.
  • Pregnant women should refrain from this practice.

In summary, the Shankha Prakshalana Kriya is a natural way to cleanse your system wherein, consumption of warm saltwater is followed by the practice of certain exercises (specific yogasanas) which work on the intestines by compressing, twisting or stretching the abdominal muscles and boosting digestive system function.

Apart from improving digestive health, the asanas that are part of Shankha Prakshalana, also provide other health benefits like building core strength, strengthening other muscles in the body, improving balance, and helping in the smooth functioning of organs like the liver and kidneys. The combination of saltwater consumption and yoga poses carried out in the specified sequence, works wonders for your digestion and overall health. Practice the Shankha Prakshalana Kriya only after consulting a medical practitioner and strictly under the guidance of a yoga expert.

Share your thoughts!