SHANKA - conch
PRAKSHALANA - wash completely
In India it is normal to pray pronouncing the Om inside a conch, but beforehand the conch must be completely cleaned out. Water is poured into a small hole in the centre of the shell and allowed to flow out of the main orifice. The same method is applied to the human body, to clean the intestinal tract by removing impurities and toxins that build up over time, and it is called SHANKHAPRAKSHALANA. This practice cleans the entire alimentary canal from mouth to anus which benefits the practitioner with a lighter body, better digestion and improvements in problems such as migraine, asthma, colitis and allergies. The practice might appear long and arduous, especially the first time, so it is important to have an optimistic and happy outlook and, above all be guided by an expert teacher. It is advisable to undertake this practice twice a year, around the change of season, in the early morning and on an empty stomach. The whole process takes between 2-3 hours. It is sensible to eat a light supper the evening before, avoiding fried food, meat, alcohol or desserts. On the chosen day, slightly salty boiled water is prepared (1 spoonful of pink Himalayan salt per litre of water), which will scour debris from the intestinal wall and dissolve its contents, aiding easy elimination: salt water flows quicker than plain water. Alternatively, it is possible to use water medicated with special herbs and roots, the choice of which depends on the constitution and condition of the person, however, professional guidance is essential. Standing up, the first two glasses are drunk as quickly as possible, aided by deep breathing and specific Asanas which are designed to drive the water through the body. After repeating this cycle 3-4 times it will be necessary to start using the bathroom, but the cycle of drinking and doing the Asanas continues until clear water exits the body, with a maximum of 10 cycles.
ASANAThere are three types of Asanas:
TADAKRIYAstretching, which allows the water to descend from the stomach to the colon.
KATI KRIYAtwisting, to drive the water from the colon towards the intestine.
PAVANA KRIYApressure, to push the water towards the anus and aid expulsion.
All the positions must be done quickly and at least 8-10 times, being careful that the body temperature doesn’t fall. The practice of SHANKHAPRAKSHALANA is not advised during pregnancy, in the presence of ulcers, high temperature, irritable internal organs, kidney dysfunction or general fatigue. It can be carried out by people with high blood pressure because the salt water doesn’t travel through the kidneys exiting as urine, but travels directly via the anus. However, all medical conditions must be discussed with the professional who conducts the exercise.
REQUIREMENTS- Comfortable clothes that can be put on/taken off in layers
- An empty 1 litre bottle
- A cover or rug
- A bidet towel
- Comfortable shoes (which are taken off for the Asanas but put on for going to the bathroom)
During the practice no contact lenses, jewellery or watches should be worn. The practice takes place at Casa Kashi in Gubbio. It starts at 8.00 a.m. (no food or drink should be taken that morning) and after a brief introduction the procedure is started, to be concluded with lunch on the same day. Ilaria Perni conducts the entire operation.