Basti Kriya - Hatha Yoga Shat Karma

    The ‘Basti' exercise is designed to function like a ‘enema,' allowing the buildup of feces in the intestinal canal to be passed out. 

    There are two types of Basti Kriyas in Yoga

    1. Jala Basti and 
    2. Sthala Basti.


    Sthala basti (also known as Sushka basti or Vata basti) cleans the colon without the use of a catheter or tube by drawing air into the body. 

    By drawing water into the anus via a conduit, Jala basti (also known as 'Vati basti') cleans the colon.

    Sthala basti may be done in a variety of positions, including utkatasana and ardha paschimottanasana, although novices should start with a supine position.

    By removing gas from the colon, Sthala basti promotes digestion. 

    Sthala basti may help avoid headaches, increase focus, and create a general sense of well-being since poor digestion leads to other issues.

    • Lie down on the ground and grasp your toes with your fingertips. Knees should not be bent. 
    • This is the same as Paschimottanasana, but you don't have to drop your head to your feet. 
    • Expel the water by churning the abdominal muscles in this position. It helps to heal pelvic muscles. 


    It does better than Sthala Basti  in having the same health outcomes. 

    • Take a five-inch bamboo tube and cut it in half. 
    • Vaseline, grease, or soap should be used to lubricate one end of it. 
    • In Utkatasana, sit in a pool of water or a tank of water up to your knees. 2 to 3 inches into the anus, insert the bamboo tube.
    • Initiate the anus by slowly drawing the water into the intestines. 
    • Expel the water by shaking the abdominal muscles. 
    • It treats bladder problems, dropsy, constipation, among other issues. 

    Tips for Making the Jala Basti Kriya Easier:

    • Beginners should place a catheter into the rectum to pull the water in since it is an advanced procedure. Bamboo tubes have always been preferred over plastic tubes or catheters.
    • The catheter must be at least 13-15 cm long, hollow, and completely smooth.
    • The catheter is placed into the anus at a depth of 4cm or more. For simple insertion, lube it with beeswax or a non-irritating oil like as Vaseline or ghee.
    • As soon as you achieve your limit of kumbhaka, withdraw the catheter from the anus without inhaling (breath retention).
    • When the tube is no longer needed, the rectum is pulled out and the sphincter muscles are opened with fingers. 
    • The hand is then brought in to conduct uddhiyana bandha, after which the hand is withdrawn, followed by breath retention and exhale.
    • Always crouch over the toilet while removing the water from the anus, since the feces will be removed from the lower intestine as well.
    • Ensure that the water in the bowels has been entirely evacuated.

    Follow-up Exercising (After Jala Basti Kriya):

    • On a blanket, lie down in shavasana and gradually take pashinee mudra. By releasing air, this aids in the evaporation of any trapped water in the bowels.
    • Assume shavasana once again, then raise your knees to your chest and rock side to side on the floor. 
    • You may also rock from side to side by opening your arms at shoulder level.
    • Rest in shavasana for a few minutes more, then do bhujangasana 3-5 times to get rid of any lingering water or air.
    • You may also improve your experience by include mayurasana in the sequence.


    This is not something you can do every day or make a habit of. This is mainly to be seen on rare occasions. 

    • Do this first thing in the morning before eating. 
    • If you don't know how to pull water from the tubing, you can use a regular syringe from the store. 
    • You can learn how to extract water from the anus with the aid of the bamboo. 

    However, water is forced into the enema syringe with the aid of oxygen/air. 

    The only distinction is the outcome, which is the same in all scenarios. 

    You can save money by using the bamboo tube.

    You can control the intestinal muscles by pressuring the water to be drawn in and pushed out.

    Most individuals nowadays do enema using a basic enema kit, which can be found at most medical shops. 

    This is a simple alternative to Hatha Yoga's Basti technique. An enema achieves the same result and is far more convenient for most individuals. 

    Warm water (approximately 1 liter) cooked with Neem leaves is used for enema in Naturopathy and Ayurveda

    The leaf of the neem tree is a powerful disinfectant. A lengthy tube is placed into the rectum and connects the water container to the rectum. The rectum is allowed to fill with water (approximately a liter or more). 

    It is kept there for a few minutes, depending on the practitioner's ability. Then one goes to the bathroom and expels all of the water, as well as human waste.

    Other traditional yogic practices for intestinal cleansing exist as well. 

    Shanka Prakshalana is a widespread practice. It entails drinking roughly five liters of salty water that is somewhat warm. This is a time-consuming and exhausting procedure. 

    The intestines are unable to absorb the salt water. Instead, it drips all the way down to the rectum, completely cleansing the digestive system from top to bottom. 

    It removes any human waste or food particles adhering to the gut lining from the whole stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum. This should only be done once every six months. 

    However, Laghu Shanka Prakshalana is a simpler procedure that may be performed every two weeks. Only two liters of warm saline water are consumed here. The water is then drained from the anus in a few sittings.

    In current times, the classic Basti procedure has given way to easier enema methods.


    What is the meaning of Sthala basti?

    By drawing air into the body via the anus, Sthala basti is a Hatha yoga cleaning method that targets the colon. It's a challenging technique that requires you to draw your stomach in and up.

    Basti is one of the six procedures that make up shatkarma (also known as shatkriya), the yogic bodily cleaning system, and is employed in traditional Indian medicine.

    Before going on to sthala basti, you should master jala basti.

    Which portion of the body does Basti Kriya cleanse?

    Cleansing of the Intestines with Basti Kriya (Yogic Enema). Basti Kriya is a method for inwardly rejuvenating the body by totally cleaning the colon. 

    It is one of the six shatkarma purifying practices listed in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

    Hatha yoga pradipika defines shatkarma as a preparatory practice that cleanses the body from the inside out and prepares the yogi to achieve spiritual objectives.

    Each shatkarma technique involves purifying certain bodily regions; for example, basti kriya involves sucking in water or air via the anus to cleanse the lower belly (large intestine).

    What is Basti and how do you do it?

    • Fill a tub with water and sit in it. The water should come up to the level of the navel. This is best done in a river with a mild current of water.
    • Put your hands on your knees and bend forward.
    • The next step is to pull water into the big intestine from the anus. It takes some practice to be able to achieve this. 
    • Try to draw water up into the rectum by expanding the anus sphincter muscles. This might be challenging at first. This is aided by Uddhiyana Bandha, or bringing the stomach inside and upwards. 
    • Nauli may be used with Uddiyana Bandha to bring water upwards for those who have mastered it.
    • Hold the water in your bowels for a while before passing it via your anus.
    • Rep this procedure until your bowels are completely clear.
    • Because this procedure might be challenging at first, some practitioners place a rubber or plastic tube in the anus to make it simpler.

    What Are The Benefits Of Basti Kriyas?

    • Impurities may stay lodged on the walls of the large intestine and not be discharged for days. 
    • Basti detoxifies the large intestine by removing toxins and cleaning the colon.
    • It helps to prevent gas from forming in the big intestine.
    • Basti is also a wonderful technique for experienced pranayama practitioners. Intense pranayama generates a lot of heat in the body. 
    • Practitioners may sit (up to the navel) in a running river and do Basti to relieve the heat. The heat is removed from the body by drawing cool water in via the anus and then exhaling it.
    • Basti is a typical detoxifying technique used in Ayurveda and Naturopathy.
    • Basti is beneficial to folks who fast for lengthy periods of time. 
    • Regular stool motions are essentially non-existent during protracted water fasts. Despite this, a substantial number of toxins are excreted from the body and pushed into the small and large intestines. These poisons must be removed from the body. 
    • To eliminate these contaminants attached to the intestinal walls, an enema is usually administered. Those who are familiar with Basti may use it to get the enema effect.

    ~Kiran Atma

    You may also want to read more about Pranayama and Holistic Healing here.

    You may also want to read more about Yoga here.

    You may also want to read more about Yoga Asanas and Exercises here.