Do do do, or not to do- Shatkarmas

Firstly welcome to those of you reading this journal for the first time, back copies can be found on my website in "blogs", as I do reference these sometimes.. like today!

Yoga presents a plethora of practices to meet wherever you are physically, mentally, & intellectually..
I would give you a list of Yoga variations, I fear complicating the matter, besides perhaps sometimes less choice leads to simpler decisions..?

Needless to say, Yoga isn't just about making great shapes on a sticky mat, it brings attention to the practice of being in a human body along with your mind at any given moment in time and in any space.

I'm bringing my "Eye of Mordor" a practice in Yoga which is helping me personally on the road to recovery from Covid. -The Shatkrmas- or inner cleansing, relates neatly with fasting & food from previous blogs as well.
Incidentally, I have found (experience and reserach) that fasting and diet changes work best during the warmer months.

-If you are a little squeamish about the inner workings of these little images, look away now.. (skip to the next picture)

Ok, so I am currently in the process of cleansing my digestive tract. mmm.. gruesome, but great.

Last month's Covid headaches (self-diagnosed migraine) were horrendous, and I did for the first time in decades take Asprin for them.. it turns out aspirin has some side effects for this body, so my faithful pharmacist, ( and also interestingly one of my mentors too )recommended a certain change in diet to "swoosh" (my word not theirs) out the tubes.
This reminded me of the Shatkarmas hence the picture above to give you an idea of what I have been trying out & have done (some).
A little preparation was necessary, so diet first;


-Cut out processed food, (unless I've made it myself- mayo/yoghurt)
-I don't have dairy anyway so - tick!
-No meat (confession- except a bit of salmon in my sushi on Tuesday)
-Nothing "beige". Basically most carbs (although I did have brown rice in the aforementioned sushi- not a great substitute I'm afraid)
[Many foods rich in fibre are beige-necessary for healthy stools, but there are others- apples make a good bit of roughage!]
-No booze- Not hard as it's not Friday night, and have been muddling my days up, so might be able to fool myself tomorrow.
-No caffeine, ( although I have read & heard about coffee enemas... -Basti Shatkarma)
-I'm told to help myself to fruit, salad & greens, Yippie!!! my favourite
-Drink loads of water, pretty much double normal.. prevents swelling, etc. I'm up for that.

-I have also added half-day fasting, to have at least 17 hours before breaking the fast and breaking it with grim but magical Psyllium husks.. (slightly reminds me of the scene in Labyrinth when the "cleaner" comes down the tunnel, -but only slightly)

I'm on day 4-
So far I'm surprisingly un-hungry, I think Psyllium fills a gap that water doesn't do for very long, although I have been crazy thirsty! and decaf coffee is great, but the message from those around me is it has to be black, none of the beige milky stuff.. so minimal intake of this.
I'm waking up to the fact that I have often mistaken thirst for hunger, and have never really known what to eat in those instances. Now I'm trying this way of eating, (which is not far off Michael Mosley's 5-2 diet), I am being much more selective, and (often out loud) asking myself what my body wants to eat.. "Ok body, what's it to be?".. mm cucumber? ok..
I'm presented with a well-stocked fridge, ignoring my children's dubious-looking white bread & cheesy things, I veer toward colour, particularly green it seems...ahh! The colour of the heart! (Chakra- see the week before last post) This must be good for me!

I'm not sure if it's psychosomatic, but there must be a "placebo effect" going on here. Knowing that energy centres have colour and are fed by the same, might just be working on me.


-Now my sinuses are clearing up I will dust off and clean out the Neti pot. (part of the Shatkarma cleansing rituals in the pic above)

Explanation- A pot with a spout designed to fit neatly into a nostril.  Have a look at the pic below..
Lukewarm saline in the pot then gets tipped in the nose, flushes out the sinuses gently and drains out of the other nostril.
This involves breathing through the mouth, cutting off breath from the nose with the back of the tongue.

If you do want to try this for the first time, please give me a call, there are various nose-blowing things to do afterwards, so you're not spontaneously dribbling all day.

Colonic irrigation or enema is quite popular, you'd be surprised. And although a bit weird for us to get our minds around, putting aside "Englishness" and preconceptions, it is very healthy to clean out your pipes, it prevents the build-up of toxins in the body (a bit like plaque on your teeth). Have a look at Arcturus website above if you'd like a bit of help with this. Or there are kits you can buy online.
Ps; I wouldn't do this crouching like in the picture!

A series of Kria (ancient cleansing practices) yoga breathing techniques specific to the lineage of Dr Pilai, and one of my teachers, Duncan Hulin at The Devon School of Yoga.
These techniques once honed in, you could squeeze into half an hour or so. I bring some into the Hatha classes if you're interested.

Definitely a practice to do with as little in the digestive tract as possible, so after ablutions, in the morning, perhaps (if you do this) after an enema, and after Kapalabati.
It gets everything moving.. You have roughly 15 feet of intestines, and this practice is like an internal massage for these precious organs.

This one is surprisingly effective at relieving headaches, but there is a discomfort barrier to get through as your eyes start to leak.. It's good to have a focus on the candle visually and focus on the breath mentally, breath works as a great anchor.

Swallowing cloth to cleanse the stomach. This is not one I'm going to recommend unless you have a trained and practised teacher with you. It's not easy, and I have not used it for my own purposes.

Back to the point, basically, I am using some of Yoga's Shatkarmas as ways to bring my body back to homeostasis. (balance and health) And it's working.


Ok at the risk of going on too long (- too late?) I'll close with a bit of an update from our collective teachers..

The Collective;

-Adam has paused his sessions for men, but if you're interested and can't make Tuesday mornings please get in touch with him. It is a fantastic practice, and he is a superb teacher according to a few men I know who have been.

-The Kirtan group headed by Maite are having to postpone their Kirtan this Saturday due to the uninvited Covid getting involved!

-Sara Quiggin who is a lovely teacher of many variations of Yoga is running breathworks at Bowden House 
She is on her way to our website as one of the Collective but has her own following amongst the trapeze yoga community, and is on fb & instagram.

-My friend Judit Mexiner has started up her Feldenkreis sessions after having had a beautiful baby boy, running these from Bowden House on Thursdays 9.45-10.45 Highly recommended to those of us who love the nitty-gritty of movement.

-Gina is still running her flow classes at Bowden too, on Mondays 7-8.30. A fantastic start to the week! Sunshine all the way.

-Katie Is running classes as usual from Birdwood House Tuesdays and Fridays and Sun Salutes from Chapel House studios Mondays and Thursdays. Booking is up and running.

-Steph is fired up with her Kundalini and Beats Yoga, If you were impressed at the Yoga day, sign up, she is so much fun!

-I am hoping to talk Jane into running a Yoga Nidra training course so I can join her, in the meanwhile she is still running Friday sessions at Chapel house studios.

Please get in touch if you have amazing ideas, feedback or recommendations; or 
And check out past and present blogs on the website;

Looking forward to seeing you.

Om Shanti

By the way, This term any non-allocated money we receive will be sent to;


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