SALT WATER STOMACH FLUSH
During my teacher training in Hatha Yoga we learnt all about a series of cleansing techniques. In theory, they sounded pretty outrageous and unusual. And, after experiencing them I can attest that a a couple of them were intense – more on that another time. But there is one particular cleansing technique called Laghoo Shankaprakshalana that I have become a huge fan of, and perform every Monday. SOoo, what is it? Well…Laghoo blah blah blah is basically a very long-winded sanskrit term for intestinal salt water flush. A little warning: We are about to get a a little more personal here – you, me and any other readers out there (hello to those people in Qatar that keep reading my blog!) I’ll do my best to be discreet but we talking about flushing out your digestive tract here… so I won’t be offended if you log off now…
Laghoo is an ancient yogi practice, amongst other cleansing techniques, that is carried out as one of the ways to begin to cleanse the body. You see, before one can reach enlightenment there is a whole lot of work that needs to be carried out in the body. Cue: yoga postures, breathwork, cleansing techniques and learning how to withdraw the senses. If there is alot of chaos going on in the body – physically – then it’ll be near impossible to quiet the mind and find stillness in order to reach enlightenment.
But, I’m not telling you about laghoo because it sends me on a spiritual rollercoaster – because It doesn’t (if only it were that easy!) I’m downloading about laghoo because it simply is an awesome way to care for your gut, intestines and colon which helps to build your immunity (the gut is the powerhouse for your immunity) and detox the body of built up junk and debris. Recently I was discussing this with a friend who tried it for herself and had a great result – so it got me thinking that maybe I’ll share it here!
Oh and also, if you are a fan of colonics, this is technique is a) a fraction of the cost b) a whole lot less embarrasing and c) no where near as uncomfortable!
Here is a little breakdown of Laghoo. Although it’s incredibly simple to do, most people learn Laghoo at a retreat or with the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher. If you can get to a retreat or try it with a teacher then great. Otherwise be careful and mindful of this practice – although there is nothing to worry about!
A few starting points.
• Once you have learnt from a teacher/at a retreat and want to try it again, laghoo can be conducted weekly. I do recommend that when doing it at home for the first time that you choose a day when you are totally free and have a bit of privacy
• Keep an open mind and stay calm – many of people freak out when it comes to their stomach/bodily functions. There is a lot of emotional tension/trauma held in our stomachs so it’s no uncommon to feel quite nervy and unsettled about it- you can always look to a professional for guidance if you want to do this. It’s important to stay loose (pun not intended!) and trust your body to do its thing.
• Depending on your current digestive system you may only need an 1hr or you may need some chill out time at home for alot longer – it does take a little longer to, ahh, pass the salt water if you are prone to constipation etc
• Don’t skimp on the salt – buy a good quality salt. I recommend Himalayan Rock Salt – you should be able to find this at most health food shops
• The yoga postures are designed to encourage the salt water to move fluidly and quickly through the digestive tract.
• The slightly salt water (which is the same salt water solution within our bodies) grips onto debris in the intestines helping to move it through and out!
Ok… now, here’s the how to:
1. The night before the morning you are planning on ‘flushing’ create 1.5 – 2litres of warm water.
2. Add 1 flat teaspoon of salt per 500mls and ensure it fully dissolves. I store it in large glass bottles and cover it overnight on the counter top
3. In the AM – before eating/drink anything – head to the kitchen and boil up some fresh water.
4. Pour yourself a 500ml cup of the salt water solution and add in some hot water.
5. Drink the 500ml cup quickly and then perform these 5 yoga postures 8 times each.
6. Once you’ve completed the postures, drink another 500ml cup and repeat the above.
7. Continue to do the above until you’ve drunk 3-4 cups and then wait – allow the system to do what it does.
8. Eventually you wll pass the water and a whole lot of junk! My advice the more relaxed you are (the less you stress yourself out about what you are doing) the quicker and easier it’ll be.
9. Let’s be honest – you can either sit on the toilet for a while (take a book) and let it all flush out, or you can stay nearby to a toilet to run back and forth! I choose the former!
10. Take rest after it – even if it’s just half an hour – lay down, stay warm and enjoy some quiet time
11. When you are ready eat something nourishing after like a warm tea and porridge.
Now, like I said, it’ll happen within a different timeframe for everyone. I usually can’t drink more than the 3-4 glasses before it’s all systems go – and it happens very quickly! These days I’m finished with the whole laghoo from start to end, including relaxation is finished within 1hr – but I have a fast metabolism. It might happen even faster for you or you might feel a little jammed up for a bit before it happens. Either way, stay calm and stay comfortable.
Eventually you’ll come to love it and enjoy the feeling of lightness and the easier digesting post-laghoo.
That’s about it when it comes to laghoo. It’s simple, hugely beneficial, especially for those with stomach issues like mild ibs, constipation etc (anything major please consult a health physician – although they are so ‘freaked out’ by all this yogic stuff they’ll probably tell you not to go anywhere near it. They’re wrong!)
Has anyone ever tried laghoo or thinking about giving it a shot?
Signing off with an exhale.