The Body Cleanse – Kaya Kriya
Kaya is a term in Sanskrit used to refer to the human body. Kaya kriya, then, is a whole body cleanse practice that is useful for releasing mental and physical tension, providing relief from physical traumas and body pain and balancing the ‘energy flows’ within the body. …
This is a three-part relaxation technique in which the lower, middle and upper regions of the body are relaxed in succession with movement/breath combinations.
It is performed beginning in shava asana, the corpse pose.
- In shava asana, slide your legs about 1½ feet apart. Begin with adham pranayama (a lower lobe breath), rolling the legs inward on the inhalation (i.e., internal hip rotation), drawing the toes together and toward the floor.
- On the exhalation, roll the legs/feet outward as far as possible.
Note: Keep the legs completely straight during these movements.
Note: Both the inhalation and exhalation phases should be performed slowly, to a 6-count
- Repeat this action 6 to 9 times.
- Slide your arms slightly away from your body.
- Perform the madhyam pranayama (a middle lobe breath) while rolling the arms outward on the inhalation and inward on the exhalation (again, both to a 6-count).
Note: Make sure to keep the elbows straight and rotate at the shoulder joints, allowing the wrists to roll along the floor.
- Also repeat this 6 to 9 times.
- While performing adhyam pranayama (an upper lobe breath), roll the head to the right side on the inhalation and to the left on the exhalation (6 to 9 times).
The Full Kaya Kriya Body Cleanse
- Perform the entire kaya kriya by using the mahat yoga pranayama (the complete 3-part yogic breath) and performing all three of the previous movements in succession.
- On a 6-count in-breath, the feet are first moved inwards (as the low lungs are filled), then arms outwards (as the middle lungs are filled), and then head turned to the right (as the upper lungs are filled).
- The reverse movements are then performed on a 6-count out-breath (legs outward, arms inward, then head to the left).
- Continue until you feel completely relaxed and free from tension, with a desire to simply lie motionless.
- Relax for some time in this state of stillness.
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