Our Purna Yoga signature 4 Stage Colon Cleanse is a four day program that restores normal bowel function and it is featured in some of our retreat programs, namely Yoga Colon Cleanse, Yoga Wellness Retreat, Purna Ultimate Detox, Yoga For Life and all the weight loss programs.
This complete colon cleanse program has been developed through combining a cleansing detox diet, one day vegetable juice fast and the final stage of a salt water digestive tract flush – a yogic practice of Shanka Prakshalana. The whole process takes 4 days and it is a complete holistic approach to cleansing and resetting your entire digestive system.
The first two days involve eating a cleansing detox salad in place of regular meals. This detox salad has been especially formulated with high fiber content & cleansing herbs which help to speed up metabolism, bind and remove toxins and regulate elimination process. This is an important step in preparation for the thorough wash of the entire digestive tract.
On the third day we introduce a full day raw vegetable juice fast. This way we give the body a rest from digesting and the whole available energy can be directed into cleansing and detoxifying the entire system. Through juice fast we are also encouraging the emptying of the bowels for the final stage of this cleansing program.
On the last day of the colon cleanse we carry out the process of Shanka Prakshalana – a salt water flush of the entire digestive tract.
Here is a schedule overview of the 4 stages of our colon cleanse:
- On the first day of this cleansing process we introduce a delicious 3 colour detox salad three times a day in place of the regular meals. You still take part in all daily retreat activities as usual but your breakfast, lunch and dinner constitutes a large helping of the detox salad.
- On the next day we continue the process in the same way and cleansing continues to happen from within. Throughout this entire cleansing process you will be drinking lots of water and herbal teas to aid in detoxification. You still take part in all daily retreat activities as much as you feel comfortable. Your breakfast, lunch and dinner constitutes the detox salad again but in a smaller portion than the day before.
- On the third day we remove all solid foods and replace it with raw vegetable juices which will be taken 4 times a day, 500ml each time. This further enhances the cleansing process and gives the digestive tract a much needed break while providing a lot of nutrition through vitamins and minerals present in the fresh juices. You still take part in all daily retreat activities as much as you feel comfortable. Your main meals are replaced by raw vegetable juices and you can drink as much strained vegetable broth, herbal tea and water during the day as you want.
- Last day of this cleansing process is the day of your Shanka Prakshalana – read below for more detail. You do not take part in the daily yoga activities but you start your salt water flush early in the morning on an empty stomach and perform the designated exercises to produce bowel movements resulting in a full cleansing of your entire digestive tract. You will be guided throughout the procedure by our experienced staff. This process will take anything from 2-4 hours after which you will rest and eat specially prepared healing food for the rest of the day.
Shanka Prakshalana – digestive tract flush
This yogic cleansing technique can be traced back as far as the fifteenth century when it has been described in one of the
most important classic texts of Hatha yoga - Shiva Samhita and later again in more detail in another hatha yoga classic text
- Gheranda Samhita
. This technique has been known and used for hundreds of years thanks to its manifold benefits.
The method is very effective in its simplicity – a full internal wash of the digestive tract is achieved by drinking two cups of warm salt water and performing repetitions of particular asanas. Those specific yoga postures open up the five valves in your digestive tract allowing for the saline water to run through you while collecting and expelling waste from the entire length of the alimentary canal. The dynamic repetitions of the asanas propel the salt water through the intestines so that it doesn't have the time to be processed through the kidneys. The water runs through the digestive tract and is eliminated through a bowel movement.
You continue drinking two cups of salt water at a time and performing the exercises while taking frequent breaks to go to the toilet until the water going out comes just as clear as the water going in. This process is intense, it may take anywhere from 2-4 hours and it should be carried out only under the guidance and care of an experienced yoga teacher.
After you have completed your flush, you will take one hour rest after which you will eat a special healing food for the digestive tract – a soup of rice and mung bean with ghee and ginger. This food will lubricate your digestive system thus completing the cleansing and healing process. You will continue resting and eating this food for the rest of the day. Normal healthy diet may be resumed from the following day. Processed foods should be avoided for at least one week after this cleanse.
Shanka Prakshalana purifies the whole body not just the digestive tract. There is no other method that can clean the small and large intestines so thoroughly as this practice. Salt water flush removes partial and blocked matter in the alimentary canal and re-establishes natural and regular bowel function. It is therefore highly recommended for people with chronic constipation, gas, acidity, indigestion and other digestive ailments. But this practice also purifies blood and skin so people with problematic skin conditions will also benefit from this practice.
Another unexpected effect of this practice is… improved mood and increased levels of energy and happiness. This is due to the fact that 90% of serotonin in our body (neurotransmitter responsible for creating feelings of wellbeing and happiness) is located in our gut. Through cleansing the entire digestive tract and restoring healthy balance in the intestinal flora we improve the conditions for the natural serotonin uptake which increases our energy as well as the feel-good factor.