kriya yoga

Kriya Yoga

If you use the term ‘Kriya yoga’ in the west nowadays, people think of Paramansa Yogananda and the yoga that he coined with the name Kriya Yoga. In this chapter however we do not talk about this yoga practice but about the Kriyas that have been described in the ancient yoga scriptures.

The well-known scripture Hatha Yoga Pradipika gives an introduction to Kriyas in Chapter 2, Shloka 21-23. The scripture describes six cleansing techniques, the ‘Shatkarma’ or ‘Shatkriya’:


These are the main Kriyas which can then be split into different techniques.

Dhauti can be performed as internal and external cleaning and the different techniques are classified in the following way:


Antar (Internal) Dhauti Danta (Teeth) Dhauti Hrid (Chest/Cardiac) Dhauti Moola Shodhana (Rectal) Dhauti
Varisara Dhauti Jihva Dhauti Vastra Dhauti Moola Shodhana
Vatsara Dhauti Karna Dhauti Vaman Dhauti / Kunjar Kriya / Vyaghra Kriya  
Vahnisara Dhauti Kapalrandhra    
  Chakshu Dhauti    

Neti is differentiated in two practices: Jal Neti and Sutra Neti.

Basti also comprises two different techniques: Sthala Basti (Shushka/Vata Basti) and Jala Basti.

Additionally it is told that these Kriyas are especially used to reduce and expel excessive Kapha, mucus, and fat from the body. The cleansing techniques are generally said to be the best exercises for balancing the three doshas of Ayurveda in the body. Basti for example is used to reduce Vata and Dhauti and Neti reduce Kapha.

In this way the Kriyas have different qualities which you can find described in detail below. Please note that not each of these cleaning techniques should be performed daily. Several Kriyas are only used with a special reason and others only performed under guidance of an experienced instructor. In such cases you will find a note in the detailed description.

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Agnisara Kriya

Successfully burn your belly fat, tone your abdomen and additionally give a nice massage to your intestines that stimulates your digestion.

Danda Dhauti

An advanced Kriya to cleanse the esophagus and stomach of mucus and stuck rests. Only to be performed under guidance of an experienced yoga teach...

Danta Dhauti

Brushing teeth the original yogic way – with Neem! Try it out whenever you have no toothbrush at hand or want to experience the Kriyas.

Jala Basti - Water Enema

Cleansing your colon in this way has an enourmous range of benefits for your intestines, your organs and your complete system. Even your skin and...

Jala Neti

Cleanse your nose, sinuses and nasal cavity by running water from one nostril to the other. Feels great and gets rid of extra mucus!

Jihva Dhauti - Tongue Clean...

Learn how to clean your tongue the yogic way with this Kriya.

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