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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Satkarmas, Satkarmas, Shatkarmas

Ṣatkarmas literally means ‘six purificatory exercises for the body’.

Works on Haṭhayoga lay great stress on cleansing and strengthening the physical body so that it becomes fit enough for the practice of Rājayoga. For this, they prescribe the ṣatkarmas or six purificatory processes. They are:

  1. Dhauti - washing
  2. Basti - cleansing the lower part of the abdomen
  3. Neti - cleaning the nostrils
  4. Laukikī - movement of stomach-muscles
  5. Trāṭaka - gazing without winking
  6. Kapālabhāti - cleansing the inside of cranium


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore