Definition - What does Basti mean?

Basti is a Hatha yoga cleansing technique that targets the lower abdomen, especially the colon and lower intestines. It is one of the six techniques that comprise shatkarma (also called shatkriya), the yogic body cleansing system.

There are two types of basti. In jala basti, water is sucked into the anus with or without the use of a catheter tube. It is a difficult technique that involves pulling the abdomen in and up. In sthala basti, the colon is cleansed by sucking air into the body without a tube, but using a technique similar to jala basti.

Yogapedia explains Basti

Basti is used in the traditional Indian medicine practice of Ayurveda. It is believed to remove toxins and cool the body by cleaning the bowel and removing old stool, excess bacteria and thread worms from the lower intestines.

Basti is thought to have the following health benefits:

  • Cures digestive disorders such as constipation and nervous diarrhea
  • Strengthens the solar plexus
  • Improves abdominal muscle tone
  • Purifies the blood

Anyone who has high blood pressure, a hernia or a serious digestive disorder should avoid basti. Those who suffer from colitis or dysentry may benefit from basti but should seek a doctor's advice first.

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