Kunjal Kriya

Definition - What does Kunjal Kriya mean?

Kunjal kriya is a cleansing technique used in Hatha yoga and in the traditional Indian healing system of Ayurveda. The practice involves ingesting warm saline water and then expelling it in order to clean out the stomach and upper digestive tract.

Kunjal is a Sanskrit word that means “sour gruel,” while kriya means “an act” or “action.” Kunjal kriya is also known as vamana dhauti (regurgitative cleansing) and is one of a number of different techniques for cleansing the stomach that comprise a subcategory of shatkarmas, the six cleansing techniques of Hatha yoga.

Yogapedia explains Kunjal Kriya

Kunjal kriya removes bits of undigested or partially digested food known as ama in Ayurveda. It is believed that cleansing the stomach and upper digestive tract of this food prevents the formation of toxins.

Kunjal kriya is practiced early in the morning on an empty stomach. Roughly one to one-and-a-half quarts of warm salty water are consumed quickly until the yogi can't drink anymore. Vomiting may begin spontaneously or he/she can trigger it by inserting two fingers into the back of the mouth.

This practice is believed to help maintain overall good health and unblock the nadis, or energy channels in the body, to allow the free flow of prana (life force energy). It is also thought to ease or prevent the following conditions:

  • Gas, indigestion, nausea and other digestive problems
  • Asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems
  • Headaches
  • Nervous system disorders, including anxiety, lethargy and apathy
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