Definition - What does Langhana mean?

Langhana is a Sanskrit word that means “to fast,” “to reduce” or “to diminish back to its cause.” In the traditional Indian medical practice known as Ayurveda, langhana is used to describe dieting, fasting and weight-reducing therapy in general, but includes related treatments that reduce various types of heaviness in the body and mind.

In pranayama (yogic breathing exercises), langhana refers to the exhalation, while brahmana refers to the inhalation. In yoga asana practice, langhana postures are those that are more relaxing, slowing the heart rate, breathing and metabolism, relaxing the nervous system, and calming the mind. Langhana asanas, in conjunction with brahmana asanas, help bring the body, mind and spirit into balance.

Yogapedia explains Langhana

In Ayurveda, langhana is one of the six principles of treatment and is a type of shodhana chikitsa, or cleansing therapy. Its purpose is to relieve the body of heaviness, making the body light.

Langhana treatment is typically recommended for diseases or conditions in which there is a heaviness or an obstruction, such as diabetes, sinusitis, asthma, indigestion, obesity, high cholesterol, fever and constipation. Langhana treatments are divided into two categories:

  • Shodhana (purification), which removes imbalanced doshas (biological energies). This treatment includes enemas, nasya sinus treatments procedures, and detoxification, among others.
  • Shamana (palliative), which transforms doshas from abnormal to healthy. Such treatment includes herbal therapy, physical exercise, exposure to sun, and avoiding unhealthy food and drink.

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