Part of yoga according to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika is shatkarma, which is also termed as shatkriya. This means thorough cleansing methods for subsidizing the involuntary cleansing actions which are insufficient for thorough and consistent kundalini yoga practice.
We heard about asana postures and pranayama breath infusion as the third (3rd) and fourth (4th) of the eight (8th) parts of yoga. In that method, the purificatory methods mentioned in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika are part of the asana postures and the pranayama breath infusion system. Of great interest is that Swatmarama listed kapalabhati as being one of the shatkriyas. Shat is six (6). Kriya is cleansing action. It is also called shatkarma or six actions (karmas).
These six are:
My experience with these methods is that if the yogi is serious with practice some cleansing actions are mandatory. He will in the course of practicing be inspired by the practice itself to take up at least some of these methods. I was introduced to some of them in 1972 by my first yoga teacher, Arthur Beverford. He taught neti using a Chinese tea-kettle with a small spout which was used to pour water into the nostril. He showed the method of using the palm of the hand to hold flowing water from a faucet while drawing that water up through the nostril and sinuses. He demonstrated dhauti for cleansing the stomach by swallowing and then extracting a long stand of cotton cloth. He showed how to do the nauli abdomen muscular churns.
Kapalabhati was taught to me by Yogi Bhajan. My view is that this practice is the crux of the matter of higher yoga, its linchpin and yet most people who profess a yoga practice do not do this.
The main reason is that it is not taught as an integral part of yoga, as asana and mental silencing and readjustment are publicized. Another reason is that some persons are scared of hyperventilating their bodies. They have no information about the precautionary contractions and locks which are used to limit and direct the extra fresh air which is infused into the bloodstream so that it does not cause giddiness, headaches or other discomforts.
I state that of the shatkarma six purificatory actions, the yogi should think of it as purification of the inside of the subtle body. The master practice for this is kapalabhati breath infusion because that process on the subtle side of the psyche penetrates every part of the psyche all the way through the fingers and toes. It causes the displacement of subtle energy pollutions which normally accumulates in the subtle body and which contribute and support dull consciousness and suppresses supernatural insight.
With kapalabhati breath infusion as the central practice, being done twice per day for sessions lasting at least twenty (20) minutes, the yogi should subsidize that with nauli abdomen muscular churns.
Basti is the sure method for efficient food transit through the stomach, higher/lower intestines and colon. It is mandatory for efficient use of the kundalini energy. It is a must for a serious yogi. This means checking daily on the rhythm of the digestion and evacuation to be sure that it is done promptly.
Does the yogi have a body which is genetically inefficient in processing food matter?
If he does not, he is required to subside the body by helping it to have the required efficiency.
Does the yogi evacuate food regularly from day to day or is the transit of food matter inefficient where food is processed into and out of the body within two or three or more days.
How does a yogi know if the waste evacuated is from yesterday or from the day before yesterday or the day before the day before yesterday?
Does the yogi’s evacuation system shut down when he travels on aircraft, in automobiles, when his routine days’ activities is disrupted or when he is careless and eats many dried foods causing hardened compacted waste matter?
Does the evacuation system shut down when the yogi engages in an employment where he stands for hours or does strenuous world or sweats profusely due to climatic conditions?
What should a yogi do if he finds that the transit of waste is delayed?
What should he do when he discovers that his evacuation is sluggish due to the aging of his body where his colon and rectum become insensitive and do not cause the triggers for waste expulsion?
Does it matter?
Since meditation concerns everything but the material body, does constipation affect meditation practice?
Healing herbs for the root chakra: https://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga/chakras/healing-ayurvedic-herbs-root-chakra
nice khapalbati vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6d7_oJGzKQ
Herbs and plants are naturally ours and the rest of the animal kingdom for the taking and as such, they can greatly and positively contribute to our welfare as well as bodily and mental balance. As with other ingredients or food materials, it is important to observe and analyze how they impact on one’s individual person and in what way or to what degree these effects are desirable.
So, IMO all these matter and are important matters to process attentively, as is needed when psychically cleansing. From organic to the psychic cleansing, an understanding of the goal to be attained will prove important particularly in effecting the selected or imposed methodologies and technics.