MOOLA SHODHANA

Assume a squatting position. Insert one finger (either middle or index) into the anus. If necessary, you can use ghee or some other type of oil as a lubricant; or you can use soap or water. Push your finger inside to a depth of about 2 cms as first. Then gently rotate your finger in both directions. By doing this you will slowly be able to push your finger further into the rectum. Don’t force. The sphincter muscles will relax. Continue to rotate your finger, inserting it as deeply as possible; this will stimulate the nerves and functions of the rectum. Then remove your finger and wash it. Reinsert your finger and again rotate it for some time. Again remove and wash. Repeat a number of times. Make sure you apply a firm but gentle pressure on the walls of the anus and rectum.

Precautions

Make sure that you cut the nail of the finger that you insert. The anus and rectum are very sensitive, and long nails could easily cause damage. If you don’t want to cut your nails, then you will have to use a turmeric plant.

Make sure that you scrupulously wash your hands after the practice.

If you suffer from haemorrhoids, then you should take great care when you insert your finger. This practice will help to remove the ailment but you must insert and massage carefully. As your condition improves with practice then you can increase the pressure of massage. Your own common sense will guide you in this respect.

Muscle contraction

If you wish you can intensify the practice by alternately contracting and releasing the anal sphincter while your finger is inserted. This will increase the stimulation of the nerves and the blood supply in the rectum, which in turn will lead to improved health and functioning of this important part of the body.

Water

When you wash your hands during the practice use cold water. Also, if possible, try to wash the anus with cold water. This is important, for cold water specifically stimulates blood flow to the region. This further tones the anal sphincter and prevents stagnation of blood and the possibility of haemorrhoids. Cold water also contracts the blood vessels which helps to alleviate extended veins. Hot water is not to be used for it tends to act in the opposite manner.

This, incidentally, is another good recommendation for washing one’s anus with cold water after passing stool: it tones up the entire anus and rectum.

When to practise

This depends on your personal circumstances. The stimulation induced by moola shodhana is sufficient to start off a chain reaction of peristalsis. Therefore, those who are constipated are advised to practise before trying to defecate.

If you have a regular motion then you can try moola shodhana after passing stool. This will further stimulate the associated nerves and muscles and lead to the best possible evacuation and cleanliness of the anus and rectum. The best time is early in the morning.

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