5 ways of yogic cleansing

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Health & Wellbeing / Wisdom For Seekers / Yogic Physiology


This body's composition is such that 72% of this body is water, approximately 12% is earth, 6% is air, 4% is fire and the rest is space or Akash. How these five elements behave within you will determine just about everything. Five yogic ways of cleansing the elements - treat water with gratitude, stay in touch with earth, bring breath to a dynamic state, light fire for health and energy & tap into the Akashik intelligence.


Duration: 11 min


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7 min read

5 ways of yogic cleansing

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

This body, this very earth, the universe and the cosmos are just a play of 5 elements. This body’s composition is such that 72% of this body is water, approximately 12% is earth, 6% is air, 4% is fire and the rest is space or Akash. How these five elements behave within you will determine just about everything.

Bhuta means elements. Bhuta Shuddhi means to become free from the taint of elements, or to cleanse the elements. It means to become free from the physical nature. Right now, the physiological and the psychological processes are having a complete grip over most human beings. What we call as our physiology, is something that we accumulated. What we call as our psychological process, the whole content for this, is also accumulated in the form of impressions. Between these two, who you are, or existentially what is the nature of your being, is completely missed. If one wants to access dimensions which are not yet in your experience, first thing that we need to do is, to start cleansing the five elements. So that in the purity of the elements, you distinctly know the difference between what is physical, what is psychological, and what is existential.

#1 Treat water with gratitude

Among the 5 elements, water acquires the greatest significance, because 72% of this body is water. If we take sufficient care about the water that we consume, not just in terms of it’s purity, it being bacteria free and those kind of things – but the way the water is kept. In what kind of container you keep it. How you keep it, how you touch it, how you approach it. Because there is substantial scientific evidence today to show you that a thought, and emotion, a touch – these things can change the molecular structure of water. And can greatly alter the way water behaves within your system. So one needs to understand, you are not dealing with a commodity, you are dealing with life making material. Water is life.

If you keep the water in a container, which is metallic – preferably copper, or an alloy of copper. And, if you wash it with an organic substance. And keep the water in a place, where it is not touched by other smells, and other substances – there is sufficient space around it. And, when you approach it, if you can just hold this vessel with your hands, with a certain sense of gratitude, and reverence, because this is life making material. And, then consume it. You will see it will do wonders within your system. Healthfulness and equanimity will be a natural consequence of this.

#2 Stay in touch with earth

At least every day, if you can go and sit in your garden – on the earth, just for half an hour. Simply – talking to a friend, reading a newspaper, talking on the telephone, do whatever, or if you can sit quietly it’s best. Just half an hour you sit in your garden on the ground, you will see, your health situation will change dramatically. I’m only talking about health, because that’s a tangible thing you can see. Other things are happening, but you may not be able to notice it. Many other processes are happening. As far as possible, try to settle down on the floor.

Those of you, who have very unstable bodies, that is – you tend to fall sick very easily, and you know, constantly those kinds of things. If you just get off your cot, and sleep on the floor. You will see, it will make a big difference. Just that much, just maybe 18 inches away you are, just get 18 inches closer – you will see it will make a big difference in terms of reorganising the system.

#3 Bring breath to a dynamic state

Though air represents only 6% of your body’s elemental constitution, it is the most dynamic part of the element – in terms of the transaction that happens, on a minute to minute basis. What kind of air you breathe is definitely important, and that’s well know. But how you breathe, and how consciously you breathe is equally important.

Especially those of you, who are living in large cities – take a walk in the park, along the lake or the river, or whatever is available to you. Something natural, to be in touch with nature and to do something where breath will be in dynamic state. This is not just for aerobic exercise, because constant exchange of air is happening from within and without, and the very intelligence in the body will take care of this – that when it senses the air is pure and alive, the way the body breathes is different. So, if you remain in pure air, it’s important that you bring breath to a dynamic state, with a certain activity. You don’t have to do too vigorous an activity. Just enough to see that you are breathing deep enough. Slightly deeper than normal is happening to you for a period of time.

But, on a daily basis – if you are not able to take yourself out – within the house, you can do a simple yogic practice called nadi shuddhi, to cleanse the breath.

#4 Light fire for health and energy

Fire accounts for 4% of your elemental makeup. If you wish to use fire, you can light a fire with an organic substance, like straw or firewood, without any oil. And stand facing the fire with your hand open, and keep your eyes open, for 3 minutes. Then stand with your back to it, exposing your spine for 3 minutes. This will cleanse your aura and bring about a new sense of resurgence in the system. This is to rekindle and reconnect the fire within, with the fire outside. This is the basis of all fire based rituals in the East.

If having a fire is not very practical for you, at least a lamp with vegetable oils, or Ghee. You light a lamp, and be around this lamp. First face the lamp and sit. And then turn around and sit. So that the fire element within you gets rekindled.

#5 Tap into the Akashik intelligence

The fifth and the most expansive dimension of the elemental composition is Akash, or etheric space. This has a certain intelligence. The nature, quality and the power of your life essentially is determined by how much access can you find into the akashic intelligence. As I said, this is an expansive part of the elemental composition. That means there is no limit. There is only that much water, there is only that much air, that much earth, and that much fire. But the Akashic dimension is a limitless possibility. If you find access in a limitless manner, both your perception and intelligence can grow.

One simple process you can do to find more access to Akash, or the Akashic intelligence is – after sunrise, before the sun crosses a 30 degree angle, look up at the sky once and bow down to Akash for holding you and this planet in place. After the sun crosses 30 degrees, sometime during the day, any time, look up and bow down again. After the sunset, within the 40 minutes after sunset, look up at the sky, and once again bow down. You are not bowing to any imaginary Gods up there. Just to the etheric space around us which is holding everything that we are, in place. If you get the Akash to cooperate with your life energies, life will happen in magical ways. An intelligence that you have never thought possible, will become yours.

In terms of health, wellbeing, perception, knowing, everything, enlightenment – everything is handled, if only you know how to keep these five elements properly. The most fundamental practice in the yogic system, which is the basis of everything else that we are doing, is called as ‘Bhuta Shuddhi’. All other yogic practices are an extract from the pancha bhuta system of yoga. If you do a certain level of cleansing for the elements, then you attain to what’s called as ‘Bhuta Siddhi’. That means you have mastery over the elements.

If you have mastery over the elements, you not only have mastery over the body, over the mind – over the very creation.

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