Consider the first paragraph from the introduction of Hatha Yoga Pradipika

There exists at present a good deal of misconception with regard to the practices of the Haṭha Yoga. People easily believe in the stories told by those who themselves heard them second hand, and no attempt is made to find out the truth by a direct reference to any good treatise. It is generally believed that the six practices, in Haṭha Yoga are compulsory on the student and that besides being dirty, they are fraught with danger to the practiser. This is not true, for these practices are necessary only in the existence of impurities in the Nâdis, and not otherwise.

What are the six practices referring here?

How to confirm that whether impurities exist in the Nâdis or not?

  • Are you looking for some more info to be added to the answer? If you are then I am sorry I can not add anything else .. this is all that I know abt the 6 Karmas of Yoga
    – Rickross
    Feb 15 '19 at 6:10
  • @Rickross no, I have surface knowledge regarding it, I'm waiting for solidification of knowledge....
    – hanugm
    Feb 15 '19 at 6:27

It is referring to the Shat Karma of Yoga.

This is referred to in the following verse from the same text:

Karma shatkamidam ghopyam ghataśodhanakārakam
Vichitraghunasandhāya pūjyate yoghipungavaih ||

These six kinds of actions which cleanse the body should be kept secret. They produce extraordinary attributes and are performed with earnestness by the best of Yogîs

and mentioned in the following:

Dhautirbastistathā netistrātakam naulikam tathā
Kapālabhātiśchaitāni shatkarmāni prachakshate ||

The six kinds of duties are: Dhauti, Basti, Neti, Trâtaka, Nauti and Kapâla Bhâti. These are called the six actions

1. Dhauti

A strip of cloth, about inches wide and 5 cubits long, is pushed in (swallowed), when moist with warm water, through the passage shown by the guru, and is taken out again. This is called Dhauti Karma

2. Basti

Squatting in naveldeep water, and introducing a six inches long, smooth piece of ½ an inch diameter pipe, open at both ends, half inside the anus; it (anus) should he drawn up (contracted) and then expelled. This washing is called the Basti Karma

3. Neti:

A cord made of threads and about six inches long, should be passed through the passage of the nose and the end taken out in the mouth. This is called by adepts the Neti Karma

4. Tratkam:

Being calm, one should gaze steadily at a small mark, till eyes are filled with tears. This is called Trataka by âchâryas.

5. Nauli:

Sitting on the toes with heels raised above the ground, and the palms resting on the ground, and in this bent posture the belly is moved forcibly from left to right just, as in vomiting. This is called by adepts the Nauli Karma

6.Kapal Bhati:

When inhalation and exhalation are performed very quickly, like a pair of bellows of a blacksmith, it dries up all the disorders from the excess of phlegm, and is known as Kapâla Bhâti.

Benefits obtained by performance of each of these actions are also mentioned in the text. Like for Trataka following are the benefits:

Mochanam netraroghānām tandādrīnām kapātakam Yatnatastrātakam ghopyam yathā hātakapetakam ||

Trâtaka destroys the eye diseases and removes sloth, etc. It should be kept secret very carefully, like a box of jewellery

Some of these practices should be performed under someone's guidance. For example, the first two. Trataka can be done on one's own. Swami Vivekananada also recommends the technique.

Note: If you are looking for pictorial descriptions of these 6 Karmas, then Swami Ramdev's book "Yog Rahasya & Chikitsa" will be helpful.

How to confirm that whether impurities exist in the Nâdis or not?

I am not sure why the introduction is talking about Nadi impurities with respect to Shat Karma, but the text actually suggests that a person who is obese (fat) should undergo these 6 actions. For others it is not necessary to do so.

If there be excess of fat or phlegm in the body, the six kinds of kriyâs (duties) should be performed first. But others, not suffering from the excess of these, should not perform them.

Because excessive fat in the body is a hindrance for someone to master several of the Yogic postures. And, without mastering them the Yogi can not become adept in Hatha Yoga which in turn is the prerequisite for mastering Raja Yoga.

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