Yoga therapy

Ayurveda Enemas – Basti

There are several types of enemas used by Ayurveda and an easy one to self administer is made from sesame oil. Some of this information is from my own personal experience as well as from a site Ayurvedic enemas that has some interesting information.

I have found sesame oil useful for many everyday conditions such as:-

Sesame or GIngerly oil for enema
Sesame or gingerly oil
  • dry skin
  • receding gums
  • sore throat
  • skin cancer
  • recovery from a burn 
  • anxiety and stress
  • feeling ungrounded and out of balance
  • osteoarthritis
  • aching joints 
  • constipation
  • insomnia

Yoga and Ayurveda combined 

When my body suffers any of the above conditions I know it is either my Vata or Pita that are out of balance. Imbalances occur so easily. That is why it is so important to take time out just for you to come back to your senses. We need to do this on a regular basis. Even a conscious breath in the middle of your day will bring you back to the present moment. It is in the present moment that we can feel what is going on. We are not feeling the past or the future, we are feeling now.

Learning about Ayurvedic Basti in India 2004

The best way I know how to come back to my senses is to combine Yoga and Ayurveda. This way I receive all the information that I need. My senses notify me that something about me that feels different to my ‘normal’ Do I have less energy today or am I bloated, did I wake up with some aches and pains? These are the things I am grateful to notice. To combine yoga and Ayurveda into my routine I hear these messages. Yoga Works for Over 40s “live-online” classes teach you how to combine Yoga and Ayurveda as a therapy.

Click this link to learn more about different types of basti enemas.

Ayurveda enemas

Basti (Vasti) is the Ayurvedic name for an enema to clean out the colon. Ayurveda uses Bastis (Vastis) which can be very helpful in a variety of complaints and should be used in discretion. This section is for general information only. As Ayurveda is a very complex topic and includes diet and lifestyle changes please visit a Ayurvedic practitioner before attempting to administer an ayurvedic Basti.

“Basti” literally means bag/container/bladder. In ancient times, sterilised urinary bladders of animals were used to instil the enema, hence the name of the procedure is Basti Karma.

Ayurvedic basti enema
Sacred peaceful cow

They involve the introducing of liquids like medicated oils, herbal concoctions and milk through the perineum (through the anus, urinary meatus or vaginal orifice in women) in order to clean or heal the lower part of the body (below umbilical part). The toxins (ama) accumulated in the lower part of the body or the toxins pushed to the colon, urinary tract or reproductive tract by previous ayurvedic procedures like Oil-therapy (snehan) or Sweat-therapy (swedan) can be cleared with bastis.

What is the Ayurveda basti?

There are significant multiple effects from using Ayurveda enemas. They cannot be compared with contemporary enema, which is used for bowel cleansing or nutritive therapies. Though Basti practices directly affect the colon they are much more than a localised, symptomatic treatment. In administration, effects and intent the Basti differs significantly from Enema and Colonic treatments which only address the eliminative capacity of the colon.

Training in Ayurveda and Yoga therapy

The Basti procedure restores the balance of the body types (doshas) in particular VATA body type (there are 7 body types in Ayurveda). It increases weight in emaciated people, decreases weight in the obese, improves vision, prevents ageing, brings back lustre and strength, and healthy longevity. They are specifically for vata disorders. Likewise there is relief from constipation, distention, chronic fever, cold, sexual disorders, kidney stones, heart pain, backache, sciatica and other pains in the joints. Many other Vata disorders such as arthritis, rheumatism, gout, muscle spasms and headaches may also be treated with Basti.

Basti is effective for digestive disorders

Training in Ayurveda India 2004

Basti is effective for most of the digestive disorders like dry colon, dry rectum condition and the tendency towards constipation resulting from such conditions. It also provides relief in conditions like distention of abdomen, flatulence, spastic colon, dryness of digestive tract observed in chronic fever, etc. A Basti can treat conditions such:- as body debility, senile debility, impaired immunity, muscular dystrophy and bed ridden conditions like paralysis can also be treated by Basti. The Basti can also be used to give some energy supplementation to the body, as the mucous membrane of the rectal canal is a semi permeable membrane.

The Ayurvedic Oil Enema (Anuvasana Basti)

The oil enema will moisturise and rejuvenate your entire system and if any part of the body feels dry.


Dr Majosh Ayurvedic teacher
  • Pour 50 ml of lukewarm oil (preferably Black Sesame Oil) in a glass, suck the oil into the syringe by putting the tip into the oil and pulling on the syringe handle.
  • Connect the rectal tube to the syringe.
  • Turn the syringe and tube with the tip up and slowly push any air out of the tube.
  • Lie on your left site with the left lower leg straight and the right leg flexed at the knee and at the hip joint.
  • Lubricate the Anus and the tip of the rectal tube with Black Sesame seed oil.
  • Carefully insert the rectal tube (about 5 cm).
  • Then slowly and steadily inject the oil.
  • Stay lying on the side for 15 minutes before getting up.
  • Aim to retain the oil for 24 hours or more. This will happen naturally, more so if you do it at night time. If there is a tendency to release wind it is recommended to wear a pad during the day.
  • 4 to 6 hrs after a meal or in the morning is the best time. Evacuate the bowel and bladder prior to the treatment. If possible give yourself a light belly massage with warm oil then put a hot water-bottle on your tummy for 10 minutes.
  • You will need a 60 ml syringe, a rectal tube, 50 ml of Black Sesame Oil

What to do after your Basti enema

Take a light diet for one day after the Basti as well as reduce the following activities:-

digestion ayurveda brain
Ayurveda benefits your digestion
  • sitting for a long duration
  • standing for long duration
  • excessive talking
  • traveling
  • sleeping during the day
  • coitus
  • exposure to cold
  • too much sunlight
  • sexual relationship
  • anxiety
  • anger
  • untimely meals
  • an incompatible diet
  • suppression of natural urges (e.g. sneezing, farting, burping, elimination of faeces)

Contraindications for Basti

Avoid Basti for all types of diarrheas, dysenteries, rectal bleeding, diabetes, severe anaemia, hypoproteinaemia, breathlessness associated with any problem and pulmonary tuberculosis (raj-yakshma) avoid the Basti treatment. As well as infantile problems and senile debility.

Complications of Basti therapy

When the treatment is incomplete spasmodic pains, burning sensation, anorectal itching and pain, anorexia, blockage of stools and wind can be noticed. If given in excess, it causes anorectal inflammation and ulceration, fissure, weakness, and muscular cramps.

If you experience pain in abdomen after Basti, massage the abdomen gently!

For headaches apply a gentle head and forehead massage followed by Ginger and Nasya (special Ayurvedic treatment to cleanse the sinus area).

Combine Yoga and Ayurveda as a therapy

We are currently running 3 Yoga therapy classes a week online in our Yoga Works for Over 40s online series. They come right into your home and all you have to do is click on the link and show up. It can’t get much easier. What you will learn is how to come back to your senses and how to manage your health. From this you will learn to listen deeply to your bodies signals. Yoga means union with the body and mind and it is surprising how many things there are in the big wide world that can distract us from ourselves. It is in these classes you will learn how to combine yoga ayurveda.

Yoga Works for Over 40s
Combining Yoga and Ayurveda as a therapy

Join our Yoga for over 40’s class here

Online Yoga Therapy for over 40’s class is perfect because Zoe is a senior herself who has over 35 years of training and experience using yoga therapy to maintain excellent health. She will guide you to look after yourself through the many transformational changes in life. And as a free bonus, we will invite you into my FB group – where you can run class replays at a time that suits you.

3 classes a week – 12 classes a month

4 week programs (start anytime)

Good Morning Yoga – Monday’s 7.30am

Lunchtime Chair Yoga Works – Wednesday’s  12 noon

Sleepy time Yoga – Thursday’s 8:30pm

Usual price $100

Introductory offer $69

Twisting the body – Yoga Works for Over 40s – join us online!

Find out more here and read our information on Yoga for seniors classes here.

Learn more about different types of bastis here.