Convenience of processed foods and fast foods which usually comes loaded with high sodium, fats and sugar etc. has detrimental effect on our health. As a routine of our life they have become a part and almost impossible for a traveller to avoid them. It is stated in Vedas that Sarva roga malashrehya “सर्व रोग मलाश्रेया:” which means all diseases roots to impurities present in our body. Different medical systems have manifested how improper functioning of digestive system is home to various disorders. Foreign bodies not only makes a person sick but it’s a vicious circle which decreases the immune power too, thus leaving the person incapable to fight against them. For proper cleansing of digestive tract and its proper functioning, Dhauti kriya has found a prominent place in yoga practices. Dhauti provides relief from the conditions like obesity, food allergies, constipation, acidity, indigestion, weight reduction, halitosis (bad breath), menstrual cramps, acne, asthma, kidney stones and urinary infections.
- Antar Dhauti अन्तरधौती (internal cleansing)
- Hrid dhauti हृदधौती (thoracic cleansing)
- Sirsha Dhauti शीर्षधौती (head cleansing)
Antar Dhauti has five different types i.e.
- Shankhaprakshalana शंखप्रक्षालन or Vaarisaar antar dhauti वारिसार अंतरधौती (cleansing of the intestines)
- Agnisar Kriya अग्निसार क्रिया or vhinisara antar dhauti (activating the digestive fire)
- Kunjar कुंजर or Vaman dhauti वमन धौती (cleansing the stomach with water)
- Vastra dhauti वस्त्रसार धौती (cleansing of stomach with cotton cloth)
- Vatsara dhauti वातसार धौती (cleansing the intestines with air)
These kriyas can be done as an individual practices or can be combined for better benefits. Here in this article we have covered mainly kunjar dhauti, vaarisaar antar dhauti and vastra dhauti as the need of the hour.
Kunjar Dhauti (कुंजर धौती)
Kunjar dhauti is the natural way of cleansing our food pipe (oesophagus) to stomach area which provides an instant relief from acidity. It has a favourable effect in the conditions like food allergies and asthma too. Kunjar in hindi language means an elephant and this kriya is based on the act demonstrated by the elephant to cleanse his gullet. In kunjar dhauti impurities of the body are carried out by the induced vomiting therefore it should be done in the morning time on an empty stomach. By following the procedure this technique can easily be mastered after few practices. It is safe to do it weekly even by a healthy person. People who are suffering from regular acidity or who want to reduce weight can do kunjar kriya for one week to ten days continuously under the guidance of a yog guru.
Procedure of Kunjar Dhauti
For the proper cleansing of stomach it is recommended that there should be a gap of nine hours from the last intake of food. So it’s always recommended to do kunjar dhauti in the morning after emptying one’s bowel. A practitioner sits in kagasana i.e. sitting in squatting position and fills his belly with the lukewarm drinking water. It is strictly recommended to drink water while in kagasana (कागासना) as less pressure is exacted on the area below diaphragm which reduces the risk of conditions like hernia and hydrocele etc. Moreover drinking water in kagasana helps in proper execution of kunjar dhauti by draining the water out of body with pressure. Unlike Jala neti, water used in kunjar dhauti need not to be salted as saline has tendency to get absorbed in the body.
For a good kunjar dhauti one should drink at least two litres of water. After one has filled his stomach with water to the highest level, the practitioner will start having the urge of vomiting. By standing on the same place and bending forward at an angle of 45-50 degree, the practitioner places his left hand on his navel and presses his stomach inwards. And with the middle finger of his right hand he stimulates the uvula (a fleshy extension that hangs at the back of the throat) to induce vomiting. Stimulation of uvula results in throwing out the water with gush which cleanses the stomach and food pipe. Initially it can take three to four times to drain out all the water but this can be reduced to single or two times with the practice. A regular routine of yoga or exercise could be followed after doing kunjar dhauti.
Try to avoid oily or heavy food after doing kunjar kriya. People suffering from stomach ulcers should avoid doing kunjar kriya.
Vaarisaar antar dhauti (वारिसार अंतर धौति)
Bathing cleanse our body externally which refreshes and energises us immediately. If we could do the same with our organs internally then it becomes so easy to take care of them and protect them from bacterial infections etc. In Vaarisaar antar dhauti we cleanse our whole digestive tract till anus just as we have washed them out with water. It is an excellent mechanism which flushes out all the impurities, mucus, worms, bacterias and excessive heat from the whole system. Also known as shankhaprakshalana (शंखप्रक्षालन), it helps to boost immune power, release intestinal blockages and prevents disorders related to stomach.
Like kunjar kriya, people suffering from stomach ulcers should strictly avoid doing vaarisaar antar dhauti. It is not a very frequent kriya and generally done at the time of seasonal change or during for specific disorders.
Procedure of Vaarisaar antar dhauti
Vaarisaar antar dhauti is also a morning kriya done on an empty stomach. One should have a light and digestible dinner as a preparation step before vaarisaar antar dhauti. Even food taken after the kriya has specific recipe and instruction for its preparation. It’s better to perform on weekends or on holiday as rest of the day can be utilised for relaxing. A practitioner should know to perform four asanas i.e. mrinalasana (मृणाल आसन), skandasana (स्कन्दासना), Kagasana (कागासना) and shankasana (शंखासन) with perfection for this kriya.
In vaarisaar antar dhauti we have to perform nearly twenty rounds of the kriya. For every single round we drink a glass of salted lukewarm water first and then perform all four asanas mentioned above sequentially. Every asana has to be performed four times to make one round. When we have done five or six rounds of the process then after every round we will go to toilet to pass the stool. We might or might not be able to excrete initially as we have emptied our bowels in the morning. But this has to done after every round onwards and as we proceed with the number of rounds, all impurities remaining in form of solid waste, worms, and bacteria will be thrown out of body. Amoeba which is a cause for gastrointestinal infections and can lay latent for several years in the infected person. It is a harmful eukaryotic organism with tendency to hide in the pockets of intestine and grow in opposite direction. This harmful amoeba is also washed out in vaarisaar antar dhauti. In the end the practitioner will only have the watery motions as the whole digestive tract is cleansed.
It is important to maintain the temperature of water same throughout the process. After doing vaarisaar antar dhauti, drink at least two glass of lukewarm plain water (without salt) which is to be flushed out through the mouth by doing kunjar kriya. After a gap of thirty minutes the practitioner would have his breakfast with only “moong dal ki khichdi” as an option. It is prepared with rice and hulled mung beans in a ratio of 1:3. So for a single person 100g of rice mixed with 300 g of mung beans is cooked and served by adding 60 g of cow’s clarified butter (ghee) to it. This particular recipe soothes the intestine and is easily digestible. It is followed by light simple lunch/dinner.
Like kunjar kriya, people suffering from stomach ulcers should strictly avoid doing vaarisaar antar dhauti. Try to avoid milk, milk products, citrus fruits and fired food for one week.
Vastra dhauti (वस्त्र धौति)
In case of severe stomach ulcers when kunjar and/or vaarisaar antar dhauti is prohibited, vastra dhauti as a remedy cleanse the food pipe, stomach and intestine and provides relief from the condition. Vastra dhauti is a difficult kriya which needs practice and patience to be mastered and should always be learned under the guidance of a yog guru. It is also a morning kriya done on an empty stomach. The practitioner should also be well-versed with nauli kriya for in depth and better performance of vastra dhauti.
Procedure of Vastra dhauti
We require a pure cotton cloth of nearly 3-4 inches wide and 3 meters long for vastra dhauti. By tradition it is said that the length of the cloth should be same as length of intestine. In vastra dhauti we have to swallow the cloth so it is recommended not to use coloured cloth. Practitioner should also know how to perform nauli kriya for complete vastra dhauti.
Take a bowl of lukewarm salted water and dip the roll of the cloth in it. Then sit in Utkatasana (उत्कटासन) or kagasana (कगासन) in which you are comfortable and start swallowing the cloth from one end. Make sure that you have made your throat wet by having a sip of water so that the cloth can easily go down. Keep the glass of water besides you and if there is any difficulty in swallowing then again take a sip of water along to gulp down the cloth. As a beginner gulping the cloth till your esophagus (food pipe) would make a good start. With practice one will be able to swallow the whole except for one foot that is kept out to pull the cloth back later. Then the practitioner will get up and perform at least two rounds of nauli kriya. Afterwards by again by sitting in Utkatasana the practitioner will pull back the whole cloth slowly. It will carry out all the mucus along by clearing the passages and the stomach. The cloth can be sterilized for the reuse.