Vaman Dhauti : Yoga Kriya
9 Oct 2021 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy
Vaman Dhauti is a Yogic purification technique of Hatha Yoga to flush out the impurities from the upper digestive tract by voluntarily induced vomiting. This practice must only be performed under expert guidance and in full accoradance with the instructions given.
A quantity of salty lukewarm water is drunk and regurgitated. Kunjal is very beneficial for keeping the digestive system clean and healthy, and for removing acidity and digestive ailments.
Preparation of Vaman Dhauti
Wash the hands and make sure the nails are carefully trimmed.
Prepare about 2 litres of lukewarm ( body temperature) water per person, adding 1 teaspoonful of salt per litre according to taste. According to yoga if the water is lukewarm and a little salt is added, it is not absorbed so readily by the body and can be flushed out by the practice of kunjal. Any water or salt which remains in the stomach after the practice is absorbed or will ultimately be excreted via the kidneys in urine, or via the skin is sweat.
- Stand near a sink or toilet , or if the weather is warm, in a suitable place outside in the garden or near an open drain.
- Drink at least 6 glasses of the prepared water, one after the other, as quickly as possible,until the stomach cannot hold any more . It is most important to drink fast and not just sip of the water.
- When the stomach is full, the urge to vomit will occur automatically.
- Lean forward, keeping the trunk as horizontal as possible.
- Open the mouth and place the middle and index fingers of the right hand as far back on the tongue as possible.
- Gently rub and press the back of the tongue.
- This should induce the water to gush out form the stomach.
- If there is no expulsion of water, it means the tips of the fingers are not far enough down the throat or that the tonue is not being pressed.
- The more the practitioner relaxes into the practice, the easier it will be.
- During the expulsion of water the fingers may be removed from the mouth, although this is not necessary.
- When the flow of water ceases, again place the fingers in the mouth and repeat the process.
- Continue in this way until the stomach is empty.
Vastra means cloth. The cloth should be finely woven cotton which is unused and clean. Synthetic material should not be used. The cloth must also be trimmed nearly so that no loose threads fray on the sides. It should be no wider than the tongue or it will fold as It passes down the throat, and should be at least one metre in length and no more than a metre and a half.
Vastra Dhauti is a method of cleaning the throat, oesophagus and stomach with a length of cloth. Even though the practice is difficult, it remains prevalent because of its may benefits. Sage Gheranda says that this technique cures kapha and pitta disorders and is also useful for kidney problems, leprosy and skin infections. It is especially effective for those who suffer from asthma.
Preparation of Vastra Dhauti
A cloth is required for this practice, which should be clean and new. Finely woven, unstarched,, undyed cotton such as white muslin is best. Synthetic material should be avoided. The fabric should be about 2.5 cm wide( no wider than the tongue or it will fold as it passes down the throat) and 3 metres long. After some months of practice, the width may be increases to 5 or 6 cm and the length to 6.5 metres. Any frayed edges or loose threads should be removed.
The cloth should be thoroughly washed and boiled in water before using. It should then be placed in a mug or bowl of lukewarm water. Salt may be added to the water, but is not essential. The water keeps the cloth wet so that it slips smoothly down the oesophagus into the stomach. The cloth may be soaked in warm milk or even sweetened milk, if this makes it easier to swallow.
The same cloth may be used several times. After the practice, boil it thoroughly in hot eater as it will be thick with mucus. Dry it well, preferably in direct sunlight, and store it in a clean place.
- Squat comfortably, or sit on a low stool.
- Place the bowl containing the cloth on the ground between the feet.
- Relax the whole body.
- Take hold of one end of the clothso that it is slightly pointed; this will allow it to pass down the throat more easily.
- Place the pointed end as far back in the tongue as possible.
- Hold the remaining cloth outside the mouth with the index fingers and thumbs as shown in the diagram.
- Begin to swallow the cloth.
- If it catches in the throat, take a sip oe two of warm water, but just little, as the stomach is to be filled with the cloth and not with water.
- The jaws should move as though gently chewing the cloth, but do nont actually chew it. This will induce copious secretions of saliva and enable the cloth to slip down with ease.
- The cloth may stick in the lowest part of the throat, causing a vomiting sensation to be experienced. Stop for a few moments util this passes through the junction of the windpipe and the oesophagus, the problem will end and the cloth will slide smoothly into the stomach.
- Gradually feed more and more of the cloth into the mouth as the end slips down the oesophagus, but do not feed it too quickly or it will bunch up in the mouth and make the practice difficult.
- Do not swallow the whole cloth;allow at least 30 cm to protrude from the mouth.
- Stand up
- Practice dakshina( right) and vaman (left) nauli first, then perform rotations.
- Finally perform madhyama (middle) nauli.
- 3 to 5 Minutes of nauli is suffiecient for cleaning the stomach.
- Beginners should only practice for one minute.
- As an alternative to nauli, agnisara kriya may be practiced. The cloth may beleft in the stomach for 15-20 minutes, but no longer or it may start to enter the intestinal tract.
Removing the cloth
- The cloth must be slowly removed from the stomach.
- Sit back in the squatting position once more.
- Take hold of the cloth and pull it gently but firmly.
- Do not pull too hard or it may damage the delicate walls of the stomach and oesophagus.
- There may be some resistance to the withdrawl of the cloth at first, but this will pass after a few second and the cloth will come out easily.
- Remove the whole cloth and let it fall into the mug or bowl.
The mucus from the chest is loosened and expelled, while the mucus of the bronchial tubes are relaxed, improving respiratory functions.
Vastra dhauti induces strong reflexes in the throat and chest region. The practitioner has to willfully control the urge to vomit which , as a result, tones the autonomic nervous system. One gains self confidence, willpower,and a feeling of detachment from the body.
Do not talk while practicing. Do not attempt this practice without the guidance of a competent teacher.