VAMANA DHAUTI – HEALTH BENEFITS
In Sanskrit, Vamana means ‘middle’ and Dhauti means ‘purification’. In the yogic literature, this technique is known also as KUNJALA, or the gesture of the elephant.
In the treatise called BHAKTI SAGARA-GRANTHA, the wise scholars from the ancient times wrote: ‘the gesture of the elephant makes the body immune to all illnesses. The gesture of the elephant denotes filling your stomach with water, and then regurgitating it all, without effort.
In the science of Ayurveda, it is said that the undigested particles of food get stuck to the stomach lining as a sticky yellowish-white substance called ‘Aama’. It further moves down to the small intestine and can get absorbed into the body, creating toxins and causing diseases.
The yogic practice of Vaman Dhauti helps to clean the stomach of the unwanted food particles left over after digestion. It is practiced on an empty stomach in the early morning. It is process where the practitioner drinks large amount of saline water and vomits out the entire water, thus flushing the stomach clean.
The washing up of the entire track starting from the mouth to the digestive path at the beginning of the small intestines, that is mouth, esophagus, stomach etc are included in this process. One can wash one’s mouth, but in the daily routine one cannot wash the esophagus or the stomach. The impurities residing there are carried along with the food particles and are mixed in some proportion with the blood. This has adverse effects on the body. In the case of some patients, the stomach wash is effected by introducing rubber tube into the stomach. This process is done in Yoga without any external instruments, only with the physical movements of the internal organs in the body.
Steps to Perform Vaman Dhauti:
- Prepare warm saline water for the practice. One can use 1 to 1 ½ liters of water depending on one’s capacity. Add 2 tea spoons (about 10 ml) of salt per liter of water. Water should be just lukewarm and not hot.
- Sit crouched with your soles on the ground. Spread the knees so that they will not compress the stomach. Drink minimum one liter or one and a half liter of warm water (pure or salted).
- Nonetheless, a clear indication is when you feel satiated. Drink the water as fast as possibly. If the salted water gives you nausea, drink pure warm water.
- If you feel nausea when you almost drank the entire quantity of water, this is a good sign. As soon as you drank the quantity, stand up.
- Let the water inside your stomach for few moments before throwing it up. You may even perform 10-20 quick abdominal retractions, just as if you were to perform Uddiyana Bandha, but without paying attention to any breathing pattern. This “agitation’ of the water will make this purifying technique even more effective.
- Bring your heels close to one another.
- Bend over, until your trunk makes a 90-degree angle with the feet.
- Before throwing up, exhale, retract the abdomen, press the area of the stomach with your left hand, and insert the index and the middle finger of the right hand inside your mouth, as deeply down your throat as possibly.
- Usually a slight pressure on the back of the tongue is enough to start the process of throwing the water out. Make sure your nails are cut short and that you do not injure your neck with them.
- If you do not start throwing up, then you have to tickle the uvula itself. In the beginning the water will come out in small amounts, but in time the quantity of water you throw up will increase.
- Carry on until you feel the water has come out entirely. If the water is somewhat yellowish or green in color, it is good, because this indicates the stomach is clean.
- The last water coming out will probably be bitter, indicating the fact that the bile was eliminated and that the stomach is now clean. It is recommendable that now you drink one more glass of water for the final cleaning.
- Relax in Shavasana, the Relaxation Pose for about 5-10 minutes, and only then get on with your work or with the practice of other asanas.
Health Benefits of Vaman Dhauti:
- Vamana Dhauti cleans the skin, heals the furuncles and the spots, cures the diseases of the gum and teeth, balances the excretion, and eliminates the constipation, indigestion, cough, rahitis, and insomnia.
- In conclusion, the practice of Vamana Dhauti favors the stomach in the sense that the digestion becomes easy and effective. Vamana Dhauti is an excellent procedure of purification, both physical and subtle.
- Its daily practice for a longer time leads to refinement, mental purification, elimination of stress and tensions, energy, enhanced self-confidence.
- The purification of the abdomen has a direct effect on the process of sublimation of the energies from the inferior levels.
- It removes extra mucus from the food pipe or esophagus.
- It helps to relieve asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems.
- It can alleviate sore throat and coughs.
- This practice is also used in Ayurveda and Naturopathy. It removes the problems created by ‘Pitha Dosha’ like acidity and gas.