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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 famous treatise BHAKTI SAGARA-GRANTHA, the wise from the ancient times wrote: ‘the gesture of the elephant makes the body immune to all illness. The gesture of the elephant means filling your stomach with water, and then getting it out, without effort.
Just as the elephant takes the water in through its trump, then gets the water out through the trump, guarding its body from all illness, the man may also preserve his body in a perfect state of health. Just as a clay-bowl is cleaned with water, the same way we may clean our stomach with water.’
HOW TO PERFORM
Take at least two liters of warm water, with a temperature a little above the body-temperature. You may add a spoon of salt, so that the cleansing will be even more effective.
POSITION TO DRINK THE WATER
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 we recommended, 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.
There are some precise indications that you have to follow if you wish to throw the water out.
- 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 asana-s.
BEST TIME FOR VAMANA DHAUTI
The Gesture of the elephant is best performed on an empty stomach and therefore the best time would be in the morning.
There are some cases in which Vamana Dhauti is beneficial even if your stomach is full. Sometimes, we eat and drink more that our organism requires or needs to. If this is the case, let us consider our alternatives:
- To sleep and have a night filled with nightmares because the food cannot be properly digested, waking up in the morning more tired than we slept, incapable of performing an activity requiring a serious effort. It is good to know that food in excess leads to fermentation and unbalances us in more respects than only our digestive system.
- Or to get rid of all the unneeded food, so that at least we get a good night sleep.
Nonetheless, what happens if despite the great quantity of water, despite our efforts to throw up, this thing does not happen? Well, the fact is that the water we ingested will come out on the route common to all liquids. Through perseverance, we will be able to perform this technique whenever we need to.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I PERFORM VAMANA DHAUTI?
If there is need for it, Vamana Dhauti can be practiced daily, without any restraint. The cases in which Vamana Dhauti is more than beneficial are certain disorders of the stomach, such as gastritis, or the cases in which a person wishes to become really pure, to get rid of all the toxins accumulated in the organism.
The beginners may embark on an adventurous enterprise: 49 days of daily Vamana Dhauti, then 49 days of Vamana Dhauti every other day, then 49 days of Vamana Dhauti once in three days, and so on until you get to do Vamana Dhauti once a week.
Vamana Dhauti is not recommended for persons suffering from severe disorders of the stomach, of the digestive tube (ulcer, cancer), as well as for persons suffering of hypertension and cardiac pain.
Any person eating meat two or three times a day will have within his or her organism a permanent source of putrefaction.
In order to become fully convinced by the utility of this technique you should examine your tongue. If your tongue is “heavy” with substances covering its surface, the chances that your stomach is not “clean” are quite high.
The mucus from the walls of the stomach does not allow the glands secreting gastric juice to work properly. Under these circumstances, the digestion is no longer a process following its own course. The assimilation of the food will be better if the walls of the stomach are clean.
Moreover, our tendency to over-eat to the speed of light requires that our stomach be in its best shape to face the challenge. At this stage, the question that comes naturally on one’s lips is: “Will I not get fat if my stomach is healthy?” In fact, the cellulite and fat deposits are the result of a malfunction of the stomach, not of its good assimilation.
There is a method to test the health of our digestive system: if we eat correctly, if we do not eat excessively food containing animal fat, industrial sugar and alcohol, if our breath is normal, then we will not notice oscillations in our weight. This simple check indicates clearly the state of our health.
From another point of view, it is compulsory that we eliminate periodically the residues from the stomachal bag. In cases of people lacking physical movement, the inferior part of the stomach becomes deformed, because of the excess of food.
In such cases, the stomach always has an amount of food within, which combine at the next meal with fresh food, disturbing the digestive processes and irritating the stomachal and intestinal mucus.
Some yogic techniques correct this abnormality, especially the reversed asana-s, but nonetheless their effect should be completed with the radical and incomparable technique Vamana Dhauti.
Thus all the residues will be eliminated and the stomach is purified, determining a direct improvement on the state of our health. Vamana Dhauti acts in cases of obesity, dyspepsia, and hyperacidity.
The contemporary medical science also recommends stomachal washing, but they do it with a pump. Compared to this, Vamana Dhauti is a highly superior procedure. Because of the abdominal retraction, the water washes the stomach on its entire surface, while the artificial method cleans only the inferior parts of the stomach.
Moreover, the gesture of the elephant does not irritate the esophagus, as does the tube, it does not imply any kind of apparatus or assistance.
ACTION ON THE MUSCLES
The muscles of the abdomen are toned because of the strong contractions of the diaphragm. Beneficial effects on obesity seemingly paradoxically, a better assimilation of the food – which is a direct effect of Vamana Dhauti – prevents the forming of adipose tissue and cellulite.
ACTION ON LIVER, INTESTINES AND KIDNEYS
The powerful contractions of the diaphragm act directly on the liver, stimulating the hepatic function in a reflex manner. Vamana Dhauti stimulates the intestines and the kidneys, even the heart and the lungs.
OTHER EFFECTS OF PURIFICATION
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. This is an advantage for any person wishing to sublimate his sexual energy and practice sexual continence.
If you wish to learn more about Tantra and yogic philosophy, consider joining a yoga course, meditation retreat, or workshop at Hridaya Yoga.
The Hridaya centers in France and Mexico will welcome you with open hearts.