Vastra Dhauti | Technique

Sit in a comfortable position.

Place the cup containing the cloth and water on the floor between the two feet.

Then start stage 1.

Stage 1: ingestion

Take one end of the cloth, leaving the other end immersed in the water.

Fold the 2 corners of the end of the cloth so that it is slightly pointed; this will allow it to pass more easily down the throat.

Place the pointed end of the cloth in the mouth.

With one finger push it towards the back of the tongue.

Hold the cloth with the index (second) finger and the thumb of each hand as shown below.

Imagine that the cloth is food, perhaps a long, thick strand of spaghetti.

Chew the cloth thoroughly as though it is food; this will induce copious secretions of saliva so that the cloth can slide into the stomach.

But do not chew the cloth too roughly with the teeth or it will shred and become frayed.

Try to swallow the end of the cloth.

If necessary sip some water from the cup.

Feed more of the cloth into the mouth as the end gradually goes down the oesophagus; but do not feed it too quickly or it will bunch up in the mouth and make the practice difficult if not impossible.

Gradually the cloth should slip down the throat.

The first part of the practice is the most difficult; that is, swallowing the cloth from the mouth to the point where the windpipe joins the oesophagus in the throat.

You may start to retch a little; if so, stop for a short period until the spasms cease and then continue to swallow the cloth again.

Remember: you must chew the cloth in order to produce saliva to act as a lubricant; without chewing you will find the practice impossible.

Simultaneously you must swallow the cloth.

Drink some more water from the cup if it is necessary.

You will find that the practice becomes easy when the end of the cloth has passed the junction of the windpipe and oesophagus; it will slide smoothly into the stomach almost as fast as you can swallow.

Eventually most of the cloth will accumulate in the stomach.

Do nor swallow the whole cloth; allow at least 30 cms to protrude from the mouth.

When you have reached this point proceed to stage 2.


Stage 2: churning

Now you must massage and churn the stomach so that the cloth rubs, scrubs and cleans the stomach walls.

Do nauli.

Alternatively you can practise agnisar kriya.

Beginners should agitate the stomach for no more than 1 minute. Adepts can practise for up to 3 minutes. Then proceed to stage 3.

Stage 3: withdrawal

Now the cloth must be removed from the stomach.

Hold the free end of the cloth.

Pull the cloth, but do not pull too hard or you may damage the delicate walls of the stomach and the oesophagus.

You should pull gently but firmly.

At first you may feel some resistance to the withdrawal of the cloth; after a few seconds this resistance will disappear and the cloth can be easily extracted.

Let the cloth fall into the cup.

Remove the whole cloth to complete the practice.

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