By Swami Harshananda
Antardhauti literally means ‘internal cleansing’.
The science of Haṭhayoga prescribes ‘dhauti’ or cleansing of the body to make it pure, healthy and strong so that it can withstand the rigours of Rājayoga. This is one of the several techniques classified under four kinds:
Antardhauti, the first of these, is further classified into four kinds :
- Vatasāra - In vātasāra, the purification is effected by inhaling air (vāta = air) by shaping the lips like the beak of a crow, filling up the stomach with it and expelling it through eructation.
- Vārisāra - In vārisāra, warm saline water (vāri = water) is drunk and expelled through the rectum. This is later on followed by vamana-dhauti, drinking saline water and vomitting it.
- Vahnisāra - In vahnisāra, navel knot is pressed against the spinal cord by exhalation and contraction of the muscles of the stomach.
- Agnisāra and bahiṣkṛti - Bahiṣkṛti is similar to vātasāra except that the air is expelled through the rectum instead of through the mouth.
These techniques not only purify the body but also free the body from diseases. However, these should be practiced only under the personal guidance of an expert haṭhayogi.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore