What is Dhauti Kriya? 4 Types of Dhauti, Benefits, Precautions


Yoga is not just about physical postures; it delves deep into holistic well-being. In this journey of holistic well-being, Dhauti Kriya stands as a powerful practice. It’s all about cleansing, and not just on the surface. Dhauti Kriya dives into the depths of your digestive system, helping you feel lighter, healthier, and more in tune with your body.

In this article, we’ll break down what Dhauti Kriya is, its types, benefits, and provide a step-by-step guide. So, let’s begin this journey toward a cleaner, healthier you through Dhauti Kriya.

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    The Significance of Dhauti Kriya

    In the intricate system of our bodies, the digestive tract plays a pivotal role. While it’s designed to cleanse itself, sometimes it needs a little assistance. This is where Dhauti Kriya steps in.

    Dhauti Kriya is part of a set of six practices known as Shatkarma or Shatkriya, as mentioned in ancient yogic texts like Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Gheranda Samhita.

    • Neti – Nasal cleansing
    • Dhauti – cleaning of the digestive tract
    • Nauli – Abdominal muscles massage
    • Basti – Large intestine cleansing
    • Kapalbhati – Skull shinning technique
    • Trataka – Eyes strengthening technique

    These practices are like the ultimate detox for your internal organs. Dhauti Kriya, specifically, focuses on cleansing your digestive tract, from the mouth to the colon, leaving no stone unturned. The benefits extend far beyond a squeaky-clean gut; it can enhance your respiratory system and even boost frontal brain efficiency.

    What is Dhauti kriya?

    At its core, Dhauti kriya is about stomach cleansing, a practice deeply rooted in the ancient science of yoga.

    The term ‘Dhauti’ is derived from the word ‘Dho,’ which means ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing.’ Just as we cleanse our bodies externally through showers, our internal organs require a similar cleansing for effective functioning. While yoga encompasses various physical practices, Dhauti serves as a preparatory action before engaging in these practices.

    Dhauti focuses on cleansing the complete digestive tract, also known as the gastrointestinal tract (GI). It’s a journey that begins from the top of the alimentary canal, where chewed food enters, and extends all the way down to the colon.


    Picture it as a thorough internal spring cleaning for your body. Beyond its impact on digestion, Dhauti isn’t limited to just the physical realm; it also enhances your respiratory system and boosts frontal brain efficiency. It’s a holistic practice that brings balance and vitality to both body and mind.

    Types of Dhauti

    Dhauti is a multifaceted practice, and its versatility shines through its various types, each tailored to address specific aspects of internal cleansing.

    There are mainly 4 types of Dhauti according to functioning on particular parts of the body.

    1. Danta Dhauti
    2. Antar Dhauti
    3. Hrid Dhauti
    4. Moola Shodhana Dhauti

    These different types of Dhauti cater to varying parts of the mouth and the gastrointestinal tract. The choice of a particular type depends on the practitioner’s level of experience and the specific requirements within a yogic system.

    Let’s delve into the four primary types of Dhauti:

    A. Danta Dhauti

    • Danta Mula Dhauti: This type focuses on cleaning the root of teeth, ensuring their longevity.
    • Jhiva Dhauti: Also known as Jhiva Shodhana, it elongates the tongue, believed to promote youthfulness and health.
    • Karna Dhauti: This practice aims to enhance hearing by cleansing the ear apertures.
    • Kapala Randhra Dhauti: It involves massaging the front head with the thumb, reducing stress, and enhancing vision.

    B. Antar Dhauti (Internal Dhauti)

    • Vatsara Dhauti: Involves swallowing air and then releasing it through the anus, using air as a cleansing medium.
    • Varisara Dhauti: Known as Shankhaprakshalana Dhauti, it cleanses the entire digestive tract using water as the medium.
    • Agnisara Dhauti: This practice stimulates heat energy in the navel region through rapid abdominal contractions, using ‘fire’ for cleansing.
    • Bahiskrita Dhauti: It cleanses the intestines by holding air, aiming for a God-like body.

    C. Hrid Dhauti

    Danda dhauti with rubber thread. Image: Fitsri
    • Danda Dhauti: Removes phlegm and bile from the esophagus using a banana tree stem or turmeric root.
    • Vastra Dhauti: Involves washing the upper stomach region using a cloth to remove excess mucus.
    • Vamana Dhauti: Induces vomiting after drinking water, expelling undigested food particles and phlegm.

    D. Moola Shodhana Dhauti

    • This kriya focuses on cleansing the rectum using a soft turmeric root or the middle finger, clearing extra feces.
    • Practitioners perform it in the Utkatasana pose for added effectiveness.

    As you explore these Dhauti types, you’ll discover their unique benefits and applications, offering you a comprehensive approach to internal purification.

    Benefits of Dhauti Kriya

    Dhauti cleanses your digestive system from mouth to stomach, offering relief from constipation, acidity, and even aiding in managing stress and bad breath. By purifying the digestive system, it helps create harmony between body and mind, alleviating feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression.

    Some more benefits of Dhauti includes:

    1. Cleanses Excessive Mucus: Eliminates mucus, reducing the risk of respiratory issues like asthma and cough.
    2. Optimizes Digestive Efficiency: Enhances digestion by clearing food residues, easing constipation, and promoting better nutrient absorption.
    3. Balances Doshas: Helps balance Kapha, Pitta, and Vata doshas, fostering harmony within the body.
    4. Fights Infections: Removes harmful bacteria, reducing the risk of digestive infections.
    5. Acidity Relief: Consistent practice aids in alleviating acidity and related discomfort.
    6. Glowing Skin: Contributes to radiant skin and diminishes dark circles.
    7. Oral Health: Boosts oral hygiene by eliminating mouth bacteria and enhancing salivary glands.
    8. Respiratory Health: Improves the respiratory system, promoting clear and unhindered breathing.
    9. Migraine Prevention: Vamana Dhauti may help prevent migraine attacks.
    10. Stress Reduction: Kapala Randhra Dhauti reduces stress and insomnia while enhancing vision.

    Precautions of Dhauti Kriya

    While Dhauti Kriya offers numerous benefits, it’s essential to approach this practice with caution and awareness. Here are some precautions to ensure a safe and effective experience:

    1. Consult a Yoga Instructor: If you’re new to Dhauti Kriya or yoga in general, seek guidance from a certified yoga instructor. They can provide proper instructions and monitor your progress.
    2. Start Gradually: Beginners should start with basic practices like Danta Dhauti or Vatsara Dhauti before progressing to advanced types.
    3. Avoid Overexertion: Perform Dhauti Kriya mindfully; excessive force can lead to discomfort or injury.
    4. Hydrate Adequately: Ensure you are well-hydrated before attempting Dhauti to avoid dehydration during the practice.
    5. Maintain a Balanced Diet: Consume a balanced diet with sufficient fiber to support the cleansing process.
    6. Respect Your Limits: Listen to your body; if you experience pain, discomfort, or dizziness during the practice, stop immediately.
    7. Avoid During Illness: Refrain from Dhauti Kriya if you have any acute illnesses or medical conditions, and consult a healthcare professional.
    8. Avoid During Pregnancy: Pregnant women should avoid Dhauti Kriya, as it may not be suitable during pregnancy.
    9. Keep the Environment Clean: Ensure the area where you practice Dhauti is clean and free from distractions.
    10. Practice Mindfulness: Approach Dhauti Kriya with a calm and focused mind to maximize its benefits.

    Dhauti Kriya Steps

    Dhauti Kriya with a step-by-step guide to ensure a safe and effective practice. Follow these structured steps:

    1. Prepare Your Body and Mind: Start in a calm and peaceful environment, preferably in the morning. Empty your bowels and bladder to create a comfortable space for the practice.
    2. Warm-Up: Perform some gentle yoga asanas or stretches to prepare your body for Dhauti Kriya. This helps prevent muscle cramps during the practice.
    3. Choose the Dhauti Type: Select the specific type of Dhauti you intend to practice based on your level of experience and goals. Beginners can start with Danta Dhauti or Vatsara Dhauti.
    4. Position Yourself: Assume the appropriate posture for the chosen Dhauti type. For example, in Vatsara Dhauti, sit in Kaki Mudra with your legs crossed.
    5. Breathe Deeply: Begin with deep, controlled breaths to calm your mind and prepare for the practice.
    6. Begin the Cleansing Process: Execute the steps associated with your chosen Dhauti type, whether it involves swallowing air, drinking water, or using specific materials like cloth or turmeric root.
    7. Hold and Release: Depending on the Dhauti, hold the substance or air inside your stomach or digestive tract for the prescribed duration. This varies between Dhauti types.
    8. Expel Waste: Release the substance through the mouth or anus, following the techniques associated with the chosen Dhauti.
    9. Rest and Observe: After completing the Dhauti, take a moment to rest in a comfortable posture. Observe how you feel and any sensations within your body.
    10. Hydrate: Rehydrate your body by drinking clean, lukewarm water to replace any fluids lost during the practice.
    11. Practice Regularly: Consistency is key. Incorporate Dhauti Kriya into your yoga routine regularly for optimal benefits.
    12. Seek Guidance: If you’re unsure about any aspect of Dhauti Kriya, consult a qualified yoga instructor or practitioner for guidance and clarification.

    Remember, Dhauti Kriya is a gradual practice that requires patience and commitment. Start with the basics, and as you gain experience, explore more advanced types. Each step contributes to your overall well-being and internal purification.

    Dhauti Kriya for Weight Loss

    Dhauti Kriya holds untapped potential for those on a weight loss journey. This practice aids weight management by cleansing the digestive tract, boosting metabolism, and reducing bloating. It cultivates mindfulness, making you more attuned to your body’s hunger cues and preventing overeating.

    Additionally, Dhauti Kriya contributes to detoxifying the body, which enhances nutrient absorption and waste elimination, thus promoting overall efficiency in processing calories. Its holistic approach not only supports physical transformation but also boosts confidence, creating a well-rounded strategy for sustainable weight loss when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise.


    In summation, Dhauti Kriya designed to purify both the body and mind. It encompasses 4 types, each tailored to cleanse specific parts of the digestive tract. Dhauti Kriya’s primary benefits include enhanced digestion, detoxification, respiratory improvement, and even potential weight management support.

    Through this practice, individuals can embark on a journey towards holistic health and vitality, aligning themselves with the age-old principles of yoga. Whether you choose Danta Dhauti for oral cleansing, Vatsara Dhauti for air-based purification, or any other type, Dhauti Kriya invites you to embrace a transformative path towards a healthier and harmonious life. It’s not merely a physical practice but a profound tool for achieving balance and well-being in the modern world.

    FAQs on Dhauti Kriya

    Is Dhauti Kriya suitable for beginners?

    Dhauti Kriya can be practiced by beginners, but it’s essential to start with basic types like Danta Dhauti or Vatsara Dhauti and seek guidance from an experienced yoga instructor.

    Can Dhauti Kriya aid in weight loss?

    Yes, Dhauti Kriya can contribute to weight loss by improving digestion, metabolism, and reducing bloating.

    Are there any side effects of Dhauti Kriya?

    When practiced correctly, Dhauti Kriya typically doesn’t have side effects. However, improper practice or overexertion can lead to discomfort or injury. Always practice under guidance.

    Can I practice Dhauti Kriya during pregnancy?

    Dhauti Kriya is not recommended during pregnancy. Consult a healthcare professional and experienced yoga instructor for suitable practices during this time.

    How often should I practice Dhauti Kriya?

    The frequency of Dhauti Kriya depends on your experience and goals. Beginners may practice 1-2 times a week, while advanced practitioners can do it daily. Listen to your body’s signals.

    What should I eat before and after Dhauti Kriya?

    Consume a light meal 2-3 hours before practice to ensure you have energy but your stomach must be almost empty. Afterward, drink lukewarm alkaline water to rehydrate and support the cleansing process.

    How long does a typical Dhauti Kriya session last?

    The duration of a Dhauti Kriya session varies based on the type and your experience. It can range from 15 minutes to an hour. Start with shorter sessions and gradually extend the time.

    What should I do if I experience discomfort during Dhauti Kriya?

    If you feel discomfort, pain, or dizziness, stop the practice immediately. Consult a yoga instructor for guidance and ensure proper technique and alignment.


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