See the ongoing Yogasangalu translation project for the translation so far.
Translation by Satya Murthy.
You know that some people believe and practice these as parts of yoganga. However, these are not in Patanjaladarshana which is the basis of all yoga. They are also not described in other texts and Upanishads. These are described only Hathayogapradipika and Gherunda samhita. However, in Hathayogapradipika, although Swatmarama has said
मेधःश्लेष्ह्माधिकःपर्वं षट्कर्माणि समाचरेत्।
अन्यस्तु नाचरेत् तानि दोषाणां समभावतः॥
Medhah shleshmadhikah parvam shatkarmani samacharet।
Anyastu nacharet tani goshanam samabhavatah ॥
Many people continue to practice it without learning the mystery, endangering themselves and bringing bad reputation to yoga which is very unfortunate.
There are six different types: 1. Dhouti 2. Basti 3. Neti 4. Nauli 5. Trataka and 6. Kapala bhati
1. Dhouti kriya
The first dhouti kriya is further classified into four types: Antardhouti, Dantadhouti, Hruddhouti and Moola shodhana.
Antardhouti: This is again divided into four types; Vatasara, Varisara, Vahnisara, and Bahishkruta
Vatasara dhouti: Open your mouth like a crow’s beak and slowly inhale the air then close the mouth and swallow, from this wash your stomatch by moving it all around and then release it from the anus or by exhalation.
By doing this once, it is not possible to release the inhaled air through the anal opening. By practicing daily for not less than 25 times for several days, then on the 5th try, the air can be released through the anal opening.
Those who can not accomplish this can do it slowly through rechaka. This will give medium benefit. This Vatasara dhouti belongs to Rajayoga.
Benefits: Eliminates diseases of the heart, purifies blood and increases digestive power.
Varisara dhouti: Continue drinking clean water (cold or warm) until it comes up to your throat. Swirl the water in the stomach sideways, up and down, pull the stomach in and push it out and release through the anal opening. This belongs to laya yoga. This can be mastered by practicing several times a day.
Benefits: By removing impurities from skeletal joints and knots within the nervous system, causes the body to shine and increases jatara agni (Raja Yoga).
Vahnisara dhouti: The stomach along with the navel must be pulled in so as to touch the spine and then pushed forward again. Repeat this several times. While pulling the stomach in, practice rechaka kumbhaka and while pushing the stomach forward, practice puraka kumbhaka. Practice this before eating. If you want to practice this after eating, wait for atleast three hours. Otherwise, it is dangerous. This vahnisara dhouti must be practiced daily by repeating for 24 times (Raja yoga).
Benefits: This elimiates all types of stomach ailments
Bahishkruti dhouti: Form your mouth like a crow’s beak and inhale air to your capacity and hold (kumbhaka) as long as possible. Then exhale throught the nostirils (rechaka). This rechaka and kumbhaka is only for those who are practicing for the first time. This way, after inhaling, rechka kumbhaka must be practiced 25 times per day. This must be practiced in the morning or evening before taking food. If one keeps practicing this properly, it not only develops the ability to hold breath for long periods (kumbhaka), but also enables to perform rechaka through the anal opening. Once you are able to do this, you should not do rechaka through the nose. With this practice, one will be able to perform kumbhaka for up to 1.5 hours. After acquiring this power, stand in water up to navel level and very carefully and cautiously push out through the anal opening, “Shakti Nadi” (in the form of a big bag that spreads from lower abdomen all the way to Muladhara chakra). Wash it with water until it is clean and push it back through the same anal opening.
Warning: This kriya is only for hatha yogis and not for raja yogis, laya yogis and mantra yogis.
Benefits: Eliminates impurities throughout the body, provides shining to the body and prevents diseases from getting foothold in the body.
Danta Dhouti: This is divided into four types: Dantamoola dhouti, jihwamoola dhouti, karna dhouti and kapalarandra dhouti.
Dantamoola dhouti: Scrub the teeth daily in the early morning either with “kaggali” plant extract or with clean mud. Rinse out with clean water and rub the tongue with cow’s butter. After this hold the tip of the tongue with an iron tong lightly and pull it little by little. This is only for Hatha yogis.
Benefits: If this is practiced daily morning and evening without fail, helps in achieving kechari mudra, removes all defects in the tongue and improves clarity of speech.
Karna dhouti: Clean the ears using the index and ring fingers together, insert inside the ears and turn around.
Benefits: Eliminates deafness, prevents diseases of the ear and gives power to hear the inner nadam (sound).
Kapalarandra dhouti: Using the right thumb rub the uvula present in the back of the throat daily.
Benefits: This kriya must be practiced daily in the morning after getting up, after lunch in the afternoon and evening. This removes kapha dosha, cleans the nadis and gives good eye sight.
Hruddhouti: There are three types: Danda dhouti, vamana dhouti and vastra dhouti
Danda dhouti: A banana stem or a turmeric stem or a neem stick is swallowed through the mouth until the heart region and immediately withdrawn.
Benefits: It removes excess vata and pitta, eliminates heart diseases and improves overall health.
Vamana dhouti: Everyday after eating, drink water until the stomach is full and then fill the mouth with water. Lifting your head up, look up into the sky. After some time, spit out the water.
Benefits: Eliminates pitta and sleshma (kapha) and improves body health.
Vastra dhouti: Take a soft cloth that is 4 inches wide and 15 mozhams (mozham = half yard) long and soak it in water. Daily before sunrise, practice swallowing the wet cloth starting with one mozham length on the first day and increasing the swallowed amount daily by one mozam length, gradually taking it into the stomach and then carefully removing it. Progressively practice this once a day, then twice and so on increasing up to twelve times a day.
Benefits: In this way, after one develops the ability to swallow 15 mozhams of cloth daily without fail at the proper time, diseases such as gulmam (stomach ailment), fever, pleeha (spleen) and kapha (phlegm) are eliminated and the body will become strong and healthy.
Moola shodhana dhouti: Inserting a turmeric stem or the middle finger of the left hand into the anal cavity, clean the inside of the opening properly and wash it.
Benefits: Constipation, indigestion, and ama dosham (improperly digested toxic particles that clog the cavities) terrible diseases are eliminated. The body will glow and the Jataragni will increase.
2. Basti kriya
There are two types: Jala basti and Sthala basti
Jala Basti: Get into water up to navel height and sit in Utkatasana position. Using the force of kumbhaka, take up water through the anal opening. By repeating this twelve times, sufficient water will enter the lower abdomen. After this, in a systematic manner, push the water out through the anal opening. This must be performed three times a day.
Benefits: Removes many diseases caused by the bad “Apana vayu”. The physical body will obtain beauty and luster. This belongs to Hatha yoga.
Sthala basti: Sitting in Paschimottanasana, using “Ashwini mudra” draw in vayu and push it out while turning the stomach in all four directions.
Benefits: Removes constipation and indigestion and improves Jataragni. This is raja yoga.
3. Neti Kriya
Take a small thread that is twice the length of distance between the tip of the thumb and the tip of the little finger. Take it in through the two nostrils until the two ends comes out
through the mouth. Grab two ends of the thread with two hands and carefully pull it up and down 10 - 12 times and then remove the thread.
Benefits: Removes many types of diseases related to kapha. Improves eye sight and helps in developing the ability to perform Kechari mudra. This is Hatha yoga.
4. Naouli Kriya
The nerves of the lower abdomen are pulled into the stomach and rapidly turned sideways (left and right) and all around.
Benefits: Eradicates all diseases and improves digestive power. This is Raja yoga.
5. Trataka Kriya
Gazing continuosly at one object, without blinking eyelids until the eyes start to tear.
Benefits: Not only cures diseases of the eye and improves eye sight but also gives Shambhavi Mudra siddhi and removes long sight due to middle age.
6. Kapalabhati Kriya
This is divided into three types: Vyut krama, Vama krama and Sita krama
Vytkrama Kapalabhati kriya: Take in water through the nostrils and expel from the mouth. This
is Raja yoga.
Benefits: Removes diseases related to the phlegm.
Vama krama kapalabhati kriya: Inhale air through the left nostril and exhale through the right nostirl. Then inhale throught the right nostril and exhale throught the left nostril. After four times of doing this, take in clean water through the left nostril. Lift the face up, close the left nostril with fingers and tilt the head slightly to the right and expel water through the right nostril. Then take in clean water through the right nostril and expel through the left nostril.
Benefits: Prevents phlegm diseases related to runny nose. Improves the sense organs such that it can differentiate subtle variations. This is Raja yoga.
Sita krama kapalabhati kriya: Water ingested from the mouth is expelled 24 times through the nostrils.
Benefits: Eliminates diseases of the phlegm, prevents old age and imparts lustre to the body.
All kapalabhati kriyas must be done with cold water. Early morning is ideal. For the first fifteen days of practice, throat and nose will experience a burning sensation and you will experience cold like symptoms. Ignoring this symptoms and faithfully practicing the kriyas will quickly lead to benefits.