Cleansing the intestinal system as soon as you wake up in the morning is the best practice you can invest your time in. As we sleep, we go into a temporary fast. This moment provides an opportunity for the body to rest, and for the deeper systems to do what they do best. The gut gets the time to digest further and distribute nutrients into the bloodstream and be dropped off to where the body needs it. By the time we wake up, waste is ready to be released as a way to cleanse the body from toxins. To assist it along and free up the body for more energy, Agni Sara dhauti is the best tool.
What is the Practice of Agni-Sara?
Agni-Sara Dhauti is from a yoga practice that is usually done on a daily basis or during a fast. Agni means fire in Sanskrit. Agni-sara dhauti means rapidly initiating or churning the fire. Yoga traditions believe that it is that “fire” (or Agni) that is responsible for digesting and eliminating waste from the gut. With this practice, it feels like fire burning away the waste. It is best to do this practice on an empty stomach. That is why making it a morning practice upon waking up is ideal and can be more effective.
The ultimate benefits of doing this practice upon waking each morning, when you are constipated, or when fasting are:
- Healthy Cleansing of the Intestines
- Losing Residual Fat around the Belly
- Core Stabilizing
- Strong Abdominal Muscles
- Healthier Biles
- More Energy
How to do Agni-Sara Dhauti
- Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Take a deep breath in through the nose while raising your hands up overhead; then exhale all the air out from your mouth like you are throwing the breath from your lungs while bending the knees and placing the hands just above the knees. Hold all of your breath out by locking out the breath by closing the flap in the throat (Bahya Kumbhakaya). Hold as long as it’s comfortable. (NOTE: be mindful not to cause harm to yourself. If you are feeling light-headed, then gentle stop and make sure you feel stable before making quick movements. Do not push yourself until you pass out. Work your way up to holding the breath for longer periods of time.)
- With the throat locked and breath held out, press the hands into the thighs just above the knees and relax the hips so that your weight is released into the arms, legs, and feet. Expand the rib cage out, forcing the “vacuum” in the lungs to pull the belly in and up towards the inner rib cage. Then collapse the rib cage so that the belly can distend (expand). Repeat the rib cage expansion and collapse so that the belly rapidly moves from being sucked in and pushed out. (The initial stretch of the stomach in and up can be focused until the belly is more supple. When the belly is more pliable, convulse the rib cage rapidly so that it pulses the belly in and out. At first, this can be difficult and come with a good deal of sensation, but after a little while of practice the belly will become more supple and the hard lumps in the digestive tract will soften and move on. Then the belly will start to roll like a wave when the rib cage convulses, and the stimulation will radiate throughout the whole body.)
- When the urge to breath becomes noticeable, release the throat lock and allow the breath to rush in, and immediately start in on Kapalabhati until the need subsides.
- When the need subsides, bring the hands to the Hara (low belly) and breathe gently and relaxed.
Nauli is the same process but the hips subtly roll to engage the abdominal muscles in a fashion that creates a rolling from side to side in the stomach. Stay tuned for that post.