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Gajakarni Kriya
Home > Hatha Yoga > Yogic Cleansing > What is Gajakarni Kriya in Yoga and Ayurveda?


Gajakarni Kriya is one of the internal cleansing practices in yoga and Ayurveda. It is a type of Antar Dhauti. As such, it is the process of purifying the digestive tract using regurgitating. There are two more regurgitating processes available for internal yogic cleansing namely Kunjal Kriya and Vyaghra Kriya. They are similar practices with subtle differences.

Kujanl Kriya is the regurgitating process in which fingers are used, whereas Gajakarni requires no such external trigger. One needs to perform Kunjal or Gajakarni on an empty stomach, whereas the yogi performs the Vyaghra Kriya after three hours of taking food.

But, according to Hatha Tattva Kaumudi, Gajakarni is the practice that requires an external trigger.

Gajakarni is the practice of vomiting with great force the contents of the stomach by stimulating and raising the Apana Vayu by inserting a stalk of castor leaf into the throat. The Yogi gets proficiency by regular practice. The great sages like Garga call this Gajakarni.

Hatha Tattva Kaumudi

However, in this article, Gajakarni means the practice that does not require external triggers.

In this article, we discuss the meaning, steps, and benefits of Gajakarni.

Gajakarni Meaning

गजकरणी (Gajakarani) is a Sanskrit word that means the technique of elephant or the Elephantine Process. Elephants drink water through their trunk and squirt the water outside like a stream. The regurgitating process looks similar to the technique and hence this name.

Some people call it Gaja Karma Kriya.

Gajakarni Kriya Steps

The following are the steps of Gajakarni Kriya

Step 1

First, take two liters of warm water. Add teaspoons of salt to it and mix it up well.

Step 2

Drink the water according to your capacity as fast as you can. There should not be a long gap between drinking. This is because the water should not get digested.

Step 3

Stand near a sink. Then, lean forward and place your palms on your knees. Relaxing the body open the mouth and inhale slowly. While doing so, contract the stomach just below your ribcage.

Step 4

At the end of inhalation, retain the contraction and exhale. The water should gush out with exhalation. If it does not come out, repeat Step 3. This is an advanced practice and one should learn this directly from a Guru.

Precautions and Practice Tips

All precautions and contraindications that apply to Kunjal Kriya shall apply to this technique also. The same practice tips may be followed. One should master Kunjal Kriya first before starting this practice.

Gajakarni Kriya Benefits

The following are the benefits of the Regurgitative Technique of Elephant.

  • It tones up all internal organs and improves their functions.
  • Also, it boosts digestive power and prevents indigestion and other digestive disorders. Moreover, it brings out the undigested food, if any.
  • Besides, it removes the excess mucus and facilitates respiratory functions.
  • Moreover, it is a good preparatory practice for Vyaghra Kriya.

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