Number one guide to number two in India - the Yogic Elimination
When you are visiting India for the first time, it might come to you as a surprise that the rules for using the toilet are a little bit different there.
In many places, you will realize that there is no actual toilet to sit on. Instead, you will see an opening in the floor which will require mastering the squatting position.
Getting in the right posture is one thing, calibrating it to make sure it is in the right place at the right time is another skill worth practicing ahead of time since the accuracy of our positioning is vital.
As an aspiring yogi, you might already be quite proficient at being able to get to this particular stance. If not, the recommended preparation at home might be the chair pose or utkatasana. This will help you strengthen the appropriate muscles and acquire the necessary precision.
Actually, squatting is said to be quite good for our health and elimination and there is even some science supporting this notion.
The requirement to have the ability to assume the proper position is only one of the challenges awaiting the unsuspecting foreigner.
The real “fun” begins when it is time to clean up the mess you’ve just produced.
You see, it just happens so, that when using a typical Indian toilet, you will probably not find toilet paper anywhere in sight.
Quite appropriately, since many of you come to India for spiritual reasons, the very first thought that might cross your mind in this situation is “Holly Shit!!”.
This is the time to get into a calm and meditative state which will allow you to assess the situation with tranquility.
You will see that what is usually provided is a simple bucket with water.
You must have heard the saying: “When in Rome do as the Romans do”!
Without further delay, we would like to present you with a simplified explanation of how to wash your bottom.
While still in a squatting down position, grab the bucket with water with one hand, lean slightly forward lifting up the area that needs to be cleaned, place the bucket behind your cheeks and start pouring water down in between them while helping with the other hand to get everything spanking clean! Repeat as needed until you have the feeling that the job has been done well. Now make sure you wash your hands with soap and - Voila! You’re done!
As you can see it turns out to be simple and effective and probably quite more efficient than what most of us are used to on the daily basis.
Who knows, maybe after the initial hesitation, this might become your new yogic habit?!
In case you need a more detailed instruction with visual cues, here you go:
P.S.: Very important! Do not just use the hand without water! :)
For other important information about getting ready to travel to India, such as what you can eat and drink in India, should you take vaccinations, what clothes should you wear, and certainly, how you can find good yoga classes, check our Yoga Guide to Rishikesh.