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Nauli In Yoga – Pulling Stomach Inside – Benefits

Nauli is employed in Yoga for removing impurities from different parts of the body. It involves contraction of the two front abdominal muscles and their movement to the left and right side. In Hatha Yoga Pradipika (II. 33-34), nauli is called the best among the six shuddhi kriyas (cleansing acts).

Nauli is practiced in a standing position. Keeping the hands pressing on the knees and bending the body slightly forward, the abdominal wall is pulled back after a deep expiration, holding the breath out and contracting the anus. This is called Uddiyana Bandha. In it the diaphragm is raised high up in the thoracic cavity. Giving a slight downward pull below the navel, the two abdominal recti are isolated in the front. This is called the central aspect of nauli (nauli-madhyama). When this is achieved, one can learn further to move the two muscles in quick succession to the left and right sides, which gives an appearance of a churning movement. This can be done in two directions, clockwise and counterclockwise. This is nauli calana. After sufficient practice, one may have three rounds in each direction.

Benefits Of Practicing Nauli

Nauli helps to overcome weakness of digestion, defecation, and sex-function, and increases vitality.

It should be practiced on an empty stomach after postural exercise and before pranayama (breath control).

It may be practiced every day.

The obese may, however, find it difficult to practice.