We all love the inspiring fitness feed on Instagram. We spend hours looking at the videos of those free-spirited yoga practitioners who are exercising on beautiful beaches or in all the amazing places. Many of us willingly try to do the same poses not only for a great picture, but also in everyday life, when stretching after a workout. The warrior pose, the cobra pose and the bridge pose are one of the most photo-friendly and thus the most frequently photographed poses. Recently, however, it is the alien pose, traditionally known as Nauli, that has become a real craze.
What is Nauli?
Nauli is a technique for abdominal massage in Hatha Yoga that engages all the belly muscles. It is claimed to have a detoxifying effect on our bodies and, if practiced every day, it boosts metabolism. “Not only is Nauli incredibly effective in building a functionally strong core and helping with digestion, but it’s a quick and effective method of kickstarting my core engagement,” says a pro yogi Aubry Wiltcher. “The most prominent sensation is an interesting stretch and suction located on both sides of my stomach, almost exactly between my belly button and my hip points.”
This technique is not taught in a regular yoga class! As it may be complicated to master, the method is usually practiced by more advanced and experienced yogis. Nonetheless, it is definitely worth to try and find a Nauli yoga instructor. Due to the stimulation and regulating effect upon the entire digestive system, it is said to be the best exercises for our health. Practicing the pose on a regular basis can help counteract food cravings and overeating, resulting in slimmer, tightened belly. Isn’t it why we love yoga so much? It can fix our bodies from inside out without restrictive diets!!
How to do Nauli?
According to The Hatha Yoga Pradipika you just need to “Lower the shoulders. Revolve the stomach left and right with the speed of a strong whirlpool.” Yet, I feel that this step-by-step description might be a bit clearer:
- Start with the feet about hip-width distance.
- Bend the knees slightly and hinge the hips forward .
- With your arms straight, place your hands on the thighs, right above the knees.
- Lower the chin, place it on the top of the breastbone/sternum, in-between the collarbones.
- Inhale comfortably and exhale quickly to force out all the air from the lungs
- Push and isolate the rectus abdominal muscles forward. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
- Relax the rectus abdominal muscles and inhale slowly.
- Repeat steps 1-6 isolating the right side of the rectus abdominal muscles, then repeat steps 1-6 isolating the left side of the rectus abdominal muscles.
For those who would prefer to see it done with their own eyes, there are many yogis who have been demonstrating their Nauli moves on Instagram and YouTube: @aubrymarie, @kellygreenyoga, and @yellabella