In Hatha Yoga, there is an abdominal massage method called Nauli or Nauli Kriya. The advantages of Nauli are enormous. It is one of the six Shatkarma purifying techniques used in Hatha Yoga. Practitioners of the Nauli can stay healthy and energetic.
But for newcomers, perfecting this approach is not simple. Depending on your physical condition, zeal, and work, it can take anything from three months to a year to perfect it.
The abdominal organs of the stomach, liver, spleen, urine bladder, pancreas, gall bladder, and intestines are all massaged by the potent technique known as nauli. The lower organs’ pristine health is preserved as a result.
The ability to isolate the rectus abdominis muscle, also known as the “abs” muscle, in the abdomen is essential for mastering the Nauli technique. These muscles can be found on either side of the abdomen, and they run vertically and parallel from the top of the lower ribs to the bottom of the pubic region.
In Nauli, there are three fundamental practices.
This muscle is known as Vama Nauli when it is isolated to the left, and Dakshina Nauli when it is isolated to the right. It is referred to be Madhya Nauli when both the left and right muscles are focused in the centre. In addition to this, muscular rotation is undertaken.
In the company of a certified yoga instructor, nauli must be learned. Early in the morning, when the stomach and bowels are empty, is the greatest time to perform the exercise. One should wait at least 5 to 6 hours after a substantial meal before beginning this activity. Avoid practising too much as this may result in dyspepsia and loose motion. In such situations, stop practising for a few days and seek advice from a yoga professional.
How is Madhya Nauli performed?
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and hands on your thighs.
- Draw in a deep inhale, and then hiss the air out forcefully.
- Keep your belly inward and upward contraction (towards the sternum). It is known as Uddiyana Bandha. The starting position for all Nauli kriyas is this.
- Hold the breath while attempting to pull the two “abs” muscles (rectus abdominis) toward the centre. No breathing is necessary. The air is sucked out of the lungs and the breath is stopped (also called Bahya Kumbhaka in Yoga). An initial effort is required for this. Isolating the rectus abdominis muscles is the biggest challenge. Then, for at least a few seconds, you must focus and hold it in the centre. Practice is necessary for this.
- Inhale deeply, then let the posture go. Rise up straight into a standing position. Before attempting again, take a few slow, natural breaths.
- Several times, depending on your ability, do this.
- For a beginner, mastering this could take three months to a year. Remain patient. The advantages are substantial once you grasp it.
How is Vama Nauli performed?
- Adopt the same posture as during the last practice. Follow the Madhya Nauli practice’s instructions for steps 1 through 3.
- Prepare to undertake Vama Nauli after performing Bahya Kumbhaka and forcing your breath out. Only the left rectus abdominis muscles are separated and brought forward in Vama Nauli. As a result, the right side will develop a cavity, and the left side will develop a muscular protrusion. Hold this position for a short while.
- Come to a standing position by taking a breath in and letting it out. Repeat the process after a few deep breaths.
How is Dakshina Nauli performed?
- The process is the same as Vama Nauli’s prior practise.
- The right abdominis muscles are flexed and isolated in place of the left abdominis muscles, which is the difference.
Once one has mastered the three different Nauli, they can try rotating their ab muscles clockwise. Try the same thing in the opposite direction as well. This appears to be the ‘abs’ muscles spinning both from left to right and right to left. This is a very effective method for toning the abdominal organs. The liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, stomach, intestines, and other organs receive a satisfying massage. This ensures the health of all these organs if done frequently.
Benefits from Nauli Kriya
- The entire abdominal region, including the muscles, nerves, intestines, reproductive, urinary, and excretory organs, is massaged and toned by the nauli kriya.
- It is a workout for the stomach, liver, spleen, urine bladder, pancreas, gall bladder, big and small intestine, and other internal organs.
- It aids in the body’s ability to increase gastric fire and flush out harmful substances from the digestive system.
- This kriya increases body temperature while promoting assimilation, absorption, excretion, digestion, and appetite. Nauli is also regarded as a cure-all for weight loss or belly fat because it targets the extra fat that is present in the abdominal muscles directly.
- Nauli strengthens the core by concentrating on the “rectus abdominis” muscle, which is the source of six-packs.
- It enhances mental performance by opening the Manipura chakra, often known as “the reservoir of prana.”
- The immune system can be strengthened with the use of nauli kriya.
- By balancing the flow of energy throughout your body, Nauli Kriya provides you strength and vitality.
- Nauli Kriya is a delicate technique that ought to only be practised under the supervision of a qualified guide or master.
- If you experience any abdominal pain or discomfort while performing the nauli kriya, you should cease the kriya right once. Try again the following day with more awareness and less, controlled force.
- People who have heart problems, high blood pressure, a hernia, gallstones, an acute peptic ulcer, or constipation shouldn’t attempt the Nauli Kriya.
- Avoid Nauli Kriya following surgery, especially if it involves the abdomen.
- Nauli kriya should not be attempted or practised by a pregnant lady.
- Book: Hatha Yoga Pradipika: Light On Hatha Yoga, commentary by Swami Mukti Bodhananda [link]
- Book: Hatha Yoga – The report of a personal experience, by Theos Bernard
- Book: Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Swami Swatmarama (Original Author), translation by published The Big Nest
- Book: Hatha Yoga Pradipika: A Manual of Kriya Yoga by Shailendra Sharma