In yoga as we know there are mentioned various measures both physical as well as mental which when followed bring about the cleansing of the physical as well as the mental imbalances.
Therefore in the Vedas and yoga these cleansing measures are often known as the Shatkarma (or cleansing exercise). So Nauli is referred to as kriya or shatkarma. It benefits by cleansing the abdominal region including digestive organs, & small intestine. When performed it produces a massage of the internal belly via circulatory movement of the abdominal muscles. Nauli is included in Huth Yoga but must be performed only under guidance or by experts. Nauli is generally recommended for constipation bringing about the cleansing of the small intestine and eradicating digestive problems.
This helps in the regeneration, and the stimulation of the abdominal viscera and the gastro-intestinal or the alimentary system. So we can also refer to it as abdominal massage. Since it bring about the massage of the inner organs by isolating the rectus abdominus muscles and rolling them over. In Sanskrit nauli is obtained from the word nala or nail meaning a tubular vessel. Nauli thus is a practice of contracting and isolating the abdominal muscles.
Nauli bestows its practitioner with removal of indigestion, sluggish digestion increasing the jatha-ragni. Nauli even tones abdominal muscles, nerves, intestines, reproductive, excretory and the urinary organs. Even balances the endocrine system and controls the production of the sex hormones.
Nauli is a very difficult exercise that can only be learned by practice and determination. There are four different variations that can be learnt on after another:
This is the isolation of the central muscles of abdomens. Stand with feet at least 2 feet apart. Now bend slowly and place hands on your knees. Exhale completely performing Uddayan Bandha. Gently pressing the arms draw up the abdominal muscles. Forcing rectus muscle to stand out.
Isolated contraction of the left part of central muscles of abdomen. After forcing the rectus muscle to stand out now separate it on left side of the abdomen.
Isolated contraction of right part of central muscles of abdomen. Similarly the right side of abdomen should be separated. These can be performed by applying pressure on the thighs with your hands.
Circular movement of central muscles of abdomen. After the separation of the rectus muscles now make an attempt to churn or roll it from the left side to the center and then from right to the center in one smooth motion. Do so one after another in quick succession. It is mandatory that this kriya must be performed empty stomach.
Benefits of Nauli Kriya:
- Prevents the occurrence of various abdominal ailments.
- Improve intestinal peristalsis thus reducing constipation.
- Benefits the sexual organs and prevents various sexual disorders.
- Generates heat into the body stimulating the digestive power and increasing metabolism and bringing about the removal of toxins.
- Stimulates the immune system and removes lethargy.
- Especially useful in alleviating constipation, indigestion, nervous diarrhea, acidity, flatulence, depression, hormonal imbalance, sexual and urinary disorders, laziness, lack of energy and emotional disturbances too.
- Liver, spleen and various glands are influenced by its practice.
- Appetite increases.
Individual’s suffering from sprue, or from swellings of the intestine must not practice nauli. Individuals suffering from high blood pressure, peptic ulcers, hernia, pregnant women, or individuals above 49 years of age must not practice nauli.