In English Nauli Kriya is sometimes called ‘isolation of the belly’ because you need to isolate your belly muscles, bring them together and push them out.
How to perform Nauli
You need to be able to perform Uddiyana Bandha before you start practicing Nauli. Otherwise it is impossible for you to learn Nauli. Take the advice of an experienced yoga teacher to learn this Kriya.
This practice can be done both in sitting in standing but beginners should start in standing.
Keep your feet about 30 centimeters apart from each other to have a firm stand. Perform two rounds of Dirgha Pranayama, then inhale deeply while bringing your arms above your head. Exhale with force from the open mouth and bend down completely to bring out all the air from your belly.
Then you come up a bit more than half, so that you are still a bit bent forward and place your hands on your thighs. Now you make the abdominal lock, Uddiyana Bandha and in the next step contract your belly muscles and bring them out in the middle. To do this you use the rectus abdominis muscle which is commonly known as the six pack muscle. Bringing this central abdominal muscle out visibly is called ‘Madhyama Nauli’.
You can practice this central Nauli and when you have mastered it, move on to do ‘Vama Nauli’ and ‘Dakshina Nauli’, Nauli on the left and right side. To do this, you do not bring out the central muscle in the middle but its left or right side.
Once you have mastered these two practices, you can start moving your Nauli from right to left and left to right.
As the last and most advanced practice you now rotate your Nauli clockwise and anticlockwise.
When you have achieved a good practice of Nauli, you can perform it in sitting as well.
Benefits of Nauli
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika says that Nauli is the crown practice of all Hatha Yoga exercises and is able to cure all defects and diseases. This sounds great and although one cannot take the word ‘all’ literally, it is definitely a very beneficial practice.
When practicing Nauli, you quickly realize that it gives a good massage to all your internal organs. This massage is great for your kidneys and liver, your bladder and your urinary tract, pancreas and gall bladder and prostate gland or ovaries and reproductive organs.
The effect of this massage on your digestive system is obviously a stimulation which can, with regular practice, prevent constipation problems.
Nauli detoxifies the body which is why it is a Kriya, a cleansing practice.
By the stimulation of the kidneys, many problems of urination can be cured and prevented. For men additionally the work with the prostate gland helps those issues. If you have frequent urge to urinate, also during night, if you have a very strong and sudden urge so that a toilet cannot always be reached, if the stream or urination is slow and lacking force or does not stop properly when you have finished as well as the feeling that even when you are done, you feel that the bladder is not empty and you have to go to toilet soon again, regular practice of Nauli can help. Other, similar problems are the urination without being aware of it and leakage of urine during intercourse, coughing or exercise. With the kidney and bladder massage that takes place with proper exercise, these problems may soon be part of your past.
Additionally the stimulation of the kidneys improves their filtering function and thus Nauli is good for people suffering from diabetes.
Men who suffered from prematre ejaculation are said to have recovered by regular practice of Nauli.
Of course women also benefit from the practice of Nauli. Almost all gynecological problems from menstrual disorders and pain during menstruation up to problems with ovaries and womb can be prevented by Nauli.
The aim is not to rotate your Nauli as fast as possible but to do it properly. Train yourself to do it slowly, you will notice that it is much harder and much more effective than doing it very fast.
Tips and Help
When you start rotating your Nauli, you can help the movement by slightly moving your hips in a circle. This helps you do the circular movement of the Nauli. Later, when you have better control on your Nauli, you will be able to do it without your hip movement.
During or after the practice of Nauli you may feel the urge to urinate. This is completely normal and you should follow this urge of your body.
When to Avoid Nauli
Do Nauli only on empty stomach as it will otherwise cause you pain. Also do not perform Nauli if you have the urge to go to toilet or if you have hickups.
If you have a cold and are frequently coughing or sneezing, refrain from your practice as well.
Do not perform Nauli during pregnancy.
As Nauli is an advanced practice, only exercise it when you are completely healthy. If you have any doubt, please consult your doctor and tell your ygoa teacher about it.
The practice of Nauli is definitely not good for heart patients and people suffering of hypertension, colitis, ulcers, intestinal cancer, blood pressure, diarrhea, hernia or stones in gall bladder or kidney.