The Hatha Yoga Pradipika states that Nauli kriya is one of the nine shatkarmas or purification practices in hatha yoga, in the process of which the abdominal muscles are involved. The word “nauli” means “wave” or “shaking up the stomach”. Nauli stimulates the digestive fire, thereby removing toxins, indigestion, and constipation. It is the technique of Nauli that makes it possible to say goodbye to the problem of poor digestion and imbalance in doshas.
Mastery of the three locks, Mula, Uddiyana and Jalandhara Bandha, is a must to practice Nauli.

PLEASE NOTE: I highly recommend practicing all the techniques for the first time under the guidance of a professional yoga teacher. And only after that train at home.

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Nauli Kriya – A step by step guide

1.Mula Bandha. Root Lock
“Mula” – means root, “bandha” – means bond
Mula Bandha is a deep internal contraction, the lift under the bladder, vagina and uterus (or prostate), and rectum. The practice is similar to the Kegel exercises used to correct urinary incontinence and strengthen the vaginal walls after childbirth. To experience this, practice beginning to urinate and then interrupting the flow. But the isolated contraction of the muscles that control the flow of urine is just a half-way. For full Mula bandha, you must also lift the pelvic diaphragm. Muscles which extends from the pubis to the coccyx and supports the upper half of the vagina, the uterus, the bladder, the prostate, and the rectum. You should isolate the contraction of the perineum (the region between the anus and the genitals) and perineal body (which extends inward from the perineum and muscles of the pelvic floor) without contracting the anal sphincter. At first, you will probably contract other muscles of the pelvic floor along with the anal sphincter. It’s normal. To feel the perineum, press a finger into the space between the anus and scrotum or labia. Or try to sit for a few minutes with a heel of your foot placed in the space between the anus and genitals. Switch between anal and perineal contractions until you can feel the difference. Eventually, with correct practice, the anus will soften and lift into the body.

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Nauli Kriya – A step by step guide

2.Uddiyana-bandha. Upward Abdominal Lock
“Uddiyana” – means upward

“Even an old person can become young when Uddiyana Bandha is done regularly” (Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika 3.58).

There are a few important points to remember when beginning the practice of Uddiyana Bandha:
– practice only on an empty stomach
– only after an exhalation, never before an inhalation.
– during the time you hold the bandha, also perform Jalandhara Bandha. (Chin lock)

1.Stand with your feet slightly apart, eyes open. Round your torso forward, put your hands on thighs.

2.Inhale deeply through your nose, then exhale quickly through the mouth. Contract your abdominal muscles fully to push as much air as possible out of your lungs.

3.Then relax your abdominals. Then try to expand(even lift a little) your rib cage as if you were inhaling. The expansion of the rib cage (without the inhalation) sucks the abdominal muscles and viscera up into the thorax and hollows the belly.

4.Perform a chin lock, and hold the breath for 10-15 seconds, or less (for the first times). Then slowly release the abdominals, raise your head and inhale normally.

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Nauli Kriya – A step by step guide

3.Jalandhara Bandha. Chin lock
‘Jal’ – means the web, and ‘Dhar’ – stopping the flow
Begin by sitting in a comfortable position.
1. Place your hands on your knees. Inhale deeply through the nose, and then retain your breath.
2. Drop your chin down and draw it back closer to your chest making a double chin. At the same time, lift your sternum towards your chin. Relax your shoulders away from your ears.
3. Hold as long as is comfortable and then lift your chin and finish your inhalation before releasing the breath.

NOTE: Avoid holding breath too long. Be sure to take an inhale while your head is upright. Hold the pose (and your breath) ONLY for as long as you are capable. Raise your head and inhale before you return to the pose.

Nauli Kriya – A step by step guide

Nauli is a contraction of the muscles that physicians call rectusabdomini (lat.), and the release of other abdominal muscles. Control over the right muscles allows you to select from them a tight line in the middle of the abdomen – Madhyama Nauli, and then rotate this line from left to right (clockwise) – Dakshina Nauli, or from right to left (counterclockwise) – Vama Nauli. Muscles that we need are two long vertical lines on the front wall of the abdomen – they go from the lower ribs down almost to the pubic bone. However, to perform the exercise, you will also need to use both oblique and transverse abdominal muscles.

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Nauli Kriya – A step by step guide

Madhyama Nauli :
1. Stand on the mat, the feet are widely apart (50-80 cm from each other). Slightly bend your knees and stand in the semicircle, resting your hands on the legs just above the knees (thumbs inwards). You can look at the belly.
2. We take a slow breath through the nose and a quick, powerful exhalation through the mouth, stretching out the lips with a tube; we perform respiratory retention after exhalation – and close Jalandhara bandha.
3. Now we draw in the belly (holding the breath), we perform Uddiyana-bandha. Hands-on knees.
4. Now, by mental effort, we release the muscles in the center of the abdomen (around the navel), as if relaxing the navel. A vertical muscle line appears on the abdomen – this is Madhyama Nauli – the “central wave”. At the same time, we draw the abdomen from both sides (where the waist is). The stronger the line in the center, the better. Hold the muscles for as long as possible (20-30 seconds, if possible). Holding the breath for half a minute should be already comfortable for the harmonious implementation of this practice!
5. To complete the removal of tension from the abdomen, raise the head and body. We take a slow, deep breath (the stomach expands). We relax in a normal rack several cycles of breathing.

Yoga-for-Beginners---Relaxation

Nauli Kriya-A step by step guide

Dakshina and Vama Nauli (moving the harness to the left and the right):
1. Stand on the mat, the feet are widely apart (50-80 cm from each other). Slightly bend your knees and stand in the semicircle, resting your hands on the legs just above the knees (thumbs inwards). You can look at the belly.
2. We take a slow breath through the nose and a quick, powerful exhalation through the mouth, stretching out the lips with a tube; we perform respiratory retention after exhalation – and close Jalandhara-bandha.
3. Now we draw in the belly (holding the breath), we perform Uddiyana-bandha. Hands-on knees.
4. Now – Attention, secret! – slightly raise the right hand (take off the knee), transferring the weight of the body to the left hand, while we try not to lean to the left. This trick allows “automatically” – to select the right muscles and shift the “wave” to the left.
5. To complete the practice – we remove Uddiyana-bandha, slowly raise our head, straighten and slowly inhale, breathing-in in control.
6. For Vama-Nauli, we start as usual, only in the other direction: we raise our left arm, the muscles move to the right.
7. Rest between sets! It is necessary to make some normal breathing before you start the next round.

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Nauli Kriya – A step by step guide

Nauli Benefits:
• Massage of internal organs.
• Helps to stabilize hormone rates.
• Strengthens and rejuvenates the nerves of the gastrointestinal tract.
• Strengthens peristalsis.
• Promotes the release of toxins from the digestive tract and cleansing of the rectum.
• Strengthens and rejuvenates all glands of internal secretion of the abdominal cavity.
• Energises distributes energy throughout the body.
• Cleans thin energy channels.
• Gives cheerfulness and lightness to the whole body.
• Gives clarity to your mind.
• Strengthens the rectus muscles of the abdomen.
• And for those who want a “flat stomach” – an incredible practice!
• Women after pregnancy are recommended to practice nauli to strengthen the abdominal and pelvic muscles. (time is individual, consult with your M.D )

Nauli – “gives birth to happiness” – Hatha Yoga Pradipika

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Nauli Kriya – A step by step guide

Despite all the benefits of Nauli, this technique may harm, if it is performed in the case of certain diseases or conditions of the body.

Do not practice in such cases:

  • presence of umbilical hernia (is an abnormal bulge that can be seen or felt at the belly button);
  • hypertension (high blood pressure);
  • severe heart disease;
  • the period after 1-2 months after the operation (any);
  • stones in the gallbladder;
  • peptic ulcer;
  • pregnancy
  • menstruation

Please comment below if you have any questions. I would be happy to help!

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