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Activate the Digestive Fire By Practicing Nauli Breathing

I’ve always been fascinated by the yogis who can manipulate their belly in nauli kriya. In the yogic tradition there is a common theme of purification. It’s believed that your body is the temple for the soul to reside and thus it must be pure.

Nauli is a body cleansing technique that has been practiced by yogis for years. It’s a way to kindle the gastric fires, tone the abdominal region, and massage the organs.

In ancient times, nauli was taught to very young students and yogis alike. It brought great health to the sadakas (students) and taught them about the udiyana bandha.

It’s important to remember that nauli should be practiced with an experienced teacher. You should also consult with your doctor if you’ve experienced complications in your abdomen in the past.

There are preliminary steps in order to attain the nauli. Those steps include udiyana bandha and agnisara kriya. These two steps help you develop and control the stomach muscles. These techniques combined with asana will help you move every muscle in your body.

Agnisara Kriya

Agnisara activates the digestive fire, strengthens the abdominal muscles, and is closely tied to manipura or third chakra.

Step-by-step:

1. Standing with your legs slightly bent at the knees and approximately hip distance apart, inhale through your nose.

2. Exhale fully through your mouth. Lower your chest toward your thighs and place your hands on your thighs.

3. Holding your breath during the exhale, straighten your arms and extend your back. Keep your head upright.

4. Relax your belly muscles and quickly pump your belly in and out 10-15 times.

5. Inhale slowly and stand.

Caution:

  • Do not practice this technique while pregnant, during menstruation, or after abdominal surgery.
  • Make sure to consult with a doctor before practicing this technique, in case you suffer from a digestive disorder.
  • Only practice on an empty stomach.

Nauli

Nauli is very similar to agnisara, but nauli goes deeper and requires a lot more control. Think of it as a vacuum sitting in your abdomen, sucking up the toxins that are sitting in your belly.

Step-by-step:

1. Standing with your legs slightly bent at the knees and approximately hip distance apart. Inhale through your nose.

2. Exhale fully through your mouth and lower your chest toward your thighs. Placing your hands on the thighs

3. Holding the breath on the exhale, draw in, and contract the muscles on both sides of the abdomen and the center or rectus abdominus.

4. Straighten your arms and create a strong suction effect in your abdomen. When you’re ready to inhale, straighten the body, release the belly, and let the breath in very gently.

5. Sometimes if the exhale is held too long it can cause a difficult inhale so make sure to keep it easy.

6. The length of the retentions will increase overtime. The muscles will strengthen so you can begin to move the muscles side-to-side similar to a wave in the ocean. This churning effect is said to bring great health and immunity to the digestive system.

Benefits:

Nauli strengthens the abdominal muscles and massages the intestines located in the lower abdomen. It’s said to increase metabolism and keep your blood pressure balanced.

Caution:

  • Only practice this technique on an empty stomach.
  • Do not practice if you are pregnant or if you currently suffer from kidney or gallstones.

Nauli should not cause discomfort and if there is any pain present, stop immediately. These practices are meant to keep you healthy, but they can be very powerful. By keeping the digestive system healthy you can bring many health benefits such as stress management and the relief of toxins.

Arianne Traverso
Arianne Traverso
Arianne's goal is simple: help people achieve their physical and spiritual goals with a lighthearted approach. With over 10 years experience teaching as a dynamic Hatha-Vinyasa and Senior AcroYoga instructor, Arianne focuses on the healing aspects of yoga to unleash the unlocked potentials in the body, meditation, and connecting within. Through teacher trainings, yoga retreats, healing Thai massage sessions, and Miami's pioneer of Zrii Ayurvedic Products, Arianne can create changes in people's lives for the better! As co-owner of TRIO Studios based in Wynwood, Miami, Arianne teaches workshops and trainings across the world. The broad horizon of her experience infuses her classes with fun and the sense that one can achieve anything. Arianne's expertise in yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage helps students to build their own well-balanced understanding of the practice through the use of clear, technical teaching skills, compassionate adjustments, breath connection, and intuitive body awareness.

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