Nauli: Abdominal Churning
“With the head bent down, one should turn the intestines of the abdomen to the right and left with the slow motion of a small eddy in the river. This is called nauli by the siddhas. This nauli, the crown of Hatha Yoga practices, drives away the dullness of the gastric fire, increases the digestive power, produces a pleasing sensation and destroys all diseases and disorders of the humours.”
Uddiyana bandha and nauli are the best exercises for strengthening the abdominal muscles that assist in the elimination of waste products. Moreover, the manipulation of these muscles increases circulation.
Both uddiyana bandha and nauli strengthen the abdominal muscles and remove sluggishness of the stomach, intestines and liver.
In a standing position, place the hands firmly on the thighs, legs apart and bend slightly forward. Forcefully exhale. Draw the navel and intestines upwards, so that the abdomen rests against the back of the body high in the thoracic cavity. Hold the abdomen in the raised position as long as possible, without inhaling. This can be repeated five to eight times with brief intervals to rest. It may be practiced daily.
Agni Sara (Dhauti)
Holding uddiyana bandha, contract the left and right sides of the abdomen. This brings the abdominal muscles into a vertical line. After mastering the central nauli, the nextstep is to master the side-to-side churning abdomen.
This should not be practiced by pregnant women – or if a person is having abdominal cramps or pain.