Nauli - Turning of the Abdominal Muscles
There is a rule in Yoga that each muscle should move at least once a day. This brings our energy back into flow and releases blockages. Energy is like water. Water that stands still becomes impure and putrid. On the other hand, flowing water always remains pure. This is the reason why we should also move the muscles of our abdomen and intestines daily. Nauli very effectively supports digestion and the elimination process.

As a preliminary exercise it is recommended to practice the following technique - Agnisara Kriya.

Agnisara Kriya
Technique: Stand with the legs slightly apart. >Inhale deeply through the nose. >Exhale fully through the mouth while slightly bending the knees, placing both hands on the thighs. >Straighten the arms. The back is straight, the head upright. Allow the abdominal muscles to relax. >Now without breathing, move the abdominal wall powerfully and quickly, in and out 10-15 times. >Inhale through the nose and stand upright again. >Repeat the exercise 3-5 times.

Benefits: Agnisara Kriya activates the Manipura Chakra and awakens the “digestive fire”. It has a stimulating effect on metabolism, strengthens the immune system and is helpful for diabetes.

Caution: Only practice on an empty stomach. Do not practice this technique during pregnancy, menstruation or after any abdominal operation. Consult a Doctor before practicing this technique if there is any disease of the intestine or pancreas.

Once the abdominal muscles have been strengthened for a few weeks through the practice of Agnisara Kriya, then one may begin to practice Nauli.

Nauli
Technique: Stand upright with legs slightly apart. >Inhale deeply through the nose. >Exhale through the mouth and bend forward, keeping the back straight. Bend the knees slightly and place both hands on the thighs. Draw in the muscles along the sides of the abdomen and at the same time contract the muscles that run parallel to each other in the centre of the abdomen (Rectus abdominus). In this way a strong suction effect is produced within the whole abdominal cavity. >When the impulse to inhale occurs, stand upright again and inhale. >This process can be repeated 5-6 times, or for as long as there is still power in the abdominal muscles. >After practicing for some time, it is then possible to move the Rectus abdominus from right to left, then left to right and also later, to move these muscles in a circular motion.

Benefits:
> Nauli strengthens the abdominal muscles and massages the intestines and organs of the lower abdomen. It regulates blood pressure and has a preventative effect against diabetes. Helpful for heartburn and skin diseases (acne).

> Nauli is one of the best exercises for our health, due to the stimulation and regulating effect upon the entire digestive system. Many illnesses have their origin in the digestive system: headache, skin diseases, sometimes also Cancer. Toxic substances and waste products that have not been excreted in a timely manner, are stored in the body - this is the cause of these misfortunes.

Caution: Practice on an empty stomach. Do not practice during pregnancy or if kidney or gallstones are present.

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