Nauli – Stage 2 | Abdominal Rotation

Preparation

Only if you have mastered the preparatory stage, nauli, stage l1, should you begin to practise stage 2 as described here. Otherwise continue to practise stage 1. Do not attempt stage 2 prematurely.

Body position

You should stand with your hands on your thighs, legs slightly bent and feet slightly apart1.

Technique

Stand in the correct position.

Relax the whole body.

Breathe out deeply.

Accentuate the exhalation by contracting the abdominal muscles into uddiyana bandha.

Hold the breath.

Do madhyama nauli.

Then do vama nauli (contraction on left side).

Then uddiyana bandha.

Do dakshina nauli (contraction on the right side).

And finally madhyama nauli again.

This is 1 complete rotation of the abdominal muscles.

The whole movement should be smooth and rhythmical.

Do more rolling movements or rotations.

Do as many rotations as you can with one breath retention.

Do not strain.

Stop the churning movement.

Relax the abdominal muscles.

Breathe in.

This is the end of 1 round.

Wait for a short time while allowing the heartbeat to return to normal.

Then again breathe out and do uddiyana bandha.

Hold your breath.

Rotate the abdominal muscles in the opposite direction; that is, madhyama, dakshina, uddiyanya, vama and finally madhyama again.

Do more rapid rotations, while retaining the breath.

Then release the contraction of the muscles and slowly breathe in.

This is the end of the second round.

Do some more rounds if you have the energy, rotating the muscles first anticlockwise and then clockwise.

Do not strain.

At first you will find rotation difficult, but with practice it will become easier; you will gain more and more conscious control over the muscles.

Breathing

Breathe out deeply before doing madhyama nauli. Hold the breath while rolling the abdominal muscles. Breathe in after releasing madhvama nauli. Breathe normally for a short period between rounds.

Speed of rotation

The speed can be very rapid or slow; it does not matter. The important thing is that the rotation should be rhythmical and combined with a strong contraction of the abdominal muscles.

Number of rounds and rotations

At first you should do no more than 10 rotations in each round. The rotations can be slowly increased up to a maximum of about 25 Beginners should only do 2 or 4 rounds, no more. As you gain more control over the muscles the number of rounds can be increased up to a maximum of 10. This is sufficient for most people.

Utility in other techniques

Nauli is an integral part of basti2 and vastra dhauti1. These are two important hatha yoga techniques (shatkarmas) which will be fully explained in the near future.

Nauli is not an easy practice to describe nor learn from a book. If you have any problems we suggest that you contact an experienced local teacher or ashram.

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