Instagram is always littered with the latest of health trends, and its next fitness craze is out of this world.
It’s known as ‘alien yoga’ on the social media network, thanks to how your stomach looks during the new exercise movement that has you contorting your stomach in a strange way. The exercise is traditionally known as ‘nauli’, and has existed for roughly 500 years. In some yoga traditions, it’s one of the first exercises taught to new students. It’s been an uncommon sight in Western yoga tradition, but that may be changing.
This begs the question: is it a fitness trend worth following?
Can you tell which is my strong side? #practicemakesperfect ???♀️? I had such a blast creating this video w/ @aloyoga a few months ago and it’s SO damn exciting to finally share it and my first ebook, coming soon!! Your questions and comments make me laugh so hard ???♀️ it’s called #nauli, no it doesn’t hurt, yes it’s healthy (incredibly so) anybody can learn to do it, there are tons of benefits- which I’ll tell you more about soon!! SO MUCH LOVE! #aloyoga
The yogic cleansing exercise is supposed to cleanse the internal organs, while strengthening the core area. The practice has the yogi rolling their abdominal muscles from side to side, like a wave. It looks difficult, but it’s a fairly simple move practiced by many yogis across diverse age groups.
The complete nauli exercise is made up of four movements. According to Nauli.org, the four steps require:
- Uddiyana bandha: an abdominal lock accomplished by emptying your lungs and pulling the abdomen in and up under the rib cage
- Madhyana nauli (central nauli): the isolated contraction of the central abdominal muscles.
- Vama nauli (left side nauli): the isolated contraction of the left side of the abdominal muscles.
- Daksina nauli (right side nauli): the isolated contraction of the right side of the abdominal muscles.
The site also recommends refining the technique with an expert yogi instructor. They also advise that pregnant women, as well as people with hernias, hypertension, heart disease, ulcers, or various gastrointestinal ailments to stay clear of nauli.
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