What is Nauli ?

In Sanskrit: Hollow stalk or reed that runs up the core of the body.


Nauli according to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika Chapter 2

33. Sitting on the toes with heels raised above the ground, and the palms resting on the ground, and in this bent posture the belly is moved forcibly from left to right, just as in vomiting. This is called by adepts the Nauli Karma.

34. It removes dyspepsia, increases appetite and digestion, and is like the goddess of creation, and causes all happiness. It dries up all the disorders. This is an excellent exercise in Hatha Yoga.

How do you perform Nauli?

This exercise can be performed in many different positions although only one is mentioned above in the old manual of Hatha Yoga.

It looks like rippling waves of energy moving through the abdominals and is performed only when all the air has been exhaled from the lungs.

It is something that belly dancers are very good at and probably helps in giving them their healthy glow.

It can be done form left to right or right to left but is most often done up and down or down and up. It is not usually done in combinations as it is hard for most people to hold their breath for a long period of time after exhalation. This is why it is usually performed by advanced yoga practitioners or under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher.

It is good to perform some other breathing techniques before moving on to Nauli. The other techniques will help the practitioner hold their breath for longer after exhalation.


The body and mind naturally move into a state of panic if no air is drawn in after exhalation so they must be trained to be calm during the retention after exhalation.

This exercise is performed only after Bahya Kumbhaka the retention after exhalation and the lockĀ Uddiyana Bandha have been mastered as it is an extension of these techniques.


Based on a book by B.K.S Iyengar
Light on Pranayama: The Yogic Art of Breathing

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