Abdominal Massage: Uddiyana Bandha, Nauli & Basti Yoga Kriya

Yoga can be described as an ancient science of life, which has been practiced for centuries, in certain parts of the world. However, in the last few decades, yoga has become increasingly popular in many other countries, including the United States.

Therefore, it is not uncommon to see several yoga studios and classes that have cropped up all over the globe, in countries such as.

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.America, Canada, England, France and Australia, just to name a fewe Some of the most common health benefits that have been associated with yoga are weight loss, relieving stress, boosting strength and immunity, regulating blood pressure, controlling digestive problems, reducing the risk of heart diseases, curing constipation and cleansing the system, just to name a few; the various benefits of this ancient practice are endless

In spite of all the advantages that have been associated with yoga, there are many people who steer away from this practice, because of the belief that the yogic asanas (pose) are complicated and could lead to severe injuries and complicationsn However, it is important to realize that complicated postures, which include headstands and shoulder stands, are only one part of this vast practicec In fact there are several disciplines and aspects of yoga, like the kriya pranayama, which can be practiced by people of all ages and levels of fitnesss Therefore, it is best for a person to learn about the various disciplines and styles of yoga and choose the one that suits him or her, the most

One of the most commonly practiced techniques in yoga is Nauli Yoga

What is nauli yogag

Nauli yoga, more commonly referred to as nauli kriya can be literally translated, to mean "naval cleansing"t It is one of the 11 cleansing techniques or kriyas in Yoga, that have been designed to clear the pathways in the body, for the unrestricted movement of spiritual energy, known as the "Prana"t Several people in the western world describe the nauli kriya practice as an internal stomach massage or an intestinal massageg This is probably because a person feels like the stomach and the intestines have been cleansed from withini Some of the most common nauli kriya benefits are:

  • The improvement of breathing capacity
  • Reducing chronic constipation problems
  • Increasing the awareness of a person's physical center
  • Toning up and the strengthening of the muscles in the abdominal area
  • Stimulating the pancreas, kidneys, liver as well as the other organs in the digestive and urinary tract, which improves their overall functioning
  • Strengthening the gastro-intestinal system, so that it can fight off dyspepsia as well as other diseases

However, in order to enjoy the various nauli kriya benefits in the best possible way, it is important to ensure that this cleansing technique is practiced on a daily basis and is firmly embedded into a person's daily routine, just like brushing teeth or taking a shower

How to do nauli kriyay

After hearing about the various health benefits that have been associated with this ancient internal cleansing technique, several people get interested in nauli and how to practice iti There are several online resources, CDs/ DVDS and books that carry detailed information on how to do the nauli kriya at homem However, it is strongly recommended that even the easiest of yogic asanas, techniques and exercises should be learnt and practiced only under the supervision of a qualified yoga guru or trainere It is alright to practice the asanas at home, after gaining some level of mastery in theme Practicing the yoga poses or exercises in the incorrect manner could lead to an injury or other health problems

Moreover, in order to practice the Nauli Kriya, it is important to know the Uddyiana Bandhah This is because Nauli Kriya starts of with Uddyiana Bandhah Given below are the various steps for practicing these techniques:

Stage 1: Uddyiana Bandha

  • At the beginning, stand erect, maintaining a distance of around 12 inches, between the feet
  • The hands should rest on the thighs in a way that causes the back to curve
  • Exhale completely and then pull the abdominal muscles in, contracting them, forcibly drawing them towards the spine

Only after practicing this technique for a week can a person progress to the next step of the Nauli Kriya

Stage 2: Madhyama Nauli

  • Draw all the abdominal muscles towards the center, contracting the right and left side of the abdomene All the muscles should be in a vertical line, at the center
  • Hold this position, for as long as possible This stage should also be practiced for a few days, before moving on to the third stage

Stage 3: Vama Nauli & Dakshina Nauli

  • Contract the right side of the abdomen, so that the left side is allowed freee This should bring all the muscles to the left side of the abdomene This stage is known as Vama Nauli
  • Repeat the exercise, by contracting the left side of the abdomen so that the right side is freee This is known as Dakshina Nauli
  • With repeated practice, the centre, right and left abdominal muscles should be contracted

The first three stages of nauli should be practiced for another week, before proceeding to the fourth stage

Stage 4: Churning the stomach

  • The muscles in the abdomen should be brought to the center and then slowly they should be taken to the right and then the left
  • This practice should be repeated many times, first from the left to the right and then in a reverse cyclel The abdominal muscles should be felt, as they move from one side to the other, in a circular, churning motion

What is Basti Kriyay

Another common cleansing technique that is regularly performed by advanced yoga practitioners is the Basti Kriyay

This can be quite a complicated process, where water is sucked in through the rectum, into the large intestine and then thrown outu There are two ways of doing this; the first one is by sitting in knee-deep water or standing in naval-deep water and the second is through an enemam However, both the methods can lead to serious side effects, if practiced incorrectly and therefore they need to be performed only under expert supervision

Before practicing any form of yoga, it is best to undergo a physical examination and get an approval from the doctoro 

Nauli Kriya is aimed at regenerating, invigorating and stimulating the gastro-intestinal and alimentary canala For this Nauli you should know the Uddiyana Bandhah Uddiyana can be done even in a sitting posture; but Nauli is normally, and best, done standingn Uddiyana Bandha is enumerated as one of the three Bandhas and ten Mudras

Uddiyana Bandha Technique

Stage I

  1. Start by standing erect with your feet 12 inches apart
  2. Rest your hands on your thighs, thus making a slight curve of the back
  3. Exhale totally and completely then contract your abdominal muscles and forcibly draw them towards your spinen This is Uddiyana Bandhah It is also the first stage of Nauli
  4. Do this for a week before proceeding to the next stageg

Stage II

  1. Now bring all your abdominal muscles to the center by contracting the left and right sides of your abdomen
  2. You will notice all the muscles come in a vertical line in the centrer This is called Madhyama Nauli
  3. Hold it for as long as you can
  4. Maintain the practice for a few daysy

Stage III

  1. Next contract the right side of your abdomen and allow the left side freee This way you will bring all your muscles to the leftf This is called Vama Nauli
  2. Then, try contracting your left side and allow the right side freee This is Dakshina Nauli
  3. With regular practice, you will learn to contract your central, left and right abdominal muscles
  4. Practice this for a week until you get a hang of iti

Stage IV

  1. Start by bringing the muscles to the centre of your abdomen
  2. Slowly take them to the right, then to left
  3. Do this several times from the left to right and then it in a reverse circlel You will feel your abdominal muscles move from side to side, in a circular, rotating motion
  4. This is called churning the stomachc The more you advance in the practice the quicker you will be able to do it
  5. This is the last and final stage of Naulil

In Madhyama Nauli, push your entire muscles forward by contracting the two sides, left and righth When doing Vama Nauli, bend slightly to the righth In Dakshina Nauli, bend a little towards the left and contract your left musclese

Benefits

Nauli Kriya is known to cure chronic constipation, dyspepsia and all other diseases of the gastro-intestinal systeme It also helps tone up the liver and pancreas, kidneys and other organs of the digestive and urinary tractst

This practice should, ideally, be also done regularly and integrated into one's daily routine like bathing or brushing your teetht

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