How to perform Uddiyana, Agni Sara and Nauli

UDDIYANA

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and turned out a little, hands on hips.
  • Take 20 Kapalabhati breaths to the stomach. Inhale, stretch the arms over your head and lengthen the abdominal muscles.
  • Open your mouth and extend the tongue out and down towards the tip of the chin as far as you can. Look up at your third eye. Exhale hard through the mouth with a “snake” sound.
  • Lean forward as you exhale completely. Keeping the lungs empty close your mouth, press your hands down into your bent knees or thighs, straighten your elbows and lift your lower front ribs up. Draw your chin into your chest (jalandhara bandha) and hold. Eyes and tongue soft.
  • If this is performed correctly with the lungs empty, the abdomen will be drawn back towards the spine and up into the ribcage. Uddiyana.
  • Hold for 2 or 3 seconds and then come back to standing inhaling slowly and carefully.
  • Take a few breaths between and repeat up to 3 times.

AGNI SARA

  • Repeat the above practice but while holding uddiyana try to “pop” the abdomen in and out up to 10 times per exhalation retention.
  • You will find that the popping out is active while the inward movement of the abdomen is passive.
  • Repeat up to 3 times.

STATIC NAULI

  • Repeat the practice of uddiyana and while maintaining the exhalation retention, contract the abdominal muscles so that the central band of the rectus abdominus is isolated and pushed outwards.
  • Hold for 2 or 3 seconds.
  • Note that in the position for uddiyana the tail-bone is pushed out and the spine is slightly arched but, in the performance of nauli the tail-bone is tucked under and the spine is slightly rounded.

ROLLING NAULI

  • Once you have mastered static nauli you may start to roll the central band of muscle from left to right and right to left.
  • To practice this, first isolate nauli and then press down a little harder with your right hand and sway the hips to the right.
  • Nauli should roll to the left.
  • Then push down harder with your left hand and sway slightly to the left. Nauli should roll to the right.
  • Coordinate alternating pressure from one hand to another and the swaying of the hips until you are able to create a rolling wave like action 10 times left to right for one exhalation retention and then 10 times right to left for one exhalation retention.

BENEFITS

  • Helps to relax and release the abdomen.
  • Increases the gastric juices which assist in digestion and elimination.
  • Massages the liver, kidneys and spleen and flushes out waste products held in these organs.
  • Helps with circulation.
  • Increase energy and elevates mood.
  • Creates a deep internal massage and stimulates heat and blood flow.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • People suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, acute peptic ulcers, overactive thyroid or chronic diarrhoea should not perform these exercises.
  • Women on their monthly cycle may want to avoid for the first few days.

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