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Yoga instructors will often tell you the most important part of the practice is the breathing, but you might be left a bit breathless after seeing a new stretch that’s beginning to invade yoga.

‘Nauli’ — which has recently earned the nickname ‘alien yoga’ — is an exercise that involves yogis contorting their stomach into strange poses. According to the official site, “Nauli cleanses the internal organs and tones the abdominal region via a side-to-side rolling motion of the abdominal muscles.” It also looks pretty weird.

Although it’s found mostly in traditional yoga practices, Nauli is slowly making its way to the Western world, with the movement requiring yogis to strengthen their stomach muscles before practicing.

#nauli #siddhasana #yoga #meditation #pranayama #yoganature #yogavalencia #yogilife #instayoga

A post shared by Cosmin Yogi (@cosminyogi) on


To try Nauli, yogis must empty their lungs and pull their abdomen into their rib cage to achieve an abdomen lock. Next, they must isolate and contract their central abdominal muscles. Their left and right abdominal muscles must then be isolated one at a time, creating a wave-like effect on their stomach that looks like this:


If you’ve tried taking these steps and can’t get your stomach to roll, you’re not alone. According to the Nauli website, they recommend learning the proper techniques from a trained instructor.

The site also explains that anyone can achieve nauli after building up enough stomach muscle.


While the exercises shouldn’t cause pain, the Nauli website cautions against pregnant women or people with hernias, hypertension, heart disease, ulcers or various gastrointestinal ailments from trying the yoga technique.

Maybe we’ll just stick with downward dog.