I love flipping through the explore page on Instagram. I’ve found some amazing new people to follow, and I’ve also fallen down some crazy rabbit holes. The latest Instagram trend that I’m obsessed with is the yoga practice of Nauli. Yogis who are experienced enough to practice Nauli can do some insane and amazing things with their stomachs. When you see what it looks like, you’ll understand why Nauli is nicknamed “alien yoga.”
Nauli is a centuries-old yoga move that requires the person to completely exhale, then isolate their abdomen muscles and suck them in under the rib cage. Then Yogis release their muscles in a side-to-side movement that causes the stomach to roll and bulge and omg you just have to see it:
Holy moly, right?
Alien yoga has a lot of benefits beyond being an insane party trick. Erik Burling, the owner of Roots Philly Yoga, told CBS.com that Nauli helps “cleanse and clean out the organs and muscles in the abdomen. When we’re drawing the belly in, we’re also drawing the intestines in. And by compressing the intestines, we’re trying to get the food to move through our belly in a healthy manner.”
I can’t stop watching and screaming. That is just so impressive and so freaking weird.
Nauli also allegedly helps practitioners “improve willpower and emotional stability,” so maybe I should actually look into it…right after I finish this tub of ice cream.
Burling cautions against newbies trying the technique. “The only people who should be practicing this are people who’ve been practicing for many years, and with an established teacher who knows the technique. You could lose control of your own breath, you could pass out.”
That sounds dangerous. I think I’ll continue to remain yoga-adjacent by wearing yoga pants and watching yoga videos on Instagram.
(Image: Instagram / aninayoga)