In my search for an elusive state of “the zone” I came across a number of very effective short and practical techniques. Each of them alone probably would not make a huge difference, but all together, in the right proportions, they may mix in a “zone elixir”; push-up procedures that will enable you to effortlessly slip into a blissful “cosmic feeling” where the body acts by itself and you just watch what is happening. Immensely enjoying yourself in the process, of course.

I wrote about some of those techniques, like Sun Salute (an excellent warming-up exercise) and Ujjayi breathing (which does wonders for preserving your energy during workouts). There are others I didn’t write about yet, like “kings pranayama” or even circular breathing (which I borrowed and adjusted from playing the didgeridoo). One such technique is definitely nauli, a short, intensive exercise for the improvement of abdominal muscles, inner organs massage, relieving constipation, and energy bust.


Basically, it is an exercise during which you create a wave motion in the abdominal area. You’ll need a month to master it, and then practice it one to two minutes in the morning before breakfast.

There are many reasons why nauli should become a part of your morning routine. To understand the range of benefits, it may be good to start with the name.

Nomen est omen: the name speaks for itself. The power of names, sounds, or frequencies is a special feature of yogic and ayurvedic practices (nauli is a part of the old Indian tradition of preventive health measures). It is another story, sure, but in this case, the name will reveal some of the benefits of the exercise.

“Nauli” is actually a plant, holoptelea integrifolia, – the Indian elm or jungle cork tree.

Holoptelea integrifolia or nauli is used traditionally for the treatment of inflammation, gastritis, dyspepsia, colic, intestinal worms, vomiting, wound healing, leprosy, diabetes, hemorrhoids, dysmenorrhea, and rheumatism. While it is a question of what nauli exercise can do for wound healing or leprosy, for all things connected to digestion surely can do wonders.

Some of the effects of regular nauli practice in the morning:

  • Helps in the loss of belly fat because it targets the extra fat that is present in the abdominal muscles directly.
  • Strengthens the core by concentrating on the “rectus abdominis” muscle (which is the source of six packs – but don’t be misled; you will not develop six-pacs just by doing nauli 😊 ).
  • Relieving constipation (I have been practicing nauli since my twenties, and until now, I have never had any problem with bowel movements., even when I am not eating regularly, traveling, or putting my body in disbalance for any reason).
  • Stimulation and regulating effect upon the entire digestive system by helping the body in the elimination of toxins.
  • The churning effect of nauli massages the internal organs (stomach, liver, spleen, urinary bladder, pancreas, gallbladder, and large and small intestine), which is unique (we never give massage to those organs).
  • Increase in sexual energy due to increased control over abdominal muscles and stimulation of the second chakra (some say nauli is an essential basis for ejaculation control and prolonged orgasms, especially for men.
  • And finally, nauli will give you an extra energy boost by increasing mental clarity. This has something to do with the stimulation of the third chakra, a storehouse of prana, “life energy” (you may be surprised; after nauli you could get rid of your lifelong addiction to morning coffee; you simply don’t need it because your mind will be clear and strong).

What you should be careful about and what you should never mind

Nauli is an intensive exercise. You should not practice it during pregnancy. Also, do not practice it if you have problems with kidneys or gallstones, active ulcers, hernia, or any injury in the abdominal region. If in doubt, please consult your physician.

For some people, when they see nauli for the first time, it may look strange, even scary. The first thought is often, “I’ll never be able to do that”. Disregard it. Everyone is able to master nauli. It may be true that you never used those muscles, and you actually don’t have a feeling about what to do and how to move them. But you’ll learn.

Also, do not mind the look. You might have some extra belly fat, but who doesn’t? As you can see in the video, my body is not perfect (although for the age of 61, I will be immodest and say that I am keeping myself quite well). However you look, don’t be ashamed of your body. You are what you are, but always keep in mind that you can improve. Your body is your temple. It is a divine place, and you should treat it like that.

Now, watch the video, and later on, I’ll give you some additional instructions.

General remarks

All phases of nauli are practiced with empty lungs! However, avoid long periods of breath suspension. Divide the exercise into smaller parts so you don’t have to inhale abruptly.

Phase 1

In the beginning, do it slowly, especially avoiding pushing the stomach out too aggressively. Take your time. If necessary, prolong Phase 1 to a couple of weeks.

Later on, when you master Phase 2 and Phase 3 you may skip Phase 1, but it is always good to start with it.

Phase 2

You’ll need time to extract the abdominal muscle column from the rest of the belly parts. Be patient and move step by step. Even if you see just a little of the column, it is all right. With time, the neglected muscles will wake up and become stronger.

Do not move to Phase 3 before you have a clear definition of an abdominal column in sight. Bear in mind that nauli is not about developing abdominal muscles: for that, you’ll need different exercises (although nauli will definitely help). The thing is, you have them already (otherwise, you will not be able to stand or move your body). Nauli is about extracting them, pushing them out, and showing them to yourself (and the world if you so like).

Phase 3

When you are happy with Phase 2, you can try to move the muscle collum left and right. At first, you will have difficulties because every movement will cause the visible column to disappear. Be patient and persistent. Your body will finally find a way to listen to your mind and start moving those muscles around. You may help yourself with a slight circular movement of the pelvis, but honestly, don’t try to find the “best way to do it”. You see how it looks: just try to do it by yourself and let the body be your guide.


About the Author: Adrian

Author and writer of more than fifty books, teacher, lecturer, explorer of consciousness, avid windsurfer, and lover of outdoor activities. He’ll write mostly about windsurfing on fin and foil, spot reviews, and camping equipment.
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