• T
  • H
  • M
  • Making Your Abs Dance
    Nauli Kriya

    Nauli Kriya is a strange and cool looking exercise that makes it look like you are churning your belly. While it looks strange (or cool) it is also a great exercise for stretching your diaphragm, exercising your intercostals and developing abdominal control. It's also good for waking up or warming up.

    Don't Do This Exercise If

    Note that you shouldn't do this exercise on a full stomach. Empty is best. Also avoid it if you have a hiatus hernia (acid reflux) or "regular" hernia.

    Warming up With Uddiyana Bandha

    The first step is to learn how to do uddiyana bandha. While standing with your knees bent and hands on your thighs with arms straight, exhale all of your air. While holding your breath push down on your thighs with your hands and expand your ribcage as if trying to inhale.

    Normally when you expand your ribcage it causes you to inhale because you are expanding the volume of your lungs. However if you lock your throat and prevent the ingress of air as you expand your ribcage, you create a vacuum. That vacuum sucks your diaphragm up into your ribcage. Since your stomach, liver, kidneys and most other organs within your abdominal cavity are suspended from the bottom of your diaphragm, they get pulled up with it. Your belly hollows out as a result.

    Pushing down with your hands on your thighs helps you to pull your ribcage up.

    To release, first relax your ribcage, then take an inhale.

    Release and then repeat when you are ready.

    Suck Up Your Diaphragm

    To make your belly extra hollow while doing both uddiyana bandha and nauli kriya, suck up on your diaphragm. Lift and expand your ribcage and suck up on your diaphragm at the same time. When it comes time to release, relax both your ribcage and your diaphragm and then take an inhale.

    Popping your Rectus

    The next stage of learning nauli kriya is to practice "popping" your rectus abdominus.

    Again, exhale all your air, then press your hands down against your thighs and lift your ribcage. Press your hands down against your legs to keep your ribcage pulled up. Then engage your abs as if to pull your sternum towards your pubic bone. But resist with your hands.

    If you are doing it right your rectus abdominus muscle will pop forwards. However your belly will be sucked in behind it from either side because of the vacuum you've created.

    Release your rectus and relax for a few breaths (or more.) Then do the same thing again.

    Churning Your Rectus, The Real Nauli Kriya

    To get your rectus to move in a churning action, swirl your ribcage from side to side. To make it look like it is "churning" try moving your ribcage in a horizontal circle over your pelvis. Move it to the side, then back, then to the other side then forwards again. To keep your rectus popping, keep holding your breath out and keep your ribcage lifted by pressing your hands into your thighs.

    To release, first relax your belly and then your ribcage, and then slowly inhale. You have to unlock your body otherwise the inhale can be uncomfortable.

    It's all in the video.

    Prepatory Exercises for Nauli Kriya

    Practice Lifting and Expand Your Ribcage

    As simple breathing exercise is to focus on pulling your ribs up, away from your pelvis each time you inhale. Then as you exhale relax. Work at slowly expanding and lifting your ribcage as you inhale. Work at relaxing slowly as you exhale.

    This particular method of breathing uses the (external) intercostals to expand the ribcage The intercostal are the muscles situated between the ribs.

    Once you've got the hang of inhaling and exhaling smoothly then work at exhaling completely.

    Exhale Completely

    For this exercise focus on squeezing your abdominals and ribcage inwards as you exhale. You might try a few pushes near the end to wring every last drop of air out and then try to smoothly inhale afterwards.

    To get even more air out you can curve your spine forwards as you exhale. You may find this happens naturally the more you use your abdominals.

    Practice Relaxing at the End of Your Exhale

    You can also practice relaxing your belly at the end of your exhale while holding your breath.

    First exhale using your abs to help. Hold your breath and relax your bellly. Then try inhaling smoothly. You may find that your breath catches slightly. Next try the same thing, exhale completely, relax your belly, then reengage your belly and then inhale. You may find that the start of your inhale is smoother.

    Practice Lifting your Ribs

    The next phase in nauli kriya training is to exhale all of your air, then relax your belly, and then expand and lift your ribcage without inhaling. You may find your throat feels like it is being sucked inwards as you do this.

    To inhale, first relax your ribcage, then pull your belly in and then inhale.

    Practicing Nauli Kriya

    When practicing nauli kriya work towards three repetitions, holding the exhale for as long as comfortable. Rest after each repetition. You can also work at gradually increasing the number of times you churn your belly. Try churning in both directions. See if you can gradually work towards ten in one direction and ten in the other all on one breath hold.

    Why Do Nauli Kriya

    Why do nauli kriya? Its a good way to give your intestines a helping hand first thing in the morning. It's energizing and thus a good way to warm up prior to a yoga practice. It stretches the diaphragm and it exercises the intercostals as well as the rectus abdominus. It also stretches the obliques, pulling the inwards during the vacuum phase.

    Return to Home Page

    Return to Respiratory Diaphragm from Nauli Kriya

    Bandhas and Related Muscles and Exercises

    What's New?

    Yoga Routine Video for Strengthening Arms and Legs Via Friction and Pressure

    This yoga routine video is designed to help you strengthen your arms and legs via the use of friction and pressure. It also teaches you how to become more aware of your body.

    Continue reading "Yoga Routine Video for Strengthening Arms and Legs Via Friction and Pressure"

    Quad Stretching Yoga Poses

    Kneeling, lying, standing and wall assisted quadricep stretching yoga poses with tips for making these stretches more effective.

    Continue reading "Quad Stretching Yoga Poses"

    Transverse Abdominal Exercises

    The transverse abdominis muscle can be broken down into three parts. Transverse abdominal exercises can thus affect the SI Joint, lumbar spine and the lower portion of the ribcage.

    Continue reading "Transverse Abdominal Exercises"

    Knee Strengthening Exercises

    To improve the resiliency of your knees it can help to exercise them in a variety of positions. The following yoga poses can be used as knee strengthening exercises. The trick is to activate your knees while doing them.

    Continue reading "Knee Strengthening Exercises"

    Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors

    Learn to consciously control your quads and hip flexors with Conscious Muscle Control: Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors. This downloadable video course teaches you how to feel and activate your quadriceps (the vastus muscles) as well as the rectus femoris, tensor fascae latae and sartorius muscles.

    Continue reading "Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors"

    Calf Stretches

    For any calf stretch you have to bend your ankle forwards to stretch the soleus and/or gastrocnemius. How you bend the ankle forwards can make the stretch more or less effective.

    Continue reading "Calf Stretches"

    Yoga for Flexibility

    Yoga for flexibility with stretches for the hips, quads, hamstrings, glutes, psoas, shoulders and arms. These yoga stretches are designed to improve flexiblity.

    Continue reading "Yoga for Flexibility"

    Learning to Activate Hamstrings and Glutes

    Glute and Hamstring activation can be used to compliment the quad and hip flexors for a balanced practice. Conscious Muscle Control: Hamstrings and Glutes is a video course designed to teach you how to activate your glutes and hamstrings at will. You'll also develop the ability to feel them activate and relax.

    Continue reading "Learning to Activate Hamstrings and Glutes"

    Learning to Activate Hamstrings and Glutes

    Glute and Hamstring activation can be used to compliment the quad and hip flexors for a balanced practice. Conscious Muscle Control: Hamstrings and Glutes is a video course designed to teach you how to activate your glutes and hamstrings at will. You'll also develop the ability to feel them activate and relax.

    Continue reading "Learning to Activate Hamstrings and Glutes"

    Learning to Activate your Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors

    Learn how to activate your quads and hip flexors so that you can use them at will. Conscious Muscle Control: Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors not only teaches you how to activate and relax your quads and hip flexors at will, it also teaches you how to feel when they are active and when they are relaxed. This clearly defined awareness can help you get more in touch with your body.

    Continue reading "Learning to Activate your Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors"

    Stability in Yoga Poses

    Make your yoga poses less wobbly with less effort. Grounding and centering are two techniques for creating stability in yoga poses.

    Continue reading "Stability in Yoga Poses"

    Arm Supported Yoga Poses

    Arm supported yoga poses can be used to strengthen the arms and shoulders. Includes plank, chaturanga dandasana, downward dog, dolphin pose, side plank, wheel, reverse plank, table top pose.

    Continue reading "Arm Supported Yoga Poses"

    Exercises in Muscle Control

    Exercises in muscle control 1 teachers you how to activate and relax your knees, hips, front and back of the leg and also inner and outer thighs. These activations can be used in standing poses as leg strenghtening exercises and to improve flexiblity.

    Continue reading "Exercises in Muscle Control"

    Transverse Abdominus Anatomy for Yoga Teachers

    The transverse abdominus muscle can affect the SI joint, lumbar and lower thoracic spine stability, used in various diaphragmatic breathing techniques and act as a tension adjuster for the rectus abdominus.

    Continue reading "Transverse Abdominus Anatomy for Yoga Teachers"

    Effectively Activating Transverse Abdominus

    Effectively Activating Transverse Abdominus can mean better stability for the SI Joint as well as for the lumbar and lower thoracic spine.

    Continue reading "Effectively Activating Transverse Abdominus"

    Joint Pain Yoga

    Rather than fighting through joint pain here is an overview of the approach that I've used to help alleviate hip pain, knee pain or shoulder joint pain while doing yoga poses.

    Continue reading "Joint Pain Yoga"

    Feeling Your Center of Gravity

    Make balancing easier. Use pressure sensitivity to feel your center of gravity.

    Continue reading "Feeling Your Center of Gravity"

    Camel Yoga Pose

    Camel Yoga Pose or ustrasana is a kneeling pose that can be used to stretch the hip flexors. One key action that may help in getting your pelvis forwards more is pushing your hands forwards, either against your feet or against the floor.

    Continue reading "Camel Yoga Pose"

    How to do Squats

    A yoga approach to how to do squats including how to stay balanced, and avoiding knee or hip pain even while going all the way down.

    Continue reading "How to do Squats"

    Transverse Abdominis and Sacroiliac Joint Stability

    The transverse abdominis can have an affect on sacroiliac joint stability as well as stability of the lumbar spine and the T12/L1 junction.

    Continue reading "Transverse Abdominis and Sacroiliac Joint Stability"