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Lauliki, Nauli Karma, abdominal rotation, purification of intestines, activation of digestive fire... All are synonym words.

Some of you might heard about the six yogic techniques of purification called "Shatkarma" in Hatha Yoga. These are : Dhauti, Basti, Neti, Lauliki (Nauli), Trataka, and Kapalbhati. All Hatha texts like Hatha yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita... are highly emphasizing on purification of the body & mind prior to Asana, Pranayama, ...etc.

In modern age, these Shatkarma (purification) techniques are more valuable, more appropriate and necessary for all because of the various pollutions, wrong food habits & other unhealthy, stressful lifestyle.

Have you ever noticed that when you traveled your digestion system get disturbed, or there is no digestive fire when there is too much or stressful work in the office?

Nowadays these things happen commonly with everyone. The disturbance of the digestive fire or digestion system and excretory system have seen even with the regular practitioners of yoga.

The practice of Nauli Karma is the solution of all those problems.

See what is Nauli karma or Lauliki according to Hatha texts :

Hatha yoga pradipika 2/34:

Amandavartavegena tundam savyapasavyatah |

Natanso bhramayedesa naulih siddhahih prachksyyate ||


"With bent shoulders, (the yogi)- should move the abdomen from left to right (and also right to left) with the speed of a whirlpool, this is called Nauli by the accomplished yogis."

Gheranda Samhita : 1/52:

"The abdomen should be rotated very swiftly from side to side. This Lauliki (Nauli) destroys all types of diseases and activates the digestive fire."

In Shastras, this technique mentioned by the name of "Lauliki". The word Lauliki derived from the Sanskrit root word "lola" means to roll or to agitate or to rotate. So, in this practice the abdomen muscles are contracted and rotated. Because of contraction and rotation of the abdomen muscles, all the organs who participated in the digestion and excratory system like stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, kidneys... all get good massage.

Through enhancing the capacity and capability of the digestion system, it helps to mentain the overall health.

We use the water element in most of the previous purification techniques like Dhauti, Basti and Neti but this technique is completely different. In this technique practitioner activates his/her digestive fire by contracting & rotating the abdomen muscles. This digestive fire (heat) helps to loose and then eradicate the old accumulated food content from the inner walls of intestine.

This digestive fire called Jatharagni, helps to clean the intestine and increase the appetite. This fire also helps to improve the quality of the digestion, absorption of the nutrients from the food, assimilation, transportation and transformations of the different Dhatus (called tissues like: plasma, blood, muscles, fat, bones, bone marrow, reproductive tissue).

I strongly believe that the digestive fire is more important than the quality and quantity of the food. We can see many of the examples around us, those who don't have good quality/quantity of the food, they still are much healthier then you & me. It's because of their good appetite/digestive fire.

"Food is not important, important is how much you are digesting & absorbing the nutrients of food."


Hatha yoga pradipika- 2/35:

"This practice increases the weak digestive fire, sets right the digestive disorders, always giving pleasure; diseases arising out of imbalance in humours are completely removed and this Nauli is considered to be the best among all the cleansing processes in the Hatha Yoga."

In this practice, one has to perform bahir Kumbhaka, jalandhara bandha and uddiyana bandha. And we all have known the benefits of the different bandhas. So it's clear the benefits are not only limited to the physical body but also it influences the mind and pranic consciousness.

The whole body get energize and refresh. Tissues throughout the body, such as muscles, blood vessels, endocrine glands and the nervous system, are subtly purified, rejuvenated that enhanced the efficiency & strength of above all.

Contra- indications:

  • People suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, hypertension, hernia, ulcer and gallstones should avoid this practice.

  • If one gone through with abdominal surgery in recent past (last 6 to 9 months) should not practice. Can practice after one year but go slower or you should ask to your yoga teacher.

  • Women during the periods & pregnancy must avoid it.

How to practice it:

This practice requires a long but gradual practice of kapalbhati first, then Agnisara then uddiyana bandha. Agnisara is pre practice of Nauli Karma. Agnisara removes the excessive fat from belly region and makes the belly muscles flexible. Practice of Uddiyana bandha is also necessary to get the control over abdominal muscles in this context. After that, one should follow the practice in four different stages progressively.

1- Madhyama Nauli (middle Nauli):

In this, both the rectus abdomini muscles overlying the stomach and intestines are contracted so that they form a prominent arch down the center of the abdomen.

2- Vama Nauli (left Nauli):

In this, the abdomen muscles on the left side of the abdominal wall are isolated and contracted.

3- Dakshina Nauli (right Nauli):

In this, the abdominal muscles on the right side of the abdominal wall, are isolated and contracted.

These three practices should practice progressively. Only then, one could able to perform the final Nauli called Bhramar Nauli or Nauli Chalan.

4- Nauli chalan or Bhramar Nauli:

  • Stand in chair position, place the palms on the thighs or knees wherever you feel comfortable.

  • Exhale completely with little force so that air can be expelled out in maximum amount.

  • Adopt the jalandhara bandha just after the complete exhalation, & then uddiyana bandha.

  • From uddiyana bandha, perform the Madhyama Nauli then vama & then dakshina nauli.

  • Repeat it again & again. While you perform all three Nauli in the sequence it looks abdominal muscles are rotating.

  • While you perform it, your breath has to be retained outside. The moment you realize, it's enough I can't hold the breath any more, then softly reliese jalandhara bandha, relax the abdominal muscles, then inhale nicely & relax for 3 to 5 breathes.

  • After performing 3 to 5 rounds, do with another sides with same numbers.

Duration :

  • For beginners 3+3= 06 rounds are enough.

  • Can increase up to 7+7= 14 rounds.

  • One should increase the numbers of the retentions (rounds) & rotations of the abdominal muscles gradually.

  • Six rounds means six times external breath retention & in one breath retention one can start rotating the abdominal muscles 3 to 5 times, then can increase up to 30 or 40 times.

  • For example: one can rotate the abdomen muscles only five times in one side (clockwise or anti-clockwise), in one breath retention that means 15 rotation of the belly in 3 rounds from each direction. Both sides it will be 30 rotations. It's good number to begin.


One should learn in the guidance of yoga teacher.

Personal suggestions to practitioners:

  • Your stomach, bowel and bladder should nicely clean before the practice.

  • This practice creates the heat in our system & makes the mind active so should avoid in the evening or if weather is too hot.

Practice & experience the benefits of it by your own.


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Hari 🕉!!!

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