ETYMOLOGY: the term NAULI cannot be found in the dictionaries. However, NAU means boat and LI means “to hold on, to grasp, to adhere to. The purpose of this word’s usage is to suggest the way to perform this technique: the abdominal organs have to be moved vertically and transversally, like the movement of a wave. The undulating movement of a boat on agitated sea also refers to the manner in which the abdominal muscle rolls while performing this technique.
Gheranda Samhita names this technique LAUKIKI YOGA and gives the following description of it in lesson one, sutra 52: “move forcibly the stomach and intestines from one side to the other. This is LAUKIKI YOGA. It destroys all diseases and amplifies the digestive fire.”

Caution: NAULI KRIYA is not an asana. It is a kriya action. In the traditional Yogic texts, nauli is mentioned as one of the six purifying actions (SHAT KARMA) which facilitates complete purification and rejuvenation of the body. At the same time, NAULI KRIYA is one of the most powerful exercises in Hatha Yoga.

– NAULI is an unprecedented abdominal massage. While performing this technique, the abdominal muscle is massaging the organs. NAULI represents the best modality of fortifying the abdominal muscle.
– At the same time, NAULI constitutes an excellent exercise of improving your control on certain muscles that you hardly ever use individually, and of which very few people are aware. The movement of the abdominal muscle will determine healthier viscera , generating an increased flow of blood in the area, fact which has as result the activation of the nervous plexus and of their fine endings. This will lead to a better co-ordination of the autonomous function characteristic/specific to the abdominal activity.
– The practice of NAULI leads to the acceleration of the gastric secretions. The solar plexus is rapidly decongested and the anxiety accumulated daily is removed naturally.
– However, the effects of this technique are not limited to the digestive duct, as NAULI guarantees an excellent health of the kidneys.
– The liver, one of the most important organs of the body will benefit of a stronger internal circulation and its functioning will be better.
– The bile is quite well massaged during the practice of this technique. The practice of NAULI may also make the eventual stones move, generating their expulsion in quite a number of cases.
– The pancreas will benefit by the practice of NAULI as well. Even if this technique cannot cure diabetes, it may nevertheless ensure a correct function of this gland, including the insulin-producer Langerhans isles.
– Owing to the profound inhalations and exhalations, as well as to the void created in the thoraces while retaining your breath, NAULI contributes to regaining or maintaining the elasticity of your lungs.
– Through the periodicity of pressure during the practice of this technique, the heart is also profoundly massaged. Thus, NAULI constitutes one of the best protections against heart attack. Once you fully master this technique, you will also have your breath under control and you may even feel in your mouth an unusual flavour.
– NAULI makes the practitioner immune to diseases such as: hernia, appendicitis, ulcer, indigestion, constipation, etc.

The fundamental yogic treatise the HATHA YOGA PRADIPIKA asserts:

“Sitting on the toes with heels raised above the ground, and the palms resting on the ground, and in this bent posture the belly is moved forcibly from left to right, just as in vomiting. This is called by adepts the Nauli Karma.

It removes dyspepsia, increases appetite and digestion, and is like the goddess of creation, and causes all happiness. It dries up all the disorders. This is an excellent exercise in Hatha Yoga.”