Alien Yoga Might Benefit Your Core And Wellbeing
Alien Yoga, otherwise known as “Nauli Kriya,” is a viral phenomenon that is very real within the health and wellness world. Fitness influencers flood our Instagram feeds with videos of their alien-like abdominal muscles.
You’re bound to come across one of these videos soon if you haven’t seen one yet. People are almost infatuated with health and wellbeing nowadays. The concept looks really strange at first sight, but it is not new to health. In fact, this unusual stomach-contorting movement has actually been around in the Yoga world for thousands of years.
It is basically an abdominal massage, controlled solely by emptying your lungs and makes your stomach look like an alien.
Here Are The Facts
Everybody wants to look and feel physically fit. It can be tough because there is so much misleading information out there. This is because there is no universal definition of what it means to be physically ‘fit.’ Plus, to be fit and healthy you need to know the wacky fitness trends from the ones that are truly going to benefit your health and vitality.
We all have different ways of determining our levels of fitness. As a result, we are bombarded with a ton of nonsense. Many still believe that a healthy BMI is a true indication, despite there being tons of evidence proving that its results can be inaccurate. Whereas, others believe a long, lean and toned beach bikini body or the amount of weight you can lift is a better indication.
There is nothing wrong with following new fitness trends or trying out a Yoga class. But, you need to know your facts before you go ahead with the trend.
What Is Alien Yoga?
Nauli is actually a traditional yoga move and started before Asana Yoga. It allows you to exhale completely, entirely emptying your lungs of any oxygen to isolate the abdomen and pull it under your ribcage. All you need to do is keep your abdominal muscles contracted and slowly release them to create a rolling motion from left to right.
Many Yoga practitioners and those following the trend on Instagram claim that this move can aid digestion and strengthen the core. People are also using ‘Alien Yoga’ as a form of detoxification.
It may not be new to Yoga, but it isn’t something that is frequently taught to students in a class. Although this is probably changing quite quickly.
Yoga experts believe that Nauli is originally derived from the Sanskrit root kri (to do) or kriya. This is a series of postures, breaths, and sounds that work towards a specific goal. Kriya is accompanied with nauli, from the Sanskrit roots nau (boat) and li (to cling to).
Together this forms ‘Nauli Kriya,’ which is the abdominal massage technique we see all over Instagram.
Does It Work And How Healthy Is It?
Yes, it does work and it can be a healthy exercise addition to your routine. Alien Yoga is definitely not a trend that is bad for you. It is actually somewhat good for your health, your G-I tract and toning-up your abdominal region.
Gastroenterologist Dr Partha Nandi, M.D., the host of the syndicated medical lifestyle show “Ask Dr Nandi,” says she is familiar with Nauli and can understand why you would experience a few gastrointestinal benefits from it. She says that because of the abdominal movements, your body becomes more active as a whole. Whilst you continuously do this, you are also aiding your digestive system and relieving constipation issues.
The abdomen is where all your digestive organs live. Therefore, you are stimulating bowel movements by contracting the surrounding muscles. Alien Yoga actually mimics similar effects to visceral manipulation where a practitioner performs a deep-tissue massage to restore normal organ function. This is why many Yogis’ use Nauli as a tool to cleanse, balance and detoxify the body.
I wouldn’t say that this practice is inherently good or bad for your digestion. But rather that you are moving your body in a way that you wouldn’t have done before. Generally, people who are inactive for long periods experience constipation issues. You can even use this technique to give your abdominal muscles a really great workout! This is because you are consciously contracting your muscles which build up core strength.
However, Nauli is not necessarily something you have to do in order to get those washboard abs. Keeping hydrated, taking probiotics, adding more fruits and vegetables for fibre to your diet and moving daily goes a long way!
Can Anybody Try Alien Yoga?
What makes this fitness trend unique, is that almost anybody can learn how to do the Nauli movement. All ages and fitness levels can practice it in their own homes. However, yoga experts consider Nauli a difficult and an advanced exercise.
Why? Experts state that it is easy to hurt yourself if the exercise isn’t done correctly and is safer to learn from an experienced yoga teacher. Usually, this exercise is only recommended for advanced yoga practitioners.
Of course, this all depends on your physical health. Some might not be able to do it because it’s too challenging. Others won’t be able to because they are highly stressed and battle to control their breathing.
There are various contraindications that come with Nauli. Doctors recommend avoiding the exercise if you’re pregnant; have a heart disease, high blood pressure, an ulcer, a hernia or any other gastrointestinal issues.
Basically, if you are going to try it, make sure it is with a professional and not with an Instagram video!
How Do You Perform Nauli?
The move must be done by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Your knees need to remain slightly bent with your hands rested on your thighs. You then need to exhale deeply and suck your rib cage toward the back of your spine. Afterwards, you will alternate the contracting muscles from the left and right sides of the abdomen. This will allow your stomach to create a rolling, wavy motion.
Once again, please take caution and always seek proper training from a Yoga professional.
Watch the video below to see what Alien Yoga looks like.
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