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Wei-Ning Yu
June 08, 2017 6:38 am

A fitness craze has taken over the Instagram stratosphere, and the photos have us doing a double take. Dubbed “Alien Yoga,” the yoga move involves contorting your stomach in a series of locks and contractions that prove how amazing people’s bodies really are. And even though we are hella impressed with these yogis’ ability to pull this practice off, our inner 5-year-olds have to admit: these moves kinda make human stomachs strike an uncanny similarity to alien torsos.

Turns out, “Alien Yoga” isn’t exactly some new fitness trend — it’s a legit yoga practice.

This yogic exercise is traditionally known as Nauli. According to its website, healthy yogis of any age and size can eventually master Nauli. The site advises beginners to learn from experienced teachers as the movement is considered an advanced practice. Women who are pregnant should not attempt Nauli. 

Just when you thought yoga couldn’t get any twisty-er…

Unreal! The movement is totally hypnotic.

How does it look when a dude performs “Alien Yoga”? Well, it looks something like this:

How does one go about performing Nauli?

Essentially, it consists of four movements. According to nauli.org, uddiyana bandha is the first movement, which is an upward abdominal lock. This must be achieved before you can move through the other three movements. It’s a pretty tricky sequence which requires you to empty your lungs and pull your abdomen under your rib cage. It may look difficult to master, but it just takes some good old fashioned practice. No special skills required.

Once you master uddiyana bandha, then you can lock down madhyana nauli, vama nauli and daksina nauli, which are all different kinds of isolated contractions. 

It may look freaky and sound trendy, but the benefits of Nauli have long been recognized in the yoga practice. This exercise strengthens your abdominal wall, massages your internal organs, and can even regulate blood pressure when done regularly. Traditionally, this yoga asana is used to aid with digestion and support healthy intestinal function.

Also, we’re still stuck on this yoga craze?

We think the next big thing should be a combo of the two: goats and aliens galore. Hey, whatever works! Be safe, break a good, clean sweat, and stay healthy!

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