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Description of the Six Acts

(1) The Shaking of the Belly (Nauliki), (also called nauli, naulika, nyoli and nala-kriya).

"Stooping the shoulders, shake the belly rapidly from right to left like quivering water--adepts call this 'nauli'." (Hatha Yoga Pradipika 2, 33.)

After performing the natural functions, bathing and performing the daily ritual (sandhya), feeling clean and light, take up either the Lotus posture, or the posture of Attainment or the Raised Lotus posture. Then, having exhaled the air from the lungs, try by power of will to make the belly shake from right to left. This should be practiced morning and evening until perspiration begins. After some time, the belly will lose its inertia. The resulting sensation will be that of the belly being depressed on both sides and that there are vertical channels on either side, which unite to form a strong central pillar rising from the subtle Root Center to the heart. When the sensation of the pillar grows strong the shaking of the belly is easy. Gradually, as the belly moves round with the shaking, the two main subtle channels on either side of the body begin to be felt in the chest, throat and forehead. Once the shaking is started it soon continues of its own accord. At first it causes loose motions. A well-built, not too heavy man should succeed in performing the shaking of the belly within a month.

Before, however, beginning this practice, it is as well to spend some time in the Drawing-back (West) posture or the Peacock posture, and it should be noted that so long as the intestines adhere to the back, however slightly, they should be shaken carefully, otherwise various internal and seminal troubles will be apt to arise.

"The practice of nauli increases the digestive secretions and digests food. It always gives pleasure and dries up all kinds of disease. It is the best of the practices of yoga." (Hatha Yoga Pradipika, 2, 34.)

When the practice of shaking the belly is mastered, all the Muscular Contractions are easy and it is therefore called the ladder to breath-control. While performing it, a very sweet taste is felt near the throat. Shaking the belly is a help in performing the other acts, particularly in the washing of the stomach and of the bowels, and in the Conch Act.

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