Yogis are posting photos of themselves shuffling around their digestive system in the most bizarre and unnerving way. The reason? Only god knows why.
The movement in question is called Nauli, and corresponds to a series of cleansing exercises known as Kriya. The particular movement is not widely taught or used today in Western Yoga classes, but it has a long tradition as a key exercise of the classical Hatha.
To perform Nauli, you must isolate and contract the lateral and central muscles of the abdomen, pull them under your ribcage, and then rotate them in a circular motion (?!?!).
According to The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the practice “… kindles a weak gastric fire, restores the digestion, always brings happiness, and dries up all defects and diseases.”
The movement also supposedly corrects hormonal imbalances, improves willpower, and produces emotional stability. So basically, contorting your bowels can save the world.
Although in theory, Nauli can be performed by people of any age and condition, experts recommend that people with hernias, hypertension, heart disease or ulcers, as well as pregnant women should restrain from the exercise.
If for whatever reason you are compelled to distort your torso to look like ET after a serious diet, you should first consult a professional.