What is Alien Yoga?

Of all the yoga trends that are out there, Alien yoga might just be the strangest one of all. Images of practitioners of Alien yoga can be found on many websites and when you first see it, you can be forgiven for thinking that it’s just another strange and stupid fad. But Alien yoga has its devoted followers, and they claim that this form of yoga has important benefits for anyone who is willing to work to achieve it. Here, we find out exactly what Alien yoga is and whether it’s worth adding to your yoga practice.

So, What Is It?

Alien yoga is a yoga move called Nauli during which the practitioner exhales completely before tensing the muscles of the abdomen and pulling it under the ribcage. When performed correctly, the move results in a very distinctive look where the stomach caves in on both sides, leaving a ridge running up the center of the abdomen. The practitioner then contracts the stomach muscles, making the area pulse in and out.

Nauli is a traditional yoga move that originates from Hatha Yoga, which refers basically to any yoga practice that teaches physical postures. The movement is not typically taught in most yoga classes these days, but it was once the first movement taught to new students to increase their control and awareness of this pivotal area of the body. Practitioners are said to have been performing this movement for several hundred years.

What are Its Benefits?

Because of the unique movements of the abdomen required in Nauli, it is said to massage internal organs, work all the muscles in the abdomen and sides, and aid digestion. The movement is also said to improve emotional stability, increase willpower, and benefit the internal organs.

How Do You Do It?

This movement can be difficult and requires powerful muscular movements, so it’s best taught by a qualified professional. However, there are a lot of videos out there showing yoga practitioners how to achieve it. Basically, it involves exhaling all the air in the lungs, contracting the stomach up under the ribcage, and then contracting and releasing the stomach muscles in a wavelike motion that looks very distinctive and feels quite strange the first time you try it.

Is It Dangerous?

Although Alien yoga looks strange, it’s a safe movement. It can be taught to yoga practitioners at any age, but this should be done by a qualified professional. The movement should not be attempted by anyone who is pregnant, has a hernia, or heart problems.

There are a great many interesting trends that have found popularity in yoga culture as the practice adapts to the needs and concerns of its practitioners. The popularity of Alien yoga reflects concerns about core strength and toning, and its unusual appearance adds an element of surprise to yoga selfies and other public images of practitioners. Because it is a safe movement, it is well worth asking your yoga teacher about and perhaps adding it to your regular practice.

Best Post Hot Yoga Snacks

Refueling after any sort of workout is incredibly important. Often I think people get so wrapped up in trying to lose weight or in looking at food as the enemy, that they forget that the whole purpose of food is to fuel our bodies. It’s not so much the quantity you’re eating as opposed to WHAT you’re putting into your body. Yes the key to losing weight is exerting more than you take in, but your body still needs ample calories to recuperate. I definitely need help in this area as it’s way easier to munch on a bag of chips than try to make something after a tough workout.

Hot Yoga gets me every time because I’m usually so exhausted by the end that I really don’t feel like doing anything! Here are some easy snacks to have on hand to refuel your body after a tough work out like Hot Yoga.

Peanut butter and whole wheat toast

This can be adapted to fit your dietary restrictions and taste preferences. Any sort of nut butter with a healthy carb is a great refueling snack because the whole grain bread will fill you up with fiber along with the protein from the peanut butter. It’s even believed that this combination is healthier than eating cereal, for example. Take a look at this video for more info.

Greek yogurt and granola

Greek yogurt is a great source of protein which will help you to rebuild muscle and fill you back, plus, the granola will add fiber to help you with digestion.  Personally I like to add a little honey to this snack to add some extra sweetness.

Hummus with veggies and grain crackers

Hummus is made with simple ingredients that pack a lot of protein.  It is fairly high in fat, but they are the healthier unsaturated fats. Veggies are always a good snack idea because of their nutritional value, and a cracker like a nut thin or other grain cracker will help to fill you up with fiber which will also help with digestion. Check out this list to find out about other high-protein foods!

A green smoothie

A green smoothie is a great way to refuel after practice. I like to make mine with frozen tropical fruit, spinach, and a couple of bananas. The bananas especially will help you replace electrolytes in your body after a tough hot yoga session! If you add a little Greek yogurt to your smoothie this will also provide protein to help you refuel.


Water is so important after a hot yoga workout.  Your body sweats out so much you’ll want to make sure to keep hydrated both during and after class!

Hot Yoga is a fun way to get your body moving and sweating, and a great way to lose weight or stay in shape.  However, the purpose is still to connect to your inner self and accept yourself for who you are and where you’re at in your practice on that day.  Show your body some love by re-fueling it with something healthy so it can get stronger!  Try to focus more on what you’re putting in your body rather than how much! I hope this post helps spark some ideas for you and encourages you on your health journey!