Stomach Vaccum — Benefits & Tutorial

Stomach Vaccum is a weird and wonderful yogic cleansing technique but it can be confusing for beginners to get their heads around. Believe it or not, this is one of my most requested blog posts!

In this post, I’m going to break it down into an easy, step-by-step guide so that beginners can slowly start to incorporate it into their practice.

Did you know that many yoga teachers regard it as one of the most important parts of a yogi’s practice?

In fact, a regular Stomach Vacuum Practice has so many benefits that the ancient yogis said it is “like the goddess of all creation and causes all happiness”. That’s quite the claim, isn’t it?! Doesn’t that intrigue you to find out more about the benefits of this technique?

It is a powerful cleansing technique that helps us to purify our body on a deep cellular level initiating the anti-ageing process of oxygenation and rejuvenation.

The idea is, our modern lifestyles expose our bodies to a fair amount of toxins. If we want to avoid obstacles in your life caused by such impurities (i.e. dis-ease) then we should practise certain breathing techniques to remove them. On a subtle level, different breathing techniques increase the flow of prana(life energy) to our vital organs. When practising regularly, they are able to remove the root cause of any disease and to purify your body inside out.

The Benefits of The Stomach Vaccum:

1) Strengthens and tones the abdominal muscles

2) Regulates and stimulates digestion

3) Purifies the liver

4) Improves the functioning of the reproductive system

Is it safe for me to practise the Stomach Vacuum?

  • Menstruation
  • Pregnancy
  • When you are trying to conceive
  • Post-partum (up to 6 weeks after giving birth)
  • During symptoms of constipation, diarrhoea, heartburn/reflux
  • Hernias

If you’re unsure, please consult an experienced yoga teacher as well as your medical doctor before attempting it. You can contact me for a private lesson if you’d like more guidance.

When should I practise stomach vacuum?

When I wake up, I practice the stomach vacuum before my meditation & asana practice on a mat. After that, I drink water with lemon and a cup of celery juice, which amplifies the effect of cleansing. In 20 min — 1 hour, your body will be ready to have breakfast. It’s important to be conscious of your hunger. One of the rules of Ayurveda, a holistic medicine system which is also called “The Science of Life”, is to eat when you feel starving. Listen to your stomach instead of your mind and try to avoid any unconscious habits. Health means when both your mind and your body function in synchronicity.

Stomach Vaccum: A Step By Step Guide For Beginners

In order to master the Stomach Vaccum, you have to learn how to relax the abdominal muscles completely and create a vacuum in the abdomen as you hold your breath out.

  1. First, standing up straight take a deep breath in and then exhale all of the air out of your lungs. And I mean ALL OF IT, even when you think you’ve reached the end of the exhalation, use your abs to push more air out. As you exhale, bend your knees and place your hands down on your thighs. Don’t inhale, the next few actions are performed whilst holding your breath out.
  2. Now, you need to FULLY RELAX YOUR BELLY. The next step won’t work unless you release your abdominal muscles completely.
  3. Make a swallowing action with your throat and when you feel the throat muscles tighten, hold it, aka close off your throat.
  4. Next follows “fake inhalation”. With your mouth closed and your throat muscles still contracted, imagine you are taking a big gasp of air in with your lungs. Because no air is actually being taken in (your throat is closed off), the pressure created by your diaphragm trying to draw air into the lungs causes your abdominal contents to be sucked in and upwards. This is what creates that hollow cave in the lower abdomen. It feels like the contents of your abdomen are being gently tugged upwards by suction.
  5. Hold it here as long as you feel comfortable (but no longer than 10 seconds at first), before releasing the suction and then slowly inhaling and standing back up. Take some slow, deep breaths.
  6. So now you’ve mastered to hold your abdominal vacuum on the exhale, it’s time to move forward. We’re going to create a wave-like, vertical flapping motion in the abdominals by repeatedly engaging and releasing the Vaccum. This movement helps you to activist your AGNI, inner fire and to boost digestion and all associated benefits.

This is roughly what it looks like:

It took me a few weeks of trying this to grasp the technique, but trust me — it will come! Keep practising this technique with a few rounds each morning until you feel really comfortable.

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (page 76) says “When practising uddiyana bandha (stomach vacuum), one should have a feeling of inward pressure at the throat”. This helped me to know when I was getting the right sensation.

Do you still have any questions? Don’t be shy — drop me a comment below. I love to hear from you!

IG: oksi_astroyoga

Email: oksanahyryak@gmail.com

Lots of love,

Oksana

passionate yogi influencer, astrologer and energy healer